Disney sent me to Charlotte, NC on an all-expenses paid press trip for the in home release of Cars 3, in exchange for my coverage of the events, which included an exclusive interview with Lea DeLaria. All opinions are my own.
Cars 3 is coming to Digital HD on October 24th and Blu-ray™ on November 7. We sat down with Lea DeLaria, the voice of one of the newest characters: Miss Fritter. Miss Fritter is a fun and boisterous demolition derby school bus that is bounding with personality. When DeLaria came in for our interview, you could feel the excitement in the room. She seemed just as thrilled to see us as we were to see her. Here’s what she had to share with us.
Catching up with Lea DeLaria from Cars 3
Q: What goes through your head when you get told Pixar called?
"Oh, what went through my head...? I’m buying a house!
No- oh honey, I jumped up and down, I can’t even tell you. We were so excited when they called. I mean, I love Pixar. I love cartoons, I’m a big fan of animation, and I’m a huge fan of Pixar’s. Always have been. Seen all of their movies. So, when we got the call it was like- that’s like bucket list stuff for any actor. There’s not an actor on the planet that doesn’t want to do that, you know what I mean? So, yeah, I was excited."
Q: What did you think of Miss Fritter when they came to you with that character?
"Oh, well, this is the actual drawing that they came to me with (pointing to shirt). Now, they made a little t-shirt for me of the actual original drawing of Miss Fritter. And, when I saw it, I was laughing, we were all laughing.
I was like, well of course they came to me for this; look at her. You know? When I saw the character, and I knew she was demolition derby, and I grew up where there’s demolition derby and went to demolition derby as a kid, I kinda knew exactly who she was.
So I'm gonna be honest, I'm not gonna make a joke. I thought, actually, honestly, perfect casting. If this is anybody, it’s definitely me."
Q: Did you have any influence in changing the character, or shaping the character a little bit?
"They went out of their way, I think, to personalize her for me in a very lovely way. I mean, I was very flattered.
You know, they called up and said, what year are you born? That’s the license plate.
Where did you go to school? Bellfield, Bellville, and they have the name of my school on the side of my bus.
They even have a rainbow bumper sticker. Those are my eyes. They paid very very close attention to my eyes and made those eyes her eyes. So that’s kind of cool too."
Q: So the school district in the town you grew up in, I’m sure they’ve seen it. What is their reaction?
"Oh, they’re so excited.
There’s been a lot of great people reaching out to me on social media and my family’s been calling me, and people are really excited. They got a shout out, and they love it."
Q: What was your favorite line in the movie?
"I’m gonna fritterize ya. That’s a great line. "
Q: In the movie we see a lot with Cruz’s character being put down, and people told her she couldn’t do things. Have you had anybody specifically tell you, you can’t do something?
"Look at me.
My entire life. Always. And, you know, everyone from, from the nuns in Catholic school, you know, on. I’ve heard nothing my entire life except, "you can’t do that", which just makes me want to do it more. That’s my personality, but I also blessed with amazing parents. Amazing parents, who encouraged us, (my four siblings and I) to be who we were and to speak our mind, and to think for ourselves.
And, not be afraid to say what you think. I mean, that’s a part of my upbringing, so I have to say that’s them. And, yeah, my entire life, all I’ve ever been told is you can’t do that, you know? And, uh, oh yeah? Watch me. And has always been my response.
That’s what I like about this movie. This is something that we’re teaching young girls, you know? And when I was a kid, I was taught that ladies don’t spit and holler and ladies sit with their legs crossed. I was told constantly what it was I wasn’t supposed to do, rather than, "you can do anything you want, you can be who you are, you can get your dreams, you can have any of that, you can be president of the United States." You know, my mom used to say that: "you could be president of the United States."Photo by Becky Fixel