CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2
About the Characters
Flint Lockwood, you just saved Swallow Falls from giant food
storm oblivion! What are you going to do next? How about --
save the world... again? Seems that Flint's most famous
invention (the one that turns water into food -- the one that
caused that trouble last time) is still active and is now spewing
out living food creatures -- foodimals! Soon, it's back to the
island of Swallow Falls, with all of his friends in tow. Flint still
feels responsible for the havoc that's resulted from his invention
-- can he and his friends stop the foodimals before they take over
The role is voiced by Bill Hader. "Bill
can take these lines and find things in
them that we never imagined," says
Cameron. "Crazy shrieks and yells --
he's very cartoony in his performance."
But it's not just a cartoon, adds
Cameron. "Also, there's a very
earnest heart to the character, both in
the first film and this one. That's what Bill brings. He's silly and energetic, of course,
but he also gives a sincere performance that brings heart and purity when Flint is down
and desperate. He brings the full range."
"It's great to be back in the spray-on shoes of Flint Lockwood," says Hader. "In fact, it
seems like I never left him behind -- every month or so, I get to come into the booth and
do Flint's voice for a bit. I love it."
"Flint is that guy who has good intentions -- great intentions -- but everything always
goes wrong," Hader continues. "On the other hand, he's very driven and very confident,
even when everybody else thinks he's crazy. Actually, I feel a kinship with him -- we're
both nerdy, nervous, and not great with girls."
Flint Lockwood's edible worldwide meteorological occurrences have
catapulted Sam Sparks to TV stardom as weather watchers turned to
her for updates during the "greatest weather phenomenon in
history." She is finally being accepted as a serious meteorologist who
remains perky in the face of danger. Once Sam declared she "like-
likes" Flint and wants him to be happy, there is no keeping her from
joining him on the expedition back to Swallow Falls to save civilization
from the invasion of gigantic living food creatures. But why doesn't working together have that ol' "thunder and lightning" that it once had?
"Sam is still very much the observational scientist," says Pearn. "On this journey back
to the island, Sam is the one who's emotional and also really smart, so she's the one
who starts to crack the mystery of this island. The interesting thing about the
relationship between Sam and Flint is that Flint brings Sam out of her shell in the first
movie, and in this movie he doesn't appreciate her in the way he should. As a result, he
almost loses her -- and the island appreciates her."
Anna Faris reprises her
role. "I was so proud of
the way the first film turned
out," she says. "When
you're voicing a role in an
animated movie, you're
working on it for a year but
you don't really know what
it's going to be until the
end. It was amazing to
see it all come together,
the artistry involved was incredible, and it was so much fun."
"Sam is one of the smarter characters I've played," she laughs. "She's bright and
optimistic, she's a leader but also supportive. She's an adventurer, and she has a lot of
compassion. I think she's just a great gal."
"Anna's comedy timing is amazing," says Pearn. "She's often playing the straight man
against Flint, but she finds the comedy angle in the simplest lines."
"She makes Sam feel smart and warm at the same time," says Cameron.
Flint's proud father, Tim, is happiest when he is on his
boat, floating around in search of his water-dwelling
dinner. Tim still doesn't get all of the fancy technology
stuff that is such a big part of his son's life. And Flint
doesn't ever need to hear another fishing metaphor ever
again. So when the gang heads back to Swallow Falls to
help save the world, Flint encourages his 49-year-old dad
to stay home. Still, Tim insists on launching his fishing
boat and coming along for the journey, even though Flint
would prefer his old dad stayed home.
"The genie got out of the bottle in the first movie: we put the thought translator on his
head and he finally was able to tell his son he loved him. So we're flipping the roles of
Tim and Flint in this movie: now that Tim is emotionally able to express his feelings,
he's constantly trying to hug his son and give him advice," says Pearn. "Flint still loves
his dad, but now his dad is kinda getting on his nerves and he's pushing his dad away a
bit. At the same time, Tim's got this emptiness, because he knows his son loves him,
but he's losing that connection with his son."
