Occasionally actors are cast simply to play themselves, but sometimes they don’t get the memo. Ty Burrell stopped by Ellen to continue the fun of Finding Dory week. He described the first attempt to voice his character, Bailey the Beluga Whale, for the new film.
“They have this big sort of bulbous thing on their head that moves,” Burrell explained, describing the melon, an organ located in the whale’s head used for echolocation. This physical feature led Burrell to make an assumption about how Bailey might sound.
“I thought, OK, to me that looks like something that’s congested,” Burrell said. “And I thought I was gonna kinda impress Pixar with my character work.”
Although it was a bit of a stretch, Burrell felt confident enough to go into his first recording session with this idea. He unleashed his nasally version of the whale, and his first take was met with total silence.
“And they were like, ‘OK, um, well let’s do the next one as you,’” recalled Burrell. “‘And we’ll either use the voice you just did or all the rest of it as you.’”
Now, it may seem like Pixar was being harsh, but this is actually pretty standard. DeGeneres told Burrell that almost the exact same thing had happened to her, but Pixar informed her it chose her for Dory because of the unique way she talked.
Watch the cast of Finding Dory answer What Would Dory Do? questions: