‘I’m the bastard who turned down’ Toy Story ”
Billy Crystal can boast of having achieved a number of accomplishments during his Hollywood career: he is the star of the hit comedy of the 90s. townspeople; one of the best Oscar hosts ever; and the director of a Hall of Fame baseball movie. But in his mind, he will also remember another less than boastful thing: “I’m the asshole who refused. Toy storyCrystal tells Yahoo Entertainment about her biggest career regret. (Watch our video interview above.)
Here’s the deep dish straight from Pizza Planet: In the early ’90s, the computer animation company known as Pixar was trying to recruit top stars to join the voice cast of their first cartoon feature film. After making Tom Hanks the serious cowboy Woody, they focused on finding the right voice for his foe-turned-friend Buzz Lightyear.
Toy story director John Lasseter believed Crystal was this voice. The actor disagreed, however, and let the opportunity pass. It opened a door that Home improvement star Tim Allen happily walked through a door that led to an industry-transforming blockbuster, several hit sequels and an upcoming “sidequel” with Chris Evans.
Of course, Crystal’s career didn’t really suffer after he refused. Toy story. Yet a quarter of a century later, he can’t help but reflect on what might have been. âAt the time, it wasn’t because of a job, it was something else,â he explains now. “I didn’t think I was the right voice for this [character]. And Tim Allen is awesome. He’s got that big, resounding voice of this character that’s full of himself. “
Crystal finally got a chance to see what her version of Buzz might have looked like when Lasseter showed her the “screen test” Pixar did while courting her for the role. “They took the dialogue from a scene in When Harry meets Sally when I get mad at each of them … [and I say] “Someday you’ll be doing 15 laps to find out who’s going to get that stupid coffee table with cart wheels,” he recalls. wide and little Buzz is standing under a stupid big coffee table with cart wheels. And then when he said, “I was nice,” the visor of his helmet closed. I went, ‘You know what? I was wrong.'”
Suffice to say, the next time Pixar came knocking, Crystal made sure to respond. Six years later Toy story, the actor eagerly accepted the role of one-eyed green monster Mike Wazowski in Pete Docter’s Monsters Inc., which was published 20 years ago on November 2, 2001. âI’m in my officeâ¦ and John Lasseter is on the phone,â he recalls how this opportunity presented itself to him. “I said, ‘Alright, listen: whatever it is, yes!'”
Monsters Inc. paired Crystal with John Goodman, who voices Mike’s fearful-looking but kind-hearted best friend, Sulley. The duo quickly became real-life friends, thanks in large part to the fact that they were able to record their lines together during production. âI insisted that we work together: [John’s] such a great actor, a great improviser and a wonderful audience, “Crystal says of those freewheeling recording sessions.” I would just leave and say, ‘Can I fill in something here? I have an idea.’ Things just happened. “
Much like Allen and Buzz Lightyear, playing Mike has become a regular gig for Crystal. The actor reprized the role in the 2013 prequel Monster college, as well as the recent Disney + series Monsters at work. âMike is one of my favorite characters – if not my favorite character – to play because I’m so free with him,â the actor says of his ageless alter ego. “It’s just audio, it’s not like we’re shooting it. It was a great experience. [then], and it continues to be. “
Monsters Inc. is currently broadcast on Disney +.