Jesse Kuch | August 30th, 2012
Sitting in his plush armchair in his office in Los Angeles, Albert Brooks couldn’t be much further from the vibrant colours of the Great Barrier Reef.
Yet the Hollywood legend, who has lent his talents everywhere from films such as Taxi Driver and Broadcast News, to television series such as The Simpsons and Weeds, has a close affinity with our most treasured natural asset, as the voice of clownfish Marlin in Disney-Pixar’s 2003 smash hit Finding Nemo.
It could even be argued that, partly at least, Brooks is responsible for many of the thousands of tourists who visit the Reef off Cairns every week, inspired by his character’s intrepid journey down the east coast of Australia so that they can find their very own Nemo, too.
Nine years later, with Nemo returning to our cinemas this week in the third dimension, alongside the announcement that a sequel is currently underway with director Andrew Stanton, Hit caught up with the man who found Nemo to find out more about the much‑loved film.
“Believe me, nobody anticipated it (being made into 3D). Otherwise I would have gotten it in my contract,” Brooks says with a chuckle.
“But actually once they started to make the Disney-Pixar films in 3D, and nobody told me this, it’s all in my gut, but I did think this one made sense in 3D. It’s so visually stunning.”
To this day, Brooks thinks Nemo continues to surprise with its success, as it’s far from a traditional storyline or setting for a Hollywood animated film.
“You know what I think – certainly when you go to work at Pixar, you know it’s going to be strong,” he says.
“But I have to be honest, I think this one even surprised them. It wasn’t an obvious story and it definitely wasn’t something in the very beginning at least, that they thought, ‘this will be our highest grossing movie’. Something happened and it just took off.”
Brooks says the actual process of recording the voice parts for Marlin was done over quite a long period, with the biggest challenge keeping the fatherly clownfish’s stress levels high as he battled his way down the Reef to find his son.
“Marlin is just stressed, nervous and worried all the time,” he says.
“When you’re doing a five- or six-hour session of recording, just try and be stressful for five hours straight. It takes a lot out of you. I’m told it’s actually about five years to make a film like this, from the green light to the premiere.”
Brooks says while Andrew Stanton has announced he will return to make a Finding Nemo sequel, he hasn’t been approached to reprise his role as Marlin – yet.
“I think it’s just in the planning stages, but it sounds exciting,” he says.
“I saw the release date of 2016 and thought, gee, that’s a long time.
“They really won’t say anything whether or not they’ll be bringing back all of the characters, so I don’t know if I’ll be required. But Andrew Stanton is attached to it again and he’s a quality guy.
“I don’t think he’d wanna do it if he thought he didn’t have something new to bring to the table.
“He’s not churning out seven of these, this will be the first sequel.”
For now, Brooks says the focus is on Finding Nemo in 3D and he hopes audiences enjoy its return to the silver screen this week.
“The film really did show everyone the beautiful part of the world you live in,” he says.
“Enjoy your heads off. I hope it’s a great fun experience again in 3D.”
Finding Nemo 3D at cinemas nationwide from today.
Cairns Post Pty Ltd Copyright © 2008