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Press Conference: Disney•Pixar’s ‘Luca’

Luca is now streaming on Disney+! If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, we highly recommend it!

I had a chance to attend the global press conference for the film. The panel was moderated by Giuliana Rancic and included stars of the film, Jacob Tremblay (Luca), Jack Dylan Grazer (Alberto), Emma Berman (Giulia), Maya Rudolph (Daniela) and Jim Gaffigan (Lorenzo), as well as director Enrico Casarosa and producer Andrea Warren.

Set in a beautiful seaside town on the Italian Riviera, Disney and Pixar’s original feature film Luca is a coming-of-age story about one young boy experiencing an unforgettable summer filled with gelato, pasta and endless scooter rides. 

(© 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved)

The film’s director Enrico Casarosa spoke about his inspiration for the film from his childhood home of Genoa.

Casarosa: I was a shy kid, a little bit sheltered by my family. And when I met my best friend at 11, kind of my world opened up. He was a bit of a troublemaker; he didn’t have a whole lot of supervision. And so, in those special kinds of summers when you’re growing up and kind of finding yourself, I was kind of following him and getting dragged into troubles. And it really made me really think about how much we find ourselves with our friendships, or how much friendships help us find a bit of who we wanna be… So, I kept on thinking about the literal and the metaphor of someone who pushes you off a cliff.

Andrea Warren then spoke about what she wanted people to take away from this film.

Warren: It’s amazing to have such a wide audience around the world, and we do think a lot about the messages that are in the film.  And, you know, for me, that notion of the meaning of friendship, you know, really resonated.  And I-I think they are a few really beautiful themes in the film.  One being sort of Silencio Bruno, and-and how we all have these inner critics.  And how you sort of overcome that sense of doubt.  And, you know, we always-Enrico and I keep saying, you know, you surround yourself in life with some Albertos.  I think that I hope that some of those messages, you know, really reach the audiences, and especially reach kids.

Jacob Tremblay spoke about his character Luca.

Tremblay: So, when you get to meet him at the beginning of the movie, Luca, he’s a bit more of a timid kid.  He really wants to be able to explore the human world, but his parents have a lot of restrictions for him.  But he meets his great friend Alberto, who helps him kind of step out of his comfort zone.

Jack Dylan Grazer then talked about Alberto.

Grazer: I think the aspect of curiosity is across both of them, but Alberto definitely has got no restrictions.  He’s so eager, and he’s so yearning to explore and fulfill all these fantasies and curiosities that he has.

Luca - Giulia, Luca and Alberto
(© 2021 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.)

This is Emma Berman’s first movie. She spoke about her excitement and how she relates to her character, Giulia.

Berman:  Well, this is my first movie, and it’s literally a Pixar movie, so that’s the most exciting thing ever.  Um, I have done, uh, voice-over work before.  I have voiced toys for LeapFrog.  Uh, that’s how I started in voice-over.  And how I started in acting was I really liked doing school plays and I signed up for a theater summer camp, and from there I got an agent and that’s how my voice-over work started.  And this has just been the most incredible, most exciting experience ever.  And it’s been such an awesome time working with Enrico and Andrea.  And I’m just, as you said and I said, the luckiest person in the whole entire world ever to exist on this planet.

Maya Rudolph and Jim Gaffigan who play Luca’s parents discuss their characters and how they relate as parents themselves.

Rudolph: She’s a very serious mom.  She’s not messing around, and that, to me, instantly in-in this movie’s case, just equals love. That protection, that strong-that-that strong discipline is love, um, and wanting to raise-raise her family right. And there’s a certain way that Luca’s family is meant to do things, and she wants to raise her son the correct way.  But she also-what you come to learn about her, is that she also is really protecting him from what she already knows to be dangerous in the world.  And, you know, just like any parent, she’s a fierce, fierce protector… It’s just a matter of “You listen to your mama, and you do what you’re supposed to do.”… But she’s just trying to protect him because, I mean, it’s the scariest thing in the world to let your babies run out in the world and explore.  And even though you know they need to, it’s terrifying, you know?  And, um, I think all parents go through that at some point.

Gaffigan: I’m a father. I think Lorenzo is, uh, well-intended, but definitely distracted.  And I think that, um, most parenting partnerships, it’s a-a negotiation on how to raise a child.  So, I-I kinda played Lorenzo-I mean, I’m kind of overwhelmed, hopefully, well-intended as a parent…the fun of Lorenzo is the-the navigating the partnership with, um, with his wife, uh, in-in raising Luca and-and him finding the right path.

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