Known far and wide by adults for his hilarious stand up work via the famed 'Blue Collar Comedy Tour,' Larry the Cable Guy also cornered the kid market with the inspired voicing of lovable tow truck Mater in Pixar’s "Cars" franchise. As the goofy and rusty sidekick to Owen Wilson’s slick Lightning McQueen, Larry helped create one of the most beloved and memorable characters in the Pixar universe. Now the Mater heavy sequel "Cars 2" is hitting DVD and Blu-ray (streets Nov. 1 from Disney Home Entertainment) - featuring the sassy truck and best friend McQueen heading for Japan and Europe for a World Grand Prix - and we thought it best to chat with the man behind the truck. So along with our review of the Blu-ray of "Cars 2" below, we also got a chance to talk one-on-one with Larry the Cable Guy about everything Mater, from his input into the character to coming back for a second film. So let’s Git-R-Done, here’s...
LARRY THE CABLE GUY! (aka MATER!)
Even though Mater isn’t the brightest bulb, he has incredible loyalty and heart – what made you ultimately want to voice him?
Larry the Cable Guy: Pixar hired me! (Laughs) I mean that’s pretty much it! When Pixar calls and says, ‘Hey, you wanna be in a Pixar movie?’, you don't do a lot of contemplating! (Laughs)
Did you have any input into the look of Mater when you came on board the first time around?
Larry: They showed me diagrams of what he was gonna look like when they hired me and I thought it was really cool. I gotta tell you I was just kind of shell shocked they hired me and I was still in the stage of I can’t believe I’m gonna be in a Pixar movie, you know? But the truck was awesome and they couldn’t find a voice. They had been through all kinds of voices and John got the 'Blue Collar' CD and he heard my voice and said, ‘That’s my tow truck right there!’ – it all happened so fast.
Mater is obviously a big part of Director John Lasseter’s vision – he even said he got the idea for "Cars 2" thinking ‘What would Mater do in this situation?’ – what was he like as a director on both films?
Larry: He’s so easy to work for. You know you don’t see any of the other actors and so you basically rely on John to tell you what the scene is. But since Mater is his brainchild, he could close his eyes and he’ll see Mater in the scene. So he knows what Mater’s gonna sound like, what he wants him to sound like, how he wants him to act and he’ll explain it to me. So you basically start to do your line and if you see him smile and laugh you know you’re on the right track.