This Cars 3 Experience was Hosted by Disney. Opinions are our own.
In anticipation of the new in-home arrival of Disney Pixar’s Cars 3 on October 24, we got to talk with Lea Delaria. I’m a huge fan of her Big Boo character on Orange is the New Black, and stand-up fame. PIck up a copy of the new digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD on October 24 or the Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD & Blu-Ray on November 7, and watch Lea create the Miss Fritter character in Cars 3. In addition to her hilarious supporting role in the movie feature, there is a great bonus short with the DVD/BlueRay packet that is completely dedicated to her character and her antics.
We just got to view the Miss Fritter’s Driving School short available on the DVD Home release extras, and we all loved it. How did you think it turned out?
Lea: It’s so good. I shouldn’t say that, it’s my own short. But, oh my God. It’s so good.
How did you feel when Pixar called you for the job?
Lea: My experience has been awesome and fun-loving. I mean, what a great place to work. Honestly, if this acting thing doesn’t work out for me I’m going to Pixar.
How much of the Miss Fritter role is scripted, and how much is improv?
Lea: It’s kind of a combination. They hand me a script, and they have, generally ten alternate lines that they want to do. And then the writers, directors, producers they’ll go, try this, try this, try this. Hey, Lea, do you have any ideas? And then I’ll do it, and it’s often that line ends up being a combination of all of it.
Do you have a preference on-screen screen acting, or voice-over acting?
Lea : I prefer to pay my rent. (ha, ha) I like how big voice-acting can be. Like, I’m gonna say it…I was in Saved by the Bell: The New Class, so I used to do, um, Saturday morning television. And when you do Saturday morning television, you get to be really big. But television has turned into, especially with single camera shoots like Orange, a place where you have to be real. You have to be honest, you have to sit there, and that’s not my personality. I’m kinda big. That’s probably what I like best about voice acting. I can make the big choices that I would make, for example, on stage, like when I do a musical, I’m making those big choices all the time. It’s acceptable there, you know? Those are fun choices.
What did you think of Miss Fritter when Pixar came to you with that character?
Lea: So, when I saw the character, I knew she was demolition derby. I grew up with demolition derby. I went to demolition derby as a kid. I knew exactly who she was.
Did you have any influence in changing, or shaping the character of Miss Fritter?
Lea: t was not really my influence. The folks at Pixar went out of their way, I think, to personalize the character for me. In a very lovely way. I mean, I was very flattered. They called up and said, what year are you born? And now that’s number on the license plate. They have the name of my real grade school in Belleville, Illinois, on the side of my bus. They even have a rainbow bumper sticker. Oh, and Miss Fritter’s eyes are my eyes. They paid very very close attention to my eyes, and made those eyes her eyes. So that’s kind of cool too.
Do you love cars?
Lea: I love cars, and working on engines, if they were made before the computers came in. Pretty much anything until nineteen-seventy, say, six, I can roll my sleeves up, and fix that car. That is, if I’ve got a manual with me. When I went to school in a tiny little town of Illinois, it was a requirement for girls to take Home Economics and Typing. I didn’t want to take Home Economics, and Typing, so I brought my parents in to school for a sit down, and I got to take auto mechanics.
How psyched were you to see the ending of Cars 3?
Lea: I thought this is a feminist movie, [LAUGHTER] This is a girl power movie. This is a movie that teaches young girls that they can live their dreams, and be whatever they want to be. We don’t have many movies that say that to little girls. In fact I can’t think of another one. I was jumping up and down about it. I thought it was amazing.
Favorite line in the movie?
Lea: I’m gonna fritterize ya.
Do you have any words of inspiration for young girls coming out of their shell?
Lea : First of all, you’re absolutely perfect as you are. I mean, you don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to do. You don’t have to say anything that you don’t want to say. And if you feel like you want to say something ,when you know what it is that you want to say, you’ll say it, you know? I think it’s a good thing because kids are always pushed. You do things in your own time, and your own way, and that’s good enough.
Photos by Becky Dixel.