A Word With Lou Romano

Here’s a short and amusingly awkward interview with animation artist and voice actor Lou Romano (Ratatouille‘s Linguini). It’s funny how the interviewer tells Lou that he’s “obviously not an actor” even though Lou has done plenty of voice acting before and has even been the lead in a live-action feature.


  • Zep

    I saw that. The jovial guy hasn’t a clue…my favorite quote was something like “so here you were, this nobody/unknown artist at Pixar…” Bwahaha!

  • alan

    God I’m so sick of this kind of interview. Are there ANY journalists left in the world who are willing to ask a question that hasn’t been asked ten thousand times before?

    And this fat dipshit is so condescending I don’t know how Romano kept himself from jumping out of his chair and strangling this AV-Club reject. I’m generally sick of interviews with voice actors. What Bird, Romano, John K and a handful of other has proven is that voice acting just isn’t that hard.

  • http://awd-sfc.blogspot.com AWD!

    There’s another concept of a successful film that a lot of other studios seem to ignore.

  • Chuck R.

    Oh man, this interviewer is the king of gaffes.

    He completely throws Lou off by suggesting he was a bit player in the art department until he was called on to voice Linguini. I’d be speechless too. Better than that, he pays Brad Bird a backhanded compliment by saying Ratatouille is “very cerebral…nothing like the Incredibles.” Brad calls him on it, and keeps his composure throughout.

    My respect for both artists just went up another notch.

  • Benjamin De Schrijver

    Wow… just wow…

  • http://www.travisgentry.com Travis Gentry

    I can’t watch this. These sort of things make me squirm.

  • Dan Jeup

    Hilarious. Funny thing is, you can read from Lou’s reaction that he’s completely aware of how insulting the putz interviewer is. Lou appears to be holding back from cracking up at what an idiot this guy is.

    Priceless.

  • http://www.tommyday.com Tommy Day

    If I were Lou, I would have thrown in something like, “Yeah, and it must be cool for you to be interviewing me, because you’re obviously not a journalist.”

  • red pill junkie

    Oh man, He LOOKS like Linguini too.

    A LOT!

    Did the art department made any signifant adjustments on the character after they chose Romano to play the voice of Linguini?

  • http://www.alessandroceglia.com/theintruder Alessandro

    Another brilliant observation: “To be one of the leads, one of the main characters, you have to understand that the film is going to be around long after you’re gone. That must give you some sort of an incredible feeling.”

  • http://www.insanelytwisted.com Michel Gagne

    So what the interviewer is basically saying is, as an artist you’re a nobody, but as an actor, you’ve finally made it. This is an insult to all artists who work behind the scene!

    Lou comes off as very humble and sweet. He’s an awesome guy.

  • Chuck R.

    To be fair, even though Lou’s artistic influence was heavily felt in previous films, the designs get pushed and pulled a lot before they reach the screen. The voice isn’t necessarily the most important contribution, but (as the interviewer remarked) that IS Lou’s unadulterated voice, and it probably is an added thrill. I’ve read that when xerography was used in 101 Dalmatians, it was a big deal for the animators to see their actual linework on screen for the first time.

    That being said, the interviewer still needs a primer in animation. Maybe some sensitivity training as well.

  • matt

    Whoa. I was watching the Larry Sanders show tonight and then logged on and saw this. It’s like Hank was doing the interview instead of Larry. Watched it through my hands. So just how much prep and research do you think he did beforehand?!

    Alan, maybe I misunderstood your comment about voice acting. Holy cow man! Hopefully you were being facetious!

    Did the interviewer actually say “scratch disk” instead of scratch voice or track near the middle there?

  • http://erekson.blogspot.com J. Chad

    I actually think voice work is very hard, and those that do it well are very skilled. I admire Lou Romano for being an obviously multi-talented person.

  • http://inklingstudio.typepad.com/ David Nethery

    “So what the interviewer is basically saying is, as an artist you’re a nobody, but as an actor, you’ve finally made it.”

