Armando “Pitbull” Pérez Talks EPIC, Why He Wanted to Voice an Animated Character, His Upcoming Tour with Ke$ha, and More
Epic is a 3D family adventure comedy that reveals a fantastical world hidden from the human eye. In the forest, there is an ongoing battle between the forces of good, who keep the natural world alive, and the forces of evil, who wish to destroy it. When a teenage girl (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she teams up with the Leafmen, led by Ronin (voiced by Colin Farrell), and a cast of odd-ball characters, who must work together to save both their world and ours. From Ice Age director Chris Wedge, the film also features the voices of Beyonce Knowles, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Sudeikis, Aziz Ansari and Armando “Pitbull” Pérez.
At the recent L.A. press day, Collider got the opportunity to chat with superstar music artist Pitbull about what made him want to voice a character in an animated movie, what made Epic the right project, and what kind of a frog his character is. He also talked about his upcoming concert tour with Ke$ha and what he loves about performing live. Watch the video or read the transcript after the jump:
- What made him want to voice a character in an animated movie
- What made Epic the right project to get involved with
- What kind of a frog Bufo is and whether he sees him as a good guy
- If he got any say in his character’s stylish wardrobe
- What he loves about touring and live performances
Collider: You’re at the top of your game as a music performer, and you’re a successful business entrepreneur. Was voicing a character in an animated movie just the next step in world domination, or was it something you had a dream about doing?
PITBULL: No, I never dreamed that I would be in animation. I definitely respected it, my whole life. I grew up on some great cartoons, at the time. But, world domination? I like that! It’s definitely a new project. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot, in the process. But, it was also a safe haven, since I’m used to being in the booth and recording. I wanted to learn a little bit about how to use voice and emotion and put it all together. The beauty of it was to be able to watch it, once it did come together. It made me feel like a little kid, all over again. It created a lot of emotion. I was surprised. And out of the whole project, the best part is that what I learned and what I respected a lot was that everybody in the room had already envisioned Bufo without really seeing him yet, just through my voice. I thought that took a lot of talent. That was amazing!
What was it about Epic that made it the right project to get involved with?
PITBULL: Well, Epic, at first, was called Leafmen, actually. When I first started getting involved with the project, I didn’t know all the people that were going to be involved. So, to be in the same project with Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler and Colin Farrell is definitely a blessing. But, the reason I got involved was that it reminded me of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids meets Avatar, and I loved Honey, I Shrunk the Kids when I was a little kid. So, it was easy for me. That’s how I made the choice. When I read through it, I said, “Yeah, this definitely feels familiar. That was successful. Okay, simplicity is the key to success. Let’s do it!”
What kind of a frog is Bufo? Do you see him as a good guy?
PITBULL: You know, Bufo is just slick. He’s smooth. He’s awesome. He navigates his way through the forest, and I think everything with Bufo is real simple. It’s all business. It’s not personal. And that has a lot to do with my character, also. There are certain things I don’t agree with him about, but that’s the beauty of playing a frog in the movie Epic.
As someone who’s clearly stylish yourself, did you get any say in how Bufo would dress?
PITBULL: Well, what was funny was that I had no idea what he was going to look like. I saw him naked, basically. And when I came back, he had a suit on and a chain, and he looked like an old school, Cuban, interesting guy. When I saw him, I thought, “Oh, this is great! He’s the only guy in the forest with a suit on.” So, thank you, guys, I appreciate it!
Since you’re getting ready to head out on tour soon, what do you love about live performance and getting that instant feedback from your fans?
PITBULL: What I love about touring, and I’m going out with Ke$ha on this one, is that I get to learn from the other artist. I watch and I study what they’ve got going on. The fans become a survey, every night. You’re watching what songs they’re losing their mind to and how they escape. But what I love, and it shows the power of music, is that I’m on stage for an hour and a half, and Ke$ha does about an hour and a half, is that for that time period, they escape. They forget everything. They forget their mortgage, they forget their bills, they forget negativity and what’s going on in the world, and they’re just losing their mind. That, to me, is what the touring is all about.
Epic opens in theaters on May 24th.