It's OK to still get excited about kids films right? Because Smallfoot looks DEADLY!

And we got to chat to Gina Rodriguez on her role as Kolka and why the film as an important message for everyone. 

What drew you to Smallfoot and to the character of Kolka?

I honestly love working on animated films.  It’s an opportunity to play with your voice and offers a different kind of acting experience.  I always like to challenge myself and working on an animated film always challenges me, because I have to use so much of my imagination. I was also excited by the film’s story, cast – and by the chance to work with our director, Karey Kirkpatrick.

How did Karey help you shape the character?

Karey is an artist – and a talented actor (laughs).  He could have played any of the film’s characters.  He made my experience on Smallfoot next level and my favorite experience on an animated film.  Karey gets you to a place where you feel confident and free to experiment.  He let me play with my voice, with singing, and with different tones for Kolka.  I would work with Karey again, in a heartbeat.

Was it a long process for you and Karey to find her voice, to find that tone for Kolka?

From my first meeting with Karey, I knew I was going to have to lean on him. It’s important to trust your director on any film, but especially with animation because when you begin work, all you know is the film’s basic storyline and maybe a few character sketches. Thankfully, he was an amazing partner to lean on. 

It took a few voice recording sessions to find exactly what we wanted Kolka to be. We knew she had a spiritual element.  From there, everything flowed – her voice, the way she responded to things, how she was driven by her belief in healing crystals, magic and the supernatural. 

Although some of my recording sessions were weeks or even months apart, Kolka was very easy to come back to because we had become so specific with her, that I knew what she was like and how she responded to things. Sometimes, Karey and I would do acting or vocal exercises that helped me get right back to her.  Of course, we always had previous recordings to refer to – and those always helped me jump right back to Kolka.

Kolka is a bit of a science nerd.  What are your nerdy qualities?

I’m not a science nerd but according to my fiancée I’m definitely a film and television nerd. 

What do you hope audiences experience when they see Smallfoot?

I know audiences will have a great time with Smallfoot – they will laugh, have fun and enjoy the music.  But I hope the film also contributes some empathy to our world –it’s important to understand and appreciate those who are different from us.  We need that empathy more than ever.

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