HEART TO HART

LONG-TIME FRIENDS ARE REUNITED ON THE SE­QUEL TO SE­CRET LIFE OF PETS

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | SCREENLIFE - WORDS: SEANNA CRONIN

Tif­fany Had­dish has found a new home in the record­ing booth.

The La-born co­me­dian and ac­tor, who rose to fame on the sit­com The Carmichael Show, has joined two ma­jor an­i­mated film fran­chises. Af­ter re­cently voic­ing the tongue-twist­ingly-named Queen Wat­evra Wa’nabi in The Lego Movie 2, Had­dish is di­alling up the sass as Daisy the Shih Tzu in The Se­cret Life of Pets 2.

She also put her vo­cal skills to the test in the au­dio book ver­sion of her best-sell­ing mem­oir The Last Black Uni­corn. The per­for­mance earned her a Grammy nom­i­na­tion ear­lier this year.

“You want peo­ple to hear you and see what they’re hear­ing,” Had­dish says.

“When I’m in the booth I’m very phys­i­cal, us­ing my face to express how I feel so you can hear it in the words.”

The Se­cret Life of Pets 2 re­unites Had­dish with her Night School co-star and long-time friend Kevin Hart, who reprises his role as en­er­getic bunny Snow­ball.

“I didn’t even know he was in the movie,” she jokes. “There was him and a lot of other rea­sons why I wanted to be a part of this film. I love work­ing with my bro. I loved the first movie and I have pets, so I can to­tally re­late. I have two dogs and a cat, and a brother and a grandma – they all liv­ing off of me (laughs).”

While the film cen­tres on the ca­nine and fe­line pets who re­side with their own­ers in a New York City apart­ment block, the world is filled with a menagerie of sup­port­ing char­ac­ters.

Had­dish was pleased to learn she’d be voic­ing the small but brave Daisy, who makes it her mis­sion to free a white tiger held cap­tive by a cruel cir­cus owner.

“When they showed me the char­ac­ter I was like ‘Heck yeah, I’m a Shih Tzu’,” she says.

“When I saw her I thought she was so cute and then it was some­thing about the bar­rette in the hair that made me feel like she’s sassy; she wants to look cute.”

In the se­quel, the now hap­pily do­mes­ti­cated Snow­ball de­vel­ops delu­sions of grandeur that he’s an ac­tual su­per­hero af­ter his owner Molly starts dress­ing him in su­per­hero py­ja­mas.

But when Daisy shows up to ask for Snow­ball’s help on her dan­ger­ous mis­sion, he’ll have to sum­mon the courage to be­come the hero he’s only been pre­tend­ing to be.

Even though he’s the cham­pion she’d hoped for, Daisy grad­u­ally guides Snow­ball into find­ing his own inner hero.

“I hope kids take away to al­ways have com­pas­sion and help oth­ers and know you can’t al­ways do it by your­self,” Had­dish says. “You might be doing all the heavy lift­ing and be the true hero, but it’s OK to ask for help.”

Fa­ther-of-three Hart agrees: “Mind­set – hav­ing a pos­i­tive one is key. When you have the will and want to suc­ceed that means ul­ti­mately you’re a win­ner.”

Af­ter the run­away success of the first film – which had the big­gest open­ing week­end ever for an orig­i­nal film, an­i­mated or oth­er­wise, in 2016 – Hart was con­fi­dent Il­lu­mi­na­tion’s creative team would raise the bar in the se­quel.

“The best thing about this par­tic­u­lar film is that you go into it just with the ex­pec­ta­tion that we have to go big­ger and bet­ter. We have to outdo our­selves from what we did the first time (be­cause) if we can’t then there’s no sense in go­ing for­ward with this film now. The writ­ers, the pro­duc­ers, the stu­dio, ev­ery­body out­did them­selves – I mean that. I’m happy to be a part of it.”

The Se­cret Life of Pets 2 opens in cin­e­mas on Thurs­day.

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