"He's old-fashioned, slow-thinking,
and opinionated -- there's not much
to life for him beyond fishing. Not
the sharpest tool," says James
Caan, who voices the role. "But
he's also a very caring and loving
father, just never knew how to say
"James Caan loves having fun with Tim," says Marsden. "On the first film, he'd
improvise with the character in ways that were bold and energetic, but the character at
that time needed to be stoic, quiet, and by the end come out of his shell a bit. So this
time around, he was very excited. We could now say, 'Go with it' to some of the
qualities he tried last time. Tim still has the same form of delivery -- for example, the
monobrow, you rarely see his eyes -- but now we are having a bit more fun with an old
fisherman making an attempt to talk to his high-tech-crazy son."
But all is not lost for Tim: he finds a special connection where he least expects it.
"When he gets to the island, he meets some pickles, and in a way, they're like a stand-
in for the grandkids that he doesn't have yet," says Pearn. "He's got the weird son who
he loves but doesn't understand, and on the other hand, the pickles, who love football
and fishing and hockey and all of the things that he loves."
"It's true, I adopt a bunch of pickles, who are actually a family of pickles," says Caan.
Despite the fact that the pickles can't speak coherently, "I kind of get to understand 'em.
I teach 'em how to fish, and I teach 'em not to get themselves in a pickle."
Still a primate of few words, Steve the Monkey has everything any guy would wish for
in a best friend -- except maybe a bigger
vocabulary. Steve is still both a trusted
colleague and a shining example of Flint's
best attempts at inventing -- after all, Flint
wouldn't even get those single words from
his buddy were it not for the Monkey
Thought Translator. One never knows
when the monkey's particular point of view
(or his size, or his climbing, or his lab
skills) will come in handy.
Most characters in most stories have character arcs, where moviegoers get to see them
grow and change. And then there's Steve. "Steve is exactly the same," says Cameron.
And once again, the award-winning actor Neil
Patrick Harris provided the voice. "He does so
much with one word," Cameron continues. "He'll
deliver it different ways -- he thinks it's pretty
humorous that he has to act with only one word."
"Usually, to get an entire movie from a main
character, it takes seven or eight sessions, four
or five hours per session," says Bodyfelt. "With
Neil, we got all of his lines in the movie in one
session, one hour. Later, whenever we came up
with a few more Steve lines, we'd have him
come in for ten minutes and he's done. Steve is
a great foil for the animators -- you have a scene with a lot of dialogue, and Steve is in
the background doing something ridiculous or eating something he isn't supposed to
"Normally you're in this recording room and your inflection has to be perfect and you
have to hit all of your Ts and Ps. On this, you just come in and you say 'Hungry' fifteen
times. Or 'Banana.' Or 'Steve,'" says Harris. "And then they start giving direction.
'Yes, do it again, but a little louder.' 'Steve!' 'Now you're scared. 'Steve...' 'Yeah, but
now you're running.' 'Steve! Steve! Steve!' The first time around, I kept thinking I was
getting punked, but it turns out that I was actually in the movie."
You remember "Baby" Brent on the label of Swallow Falls'
canned sardines? He has continued his career in the culinary
world promoting a chain of restaurants, Chick-N-Sushi, spinning a
foam board arrow while wearing a rubber chicken suit. He'll put
that promising career on hold when Flint and his friends ask him
to help save the world by stopping the leftover takeover.
"Andy Samberg is great -- super funny," says
Cameron. "He's great at playing the doofus. We
give him a dumb line, and he just makes it really
"It's been a dream to revisit Brent," says Samberg.
"I missed him. Now that I'm back in his spirit, his
body, and his chicken suit, I think the world is a better place."
Samberg shares his one weird trick to voice the role: "What you have to do is scream as
loud as you can and sound like you got hit in the head a lot as a child."
