Are your kids excited for Rio 2? The film is flying into theaters everywhere on April 11 and follows love birds Jewel and Blue as they return to her roots in the Amazon and discover some new family members.
The sequel features the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jemaine Clement, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro, Andy Garcia, Kristin Chenoweth, and Jamie Foxx – but the real star of the show is the incredible soundtrack! (We can’t stop listening to “What Is Love” by Janelle Monáe.)
We had the chance to catch up with the cast at the Rio 2 World Premiere in Miami Beach and chat about the film. Check out some of the interview highlights below:
Why is the film set in the Amazon?
“I think I want the kids just to be curious about it. And if they know a little bit about it, it’s something that I want people to appreciate, understand it exists, and it’s important,” said the film’s director Carlos Saldanha. “The movie carries a lot of the message about protecting it… . So, I hope that they come out of it with that in mind.”
One funny scene in the movie involves the family packing for their trip to the Amazon so we asked cast members to share one thing they don’t leave home without:
“I travel with a backpack like an adolescent everywhere I go. And in the movie, my character has a fanny pack, which is, I don’t know, also adolescent but maybe a different kind,” said Jesse Eisenberg (who voices Blue).
When asked whether he thought fanny packs would make a comeback, The Social Network star joked:
“I’ll tell you the real danger is, when you do a movie about animals, people buy the animals, but then they don’t take care of them and sometimes the animals will die. So, if that happens with fanny packs, that’s the real tragedy. You know, people buy them and then they’re just sitting somewhere in a drawer.”
Part of the reason Jewel wants to take her kids to the Amazon is to help them reconnect with their roots – because even though they’re birds, these tweens are totally plugged in to their tech. Carlos Saldanha weighed in on what inspired this plot line:
“Look, sometimes I have to say I’m guilty of just giving the iPad on the plane or iPad in a restaurant. It’s a very relatable thing. But, there are some times that we just say turn off the TV, get off of the iPod. Come on. You have a beautiful beach outside. You have a beautiful place. You have outdoors. You have your backyard. Just go out there and play. Be kids, you know? You don’t need it all the time.”
Anne Hathaway (who voices Jewel) echoed the idea of unplugging, and shared that one of her favorite pieces of “technology” is pretty old school:
“I couldn’t live without my record player. I love vinyl, and it brings so much warmth into my home. Especially with the vintage albums, I mean, there’s just a warmth to it.”
As for her favorite record?
“I have some old recordings of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, the comedy show that they used to do. They never get old. I’ve listened to them so many times, and I laugh every single time. So, I’d say those are probably like the ones I would grab in a fire. Also, my husband is amazing, and for our first Valentine’s Day he made me a mix record.”
The beloved Princess of Genovia also opened up about how she feels, knowing that kids are looking up to her as a role model:
“The pressure felt overwhelming when I was 18 and was much further away from knowing who I was… I knew that I was was going to try things that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that children try. And so, I felt a great awareness that I must keep my private life private because I didn’t want to have to justify everything to kids, and I really, really felt strongly that I didn’t want a kid to engage in destructive behavior because they might have seen me do it.
Now that I’m a lot closer to a mommy age and I think I’m getting there, I think it’s the greatest thing in the world. It’s an honor to be a part of kids’ cultural landscape. And if I’ve had a positive impact on someone, that’s wonderful.”
As for where she is in her live right now, Hathaway says, “I’m just trying to live a life honestly and authentically, and that’s the pressure I put on myself now. But, I do love making films that are a part of not just childhood memories but family memories.”
But perhaps the most touching moment came from the one and only Kristin Chenoweth (ok, we might be a little biased), who shared a beautiful anecdote about her childhood:
“One thing that [my parents] did for me, which was great – well, I have this interesting sound that sounds like I’ve sucked helium most of my life. And they always just were like, some people aren’t always going to accept that, but whatever anyone teases you about, just try to embrace whatever makes you different.”
Rio 2 hits theaters everywhere on Friday, April 11. You can check out the trailer below: