Mortimer, whose credits include
Shutter Island, Lars And The Real Girl and Match Point, was stunned at how Lasseter and his wizards at Pixar produced such an intriguing story and life-like animation.
The actress also has never impressed her seven-year-old son Sam as much with a role.
‘‘ My son’s cred at school went sky high when his friends found out I voiced a character in Cars 2,’’ the 39-year-old Mortimer says.
‘‘ But what I find amazing about the film is it’s not a pastiche of a spy movie – it is a spy movie. It is more glamorous, sumptuous, hi-tech and marvellous than most live-action movies in the genre.
‘‘ I was so overwhelmed by the look of the film.’’
Lasseter, 54, who took on the title of chief creative officer of Walt Disney’s animation studios when Disney bought Pixar five years ago in a $ US7.4 billion stock deal, has often said there is a little of himself in two of Toy Story ’ s lead characters, Buzz Lightyear and Woody.
After a trip to Italy to research Cars 2, Lasseter realised there is also a bit of Mater in him.
‘‘ We went over to the Italian Grand Prix in Milan and the Red Bull Formula 1 racing team were so generous and opened their doors to us and showed us everything, including inviting us to the Red Bull party at the Milan Museum of Modern Art,’’ Lasseter recalls.
‘‘ I thought, ‘ Great, this party will be fun’ and I dressed up how I normally would, which is how you see me now [ a bright coloured Hawaiian-style shortsleeved, buttoned-up shirt].
‘‘ I walked in and only then did it hit me ‘ This is Milan! The home of Armani, supermodels, couture!’ I felt like Mater.’’
Slightly embarrassed, he headed to the bar. ‘‘ I was like ‘ What can I drink?’ he says. ‘‘ The answer was Red Bull and vodka, of course, and let me tell you, that drink hits you like a sledgehammer.’’