    Right. I picked up on that condescending b.s. , too, Michel.

    The only way the interviewer could have dug himself any deeper was to say something like: “Wow, well now that you’ve had a major role in an animated feature do you have any aspirations to work on a real movie?”

  • http://cookedart.blogspot.com Alan Cook

    I love how much of Lou there is in Linguini!

    He definitely seems skittish in the interview. Definitely can’t say I’m feeling that other guy though..

  • http://www.andylyon.com/bare Lyon

    “not an actor” It’s funny, if you go to Lou’s IMDB page (an obvious starting point for pre-Interview research in the film industry) you’d find that he actually has more “actor” credits than anything else:

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0738918/

    Vegas is great for certain things… film and research apparently aren’t high on that list.

  • Scott Teresi

    My favorite part: “…you’re not an actor…”

    If I was Lou, I would have been like, “what am I then, a talker?”

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com Robert

    And Romano comes off as a gentleman too. I like interviews like this because it gives personalities like Lou a chance to show that… in a rather round-about way.

    But I’ll disagree with a comment above: “What Bird, Romano, John K and a handful of other has proven is that voice acting just isn’t that hard.”

    It’s nearly impossible to get a good performance out of just “anyone”. Casting the right person makes all the difference.

  • Lucy

    Soooo if I don’t want to die an unknown, I should maybe quit aspiring to be an animator and switch to voice acting? Good to know, heh.

    Poor Lou, is all I have to say : \ I don’t think this meat-head INTENTIONALLY insulted Mr. Romano, but I’m under the impression that he (aforementioned meat-head) is from that camp who thinks animation is still mainly kid’s fare. I can’t get angry at the ignorant, but just be saddened by it… And commend Lou for not throwing his chair at the guy mid-interview. Many props to a talented artist AND voice actor.

  • http://www.autodaddy.blogspot.com tom

    What a clueless POS interviewer. I think that the problem is that there are too many of these lame entertainment journalism venues, and the talent pool at this point must be ankle deep.

    Lou- love your work. I check in with your blog more often than you do.

  • Gerard de Souza

    I’m sorry. I didn’t think the interview was bad at all. Artists are largely faceless and unknown. So are alot of unknown actors who are not the big stars. Is that an insult? It was an interview for a mass public,not only fans who already know every detail of prodcution.

  • Bobby D.

    What do you want the interviewer to do, call him an Actor who’s also a Production Designer/Artist, or a Production Designer/Artist, who has done some acting? Trust me, he’s thrilled to be sitting there being interviewed as the lead in a major feature film…Lou’s not a petty guy waiting for someone to slip up and not address him in the proper manner. I thought it was a nice interview…get over yourselves.

  • Zep

    Even though it’s “easy” for some people, it does require acting chops to do good voices. Brad, Lou and others happen to be good at it; I’ve met just as many story people and animators who though very funny and appealing as themselves either freeze up or just don’t have an ear for it in the booth. It’s a lot like having musical skill IMO.

  • http://fredcline.blogspot.com Fred Cline

    Good for Lou – that was fun to watch! Now the general public has an opportunity to put a face to the name. It’s great how Brad is able to think outside the box when it comes to casting. Kudos to Pixar brass for not forcing Brad Pitt into the role of Linguini.

  • Abel Salazar

    yeah he did say scratch disk. that comment about the “real thing” was real nice too. what a dork.

    anyways, anyone have any interviews w/ Bird anywhere regarding the film, specifically how it was coming in on someone elses ship and taking the lead?

    also, whens the dvd come out?

  • Anne

    OH man…the ‘unknown artist’ comment was priceless. Yeesh.

    I think it’s cool to see how someone with such staggering talent can still be so polite and humble, even in the face of asshat Vegas “film critics.”

  • Ian Copeland

    Awww, cut the journalist a break. He was simply trying to work a Cinderella angle on the story.

