Toy Story of Terror! premieres tonight on ABC, and we spoke with Carl Weathers who voices new character Combat Carl in the Halloween special.
In Toy Story of TERROR!, Combat Carl is a semi-new toy in the world of Toy Story. We last saw Combat Carl in the first Toy Story film when he is used in an experiment by Sid. Now Combat Carl is back, and this time he’s a major character in the plot.
The first thing you may notice about Combat Carl is that he looks a lot like Weathers’ character in Predator:
Pixar knew what what they wanted when casting Combat Carl. “Pixar approached me,” he explained, “And when a company like this, one that has this tremendous amount of success, when they approach you it’s pretty exciting. So I thought, ‘Let me check this out.'”
Weathers is no stranger to the franchise he’s now a part of. He’d previously seen the Toy Story films and loved them. “It’s this fantastic franchise, and a great story. How could you not be [a fan]?”
The actor is primarily known for his role in action movies, and if you’re wondering if he’d used the previous Toy Story films for inspiration on how to voice Combat Carl, the answer is no. “What I think the producers wanted was Carl Weathers,” he said when we asked if he changed his demeanor at all for the character. “They didn’t want me to change my voice or do anything different.” A decision we definitely approve of. Weather’s unique personality and tone shines throughout his performance.
Voice acting and live-action work are somewhat similar, according to Weathers. “It was performing; I didn’t think about how to voice it,” he responded when asked if he’d pondered how to voice his character for Toy Story. “Any action movie that you do is hyper real anyway; it’s a space that you get into as an actor. They’re both challenging, and when you don’t have someone across from you to act with, you have to use your imagination a lot more, [and] you have to rely on translating the animation in your voice. Depending on the emotion at the time, your body is going to also go into it naturally.”
Weathers worked alone when recording his part for the film and didn’t have the other actors to help him guide his character along. Despite that, Weathers was just as physically animated as if he’d be for on-camera acting. “I was on my feet, and had to stay animated. The struggle is that you have to stay in the range of the microphone, so if your character is running you can’t go run yourself. But you can move around, and that’s what I did.”
We asked if Weathers would want to come back for another Toy Story adventure, and he said he would. “I had a great time and would really enjoy doing more. And also to do something more family oriented and for the kids, that really appeals to me. So I would welcome an opportunity to see more of Combat Carl and Toy Story.”
You can see Weather’s performance as Combat Carl in Toy Story of TERROR! tonight at 8 p.m. eastern/pacific on ABC.