Director Chris Wedge Talks Queen B Beyoncé as ‘epic’ Queen Tara
Beyonce Knowles recording for 20th Century Fox's 'Epic'
Besides sporting one of the most epic story lines of the summer, animated or otherwise, Blue Sky's "epic" also lays claim to one of the most epic vocal casts around. So it's properly named.
If the film merely boasted Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Jason Sudekis, Pitbull, Collin Ferrell, and Steven Tyler, it would be impressive in its own right.
But what pushes the vocal cast of "epic" beyond really good and into the realm of epic?
Two words: Beyoncé Knowles. (Actually, we probably could have narrowed it down to one word and you would have known who we were talking about, but that's how she's billed.)
In her first ever voiceover gig, Knowles steps up to the mike as Queen Tara, the royal highness of the microscopic Leaf Men, protectors of the natural world who wage war with Mandrake (Waltz) and his evil henchman, who are bent on the destruction of all things green. So you can see why the Leaf Men need a leader as strong as The Queen B.
We recently spoke on the phone with "epic" director Chris Wedge – the Oscar winner behind "Ice Age" (2002) and "Robots" (2005) – about helping Knowles find her animated voice in this "old school classic adventure movie."
"Beyonce, as it turns out, is quite a soulful person, and was able to carry the emotional content that her role required pretty easily," said Wedge. "Up close and personal she's a very committed and focused person. She was a little timid when she first walked up to the microphone to do acting and not singing, but as soon as she got past that she was really able to reach right in and get what the role required emotionally."
Queen Tara in 20th Century Fox's 'Epic'
Being a mom and one of the biggest stars on the planet, Knowles obviously has a lot going on, but when she gets down to work, she's focused and committed. "She's hard to get on the phone, but once you get her in the room, she's all yours," said Wedge. "We didn't have to go for many adjustments. She gave us a really strong performance in the first session and we used a lot of that for the scenes we recorded that day."