    Admittedly, he didn’t do it very well.

  • iNVERTABRAT

    What the heck is this guys problem “not an actor” this guy is part responsible for people overlooking the amazing amount of real talent in animation. I believe they have more talent as actors than the so called actors of this era, not only are they better actors they can draw and design like no other. Shame on that man.

  • Gerard de Souza

    Mr. Romano is indeed an actor also. The way I interpreted the “obviously not an actor” comment was that he meant Mr. Romano was shy and unaffected. Gosh, not that I mean to be an apologist for the interviewer but again not a bad interview imo….I’ve seen way way worse on big shows like Entertainment tonight.

  • Old Pooperoo

    this is upsetting.

  • Billy Badtz

    That interviewer should eat another steak and go watch some football.

  • matt

    Gerard, he said “An unknown face here at Pixar”, like he was a nobody amongst all those talented animators (who apparently aren’t actors, in opposition to what every animation director or vizeffects supervisor will tell you). You don’t think absolutely everyone at Pixar knows who he is, voice acting aside? That’s why it was insulting.

    It was also insulting for Romano that the interviewer didn’t think he needed to prepare as he could just go with the small-fry makes it big angle. It was funny that Romano feeds him the bit about working with Bird as a segue and the interviewer just ignores it so he can get the “star demands” shtick in. Ah well.

  • Benjamin De Schrijver

    It was not only insulting (in a laughable way, though, rather than actually insulting) to Lou, but to pretty much everyone at Pixar. It came accross to me as if he thought everyone working at Pixar is just a nobody who got lucky and are not really worth to be noticed by Bird or Lasseter. It’s disrespectful towards the talent and hard work of the artists, and also disrespectful to Bird or Lasseter, because I don’t get the feeling they’re the type of elitists that think they’re higher than everyone else.

  • http://www.olivier-ladeuix.com/blog olivier ladeuix

    “now you are famous!” ;-)

  • Steve Gattuso

    I just get the impression that the interviewer was bored and feigning false interest in hopes of getting assigned another interview later on with Kate Magowan or Megan Fox. Twerp. Lou, however, comes off every bit as nice and self-effacing as ever. Good for him.

  • Zep

    As far as getting over ourselves, well, the thing is that we watch this as animators, not as regular people. Nothing wrong with that. This is an animation blog and it’s targeted towards those who are emphatically not your average bear. I can only react honestly(and my reaction was cringing), coming from who I am and what I do in life, and Lou is one of us. It could be any of us sitting there, figuratively speaking(I’d find it as embarrassing were he talking to the screenwriter or production designer of a live action film this way, for what it’s worth).

    That said, it’s also a shame–realistic though it might be–to think of the “factual” impression that this kind of dumb interview makes on those NOT in the know, those “civilians” who know as little about the process of animation as this guy. There IS a way to do this kind of interview well while not geeking out about star visdev designers as we all do. The guy could have asked a couple of questions beforehand to put Lou’s role at Pixar in context-what it really is there-and gone from that. After all, it IS unusual for a designer to do a major character part in an animated feature-that part’s still unique and cool. He just doesn’t have to be patronising about it at the same time.

  • http://chippyandloopus.typepad.com/ John Sanford

    Lou Romano is one of the nicest, sweetest most earnest guys I’ve ever known, and the fact that that fatuous jackass with the clipboard is still breathing is a testament to just how nice Lou is.
    I’ve been on press tours before and this sort of thing is typical.

  • http://afrokids.com Floyd Norman

    Ouch! That was painful. Having done a fair number of these myself, you never know what you’re gonna get. Sometimes the interviewer is great – - and sometimes you’re sitting across from a moron. Lou Romano did good. He’s clearly a classy guy.

  • adxzun

    who is the interviewer anyways? he should have done some research beforehand. Very unprofessional.

  • http://dondixon.blogspot.com don dixon

    Agreed that interviewer was a complete jackass, do your research man! Geesh!