Meet Zen­daya, star of Small­foot!

RTÉ Guide - - Contents -

In the new an­i­mated lm, Small­foot, the myth of the yeti – those big furry mon­sters ru­moured to live on the snowy slopes of the world’s tallest moun­tains – is turned up­side down. When a young yeti nds some­thing he thought didn’t ex­ist – a hu­man, news of this “small­foot” throws the yeti com­mu­nity into an up­roar over what else might be out in the big world beyond their snowy vil­lage. Star­ring Chan­ning Ta­tum as the cu­ri­ous yeti Migo and James Cor­den as the Small­foot, the cast are joined by singer and so­cial me­dia star Zen­daya as Meechee, the daugh­ter of the vil­lage chief, who is in­tensely cu­ri­ous about the world out­side the vil­lage. She tells us what it was like to play a big furry yeti.

“Meechee is the daugh­ter of the Stone­keeper, the leader of our yeti vil­lage. So ba­si­cally in this vil­lage, you’re not sup­posed to ask ques­tions or to know any­thing that isn’t lit­er­ally writ­ten in stone, on these tablets that Meechee’s father takes care of. When Migo says he’s seen some­thing that isn’t on the tablets, the small­foot, she and her friends go on a mis­sion to the out­side world to nd out if the Small­foot is real.

“When I went into the rst meet­ing about the lm, they had a mock-up of what my char­ac­ter was go­ing to look like and they did a lit­tle test of what my voice would be like with it. She was so cute and adorable, and I loved the sto­ry­line, so it felt like a great t for me.

“I think that all the clas­sic an­i­ma­tion has a deeper mean­ing and Small­foot de nitely has that too. There are so many mes­sages you can leave with – ac­cep­tance, love, fol­low­ing your heart. I think not just kids but adults can leave the lm with those feel­ings: I went to a screen­ing with my lit­tle nieces and my par­ents and they all en­joyed it – they had a great time and ev­ery­body left in a re­ally great mood.

“Peo­ple think that be­cause you don’t have to do all the rest of the things in­volved with act­ing, like cos­tumes, make-up or cam­era set-ups, that do­ing voice work is easy peasy le­mon squeezy, but it’s not. You’d prob­a­bly be sur­prised at how di cult it is –it re­quires a lot of imag­i­na­tion and a lot of en­ergy, be­cause you’re by your­self in a room with a mi­cro­phone, but you have to imag­ine that you’re some­where else and that you’re some­one else. You rely a lot on your di­rec­tor to paint the scene for you be­cause you’re gonna have to run with it in your head. It’s de nitely a di er­ent skill to act­ing in front of a cam­era – you have to cre­ate that world in your head, imag­ine what my char­ac­ter is go­ing to look like, where we’re go­ing to be, who I’m go­ing to be talk­ing to.

“But it was awe­some to play a fur-cov­ered mon­ster! It was so cool to see your voice com­ing out of some­thing that’s en­tirely di er­ent. Here’s the thing: you see a rough sketch, a gures that just kind of oats there and then you see it at the end with so much de­tail. It’s so beau­ti­ful that you feel you could just reach out and touch it. I have such an im­mense amount of re­spect for the an­i­ma­tors who ac­tu­ally put it all to­gether.

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