Former police officer Earl Devereaux is also pursuing an
alternative job path in food services, as a barista serving up
fancy-pants coffee drinks at an upscale coffee house. So,
when Flint and Sam come around and ask him to come
aboard their voyage to adventure, he quickly transforms
from barista to a polista, complete with uniform and beard,
and joins the group by performing a back flip out of the
Terry Crews takes over the
role. "Terry did a great job
taking over the role of Earl -- he
still feels like Earl, the town cop
from the first film," says
Cameron. "When we see shots
animated, it still feels like Earl.
It's the same character."
"Terry came in and was on the ball -- he's got great warmth, especially around children.
When he's talking about Cal, he's got the same sensitivity, even though he's a big,
tough guy," says Pearn. "As it turns out, he was a big fan of the first film. He went to
the premiere and took his kids -- so before he came to record, they lined up and said,
'Don't screw it up, Dad.' That put a lot of pressure on him!"
"I'm the biggest fan of the first Cloudy film," says Crews. "I went to the premiere with my
family and we ate bacon-flavored chocolates -- we even still have our Cloudy lunch
boxes. And when we left the movie, I said to my son, 'I'm like Earl and you're like Cal' --
Earl's son. So when I got the call that they were asking me to be a part of the sequel,
well, they had me at 'hello.'"
"Earl is the alpha male's alpha male," says Crews, describing his character. "There's no
way to go beyond the man that Earl is. Earl defines a man doin' his job -- he protects
his city and he does it better than anybody."
It's little surprise that Sam's former cameraman (and master of
many talents) Manny has landed on his feet in San Franjose,
California -- and, at the moment that Flint, Sam and a car full of
their friends arrive, he is trying to deliver a baby calf. But hey, that
will just have to wait -- Manny grabs his camera, bids 'adios!' to his
vet techs, and heads for the food-infested island of Swallow Falls.
"Because in the first film we were able to show that he was not only a mechanic but also
a doctor, we now have other occupations, other jobs, that Manny has -- he's got a bag
full of different occupations. He's a Manny of all trades," says Cameron.
"The cork got popped on his
speaking, which a lot of
people are happy about, not
least of which is Benjamin
Bratt," says Pearn. "He's a
real arbiter of the character.
We have a moment in
Cloudy 2 when Manny has
to fall, so we had 'Ahhhhh!'
written on the page. He
said, 'I don't think Manny
would scream.' He found a way to have Manny emote 'I'm falling' without having him
scream. We had another line with the direction for him to shout it, and he wouldn't
shout it -- he did it with passion. That's great -- that's so much better than anything we
imagined. That's what happens when actors come back to play their characters -- they
are protectors of their characters. It's always great when we get surprised by the actors
-- that's what we want."
"Manny is the kind of guy you want with you when something goes wrong," says
Bratt. "He's a Jack of all trades and a master of all. If it's something that requires a
license, Manny's likely got one for it. Whether it's piloting a plane or operating a crane
or driving a race car, Manny can do it. He's a doctor. He's a veterinarian. He's a
comedian. He's a self-professed professional masseur. He can do anything. So, when
our gang finds themselves in deep, deep trouble, Manny is the guy who'll get them out
If you could genetically splice Steve Jobs, Richard
Branson and a circus ringmaster into one man, you would
get Chester V, the eccentric genius behind the global
company Live Corp and all of the cool stuff they created
'for the betterment of mankind.' Part guru, part showman
and part inventor, Chester is one super-smart dude -- in
fact, he may be the super-smartest. For instance, he's
the only one he needs to invite to his own brainstorming
sessions. So with all that brain matter, why does he need
our heroic Flint Lockwood to clean up the leftover problems in Swallow Falls?
In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, this new adventure sees Flint get recognized
by one of the great men of his time. "While Flint almost destroyed the world, the world
also got to see what a great inventor he is. As a result, Flint is given an opportunity
from one of his heroes, Chester V, the head of the Live Corp company. Imagine Apple
meets Google meets FAO Schwarz -- that's Live Corp. Their intent is to invent for the
betterment of mankind, which is just what Flint wants to do," says Marsden.
