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Owen Wilson, Armie Hammer and Larry the Cable Guy Talk Cars 3

Jun 13, 2017

By: Lynn Barker

Those lovable talking cars are back with Cars 3. In two Cars films, we’ve seen racer Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) claim the big prizes at several races while he built his career. This time he isn’t the hottest car at the track. Other, newer, faster, high-tech autos are pushing him aside. Leading the pack is Jackson Storm (voice of Armie Hammer).

Lightning McQueen with some old palsLightning McQueen with some old palsCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Pairing with eager young technician Cruz Ramirez (stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo) and his old pals, including Tow Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), can Lightning regain his former glory and win the Piston Cup at the biggest race ever?  

Lightning with Cruz RamirezLightning with Cruz RamirezCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

The movie has a lot to say about female empowerment, mentorship and mutual support. What do the guys think is at the core of the Cars films that makes them so successful? Can cars with heart and determination win the day? Check it out.

Tow MaterTow MaterCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: Why do you think the Cars movies are so popular?

  • Larry: People can relate to the characters and it’s just fun little dudes. They have a lot of heart in them. As far as my character Tow Mater goes, I think a lot of people would like to have a neighbor like Mater. He’s dependable, he’s lovable and sweet.
  • He may not be the smartest fork in the knife drawer but he’s a faithful guy and that’s what everybody would like to have. It’s cool seeing the progression and how these movies go through things and grow like everybody else. Cars movies have been around a long time so people relate to them  and it’s cool to see every movie and the different situations.
  • Owen: I think it’s also that the animators did a pretty good job. I know when they were first animating the cars when they were figuring out how they were going to do the eyes, there is something that is kind of human or inviting about the expressions so I think that helps make the cars more relatable and lifelike to people. I think that’s a big part of it. And, the voices, you know? (laughter)

Lightning Vs. Jackson Storm on the trackLightning Vs. Jackson Storm on the trackCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: Armie, your character is the next generation. How does he impact Lightning McQueen’s world?

  • Armie: It’s definitely a change. He’s part of this class of racers called the Next Gen and they’re faster, they’re smarter, they’re better looking (laughter) just saying. Look at that thing (he points to a model of his car) look at it… it’s pretty darn good looking.
  • Owen: Now that you mention it, that does look pretty cool.
  • Armie: I want to order that thing and take it home. But at the same time, there’s not the same heart in it, not the same spirit and love in it. It’s more of a technicality. So that’s hard. It’s a big paradigm shift in a world where so much of it is the love of the game (racing).

Jackson StormJackson StormCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: The movie is a lot about mentorship. Who have been your mentors?

  • Owen: My parents I think and Jim Brooks is the person who brought us (the Wilson brothers) out to Los Angeles and gave us our big break.
  • Armie: In this job you get a chance to work with so many people who know things that you don’t. I feel like I’ve had so many different mentors along my career. It would be hard to pick one but every time you work is an opportunity to get a new mentor, at least for that period, that you can learn something from.

Lightning McQueenLightning McQueenCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: As a parent, how does this movie resonate with you?

  • Owen: I’m sort of a mentor to my kids. It depends on which day you get me on. Today I am. My kids are here today running around the park (Disneyland) and they’ll go to the premiere and that’s just exciting for me. It’ll be fun to watch the movie with them and get their reaction. It makes it a cool experience.
  • Armie: I have a young daughter who is almost a little too young but she is starting to appreciate movies. But, the fact that there is a strong female figure who is told that you can do anything you want, as a father of a little girl, I’m glad to be part of a movie that can carry on that message. I’m happy to be in that kind of movie.

It's a close race with Jackson StormIt's a close race with Jackson StormCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

Q: Lightning has a friendship with female tech Cruz that is supportive. Can you talk about that Owen?

  • Owen: I think that also goes back to the mentor question, the idea that we all do need encouragement and everybody sometimes falls a little short or fails and the idea that we are sort of part of a community. I think that’s an important message for everybody. We did record together (Owen and Cristela Alonzo) because (their relationship) is a big part of the movie, the support that she gives me and I hopefully give her.

Cars 3 Movie PosterCars 3 PosterCourtesy of Disney•Pixar

See Cars 3 in theaters now!


Have Your Say

Do you think boys and girls are equal on the race track? Do you have a mentor who has helped you in life? Talk about it with a comment below.