"In the first film, Flint had a wall of heroes -- Einstein, Tesla -- and we wondered, what if
Flint got to meet one of his heroes? What happens when the nerdy kid becomes cool?"
Will Forte voiced a different,
small role in the first film,
portraying Joe Towne, the
Swallow Falls resident who rips
off his beard when the
cheeseburger is falling from the
sky. In the sequel, Forte is
back for seconds -- and a much
bigger portion -- as Chester V in
Cloudy 2. "I loved the first
movie so much -- and even though I did a voice in the first one, it was a very small part.
There was such a wonderful spirit to the story, it was so creative -- a crazy world where
all the characters were relatable. So I was really excited to come back, in a bigger role,
for this movie -- we start from the place the first one ends and build to a new, totally
"Chester is Flint Lockwood's hero," explains Forte. "He's a blue-jeans billionaire whose
company, Live Corp, does all sorts of wonderful things for the world -- really very brilliant
inventions -- but things don't exactly go as planned when Flint comes to work for him."
The directors say that Forte's characterization in the recording booth had a great
influence on the character -- adding dimension to a role that they had not anticipated.
"Because Chester was a collision of all these personas and archetypes, we really
wanted a character actor and comedian to come in and invent the character with us,"
says Pearn. "It's amazing how Will pushed it around. When we first started, Chester
was a much more refined, erudite, crisp person, and with Will, we ended up finding a
much more kooky version of that and that helped us evolve the character to a very
funny, weird place that we weren't expecting."
There's no one in the world that Chester trusts more than Chester, but that doesn't
mean he couldn't use a second opinion sometimes. The solution: "Chester has an affectation -- he goes everywhere with holograms of himself," Pearn explains. "Whereas
Flint begins the movie surrounded by friends and family, Chester is literally surrounded
by himself -- he's building an empire based upon himself."
"They're the ultimate yes-men," says Forte. "It's hard to do those scenes in the
recording booth, because I'm talking to myself and the voices all sound the same. It's
hard to have a conversation with yourself. When you don't have the natural give-and-
take of dialogue, you tend to rush it or pause too much. But we got there."
Apparently one can create a smart and verbally gifted
assistant by implanting a human brain inside the brain
of an orangutan -- think turducken. And if the creator
is as smart as Chester V, the resulting hybrid would
be called Barb. Evolved, intelligent, sassy, and
wearing lipstick, Barb wants nothing more than the
everlasting approval of Chester V. To get it, she will
"When we first started developing the story, we thought that maybe there would be a
parallel story -- Chester would have a primate companion, just like Flint does with
Steve," says Pearn. "So we came up with this idea of Barb. She's the better version of
Steve -- she doesn't have a thought translator, she just has thoughts. She's very
insecure, because she is always wanting Chester's affections -- she's trying to get this
guy who's full of himself to love her, because he's sort of her father."
"In a way, as Steve is to Flint, Barb is to Chester," says Cameron. "But Steve is a
monkey, and Barb is an ape. Throughout the film, Barb is referred to as a monkey,
which is a term she does not appreciate. Barb is almost like a super-Steve -- she's an
orangutan with a human brain inside her ape brain. Sam gets into it a little bit with Barb,
because Sam is the only one smart enough to see the cards Barb is holding."
"We originally conceived the part for
Kristen Schaal and had the part
written for her, so it's a real pleasure
that she wanted to do the movie,"
continues Cameron. "She's great at
improvisation, taking a line that we
have and building on top of that and
bringing something that maybe we
didn't see in the role."
"After a three-hour session with Kristen, I get tired," says Pearn. "She has so much
energy -- she's amazing in her ability to stay up there and be funny."
"I like Barb," says Schaal. "She's very vulnerable inside. She does some tough things,
but she's been pushed to behave the way that she does."
"Barb is really intimidated by Sam," Schaal explains. "That's partly because Sam is
beautiful, but even more so because Sam is human. Barb is very complicated, because
she's an invention, and she's self-conscious about it -- she tries to take Sam down at
every turn. Her bedazzled claws are out."
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