When we last left Fix-It Felix Jr. in the first Wreck-It Ralph film, he’d gone on quite the emotional journey. He had grown to accept and respect Ralph just a bit more, but perhaps more importantly, he had fallen in love. At the other end of the powerstrip was the rail shooter Hero’s Duty, where Calhoun led gamers to their medal.
Felix was able to melt the scarred heart of Calhoun (who was programmed with the most tragic backstory) and ended up marrying her. So when Ralph Breaks the Internet picks up, they’ve been married for some time, and like any marriage out there, it comes with some real difficulties and, dare we say, stagnancies.
LRM Online had a chance to sit down with actor Jack McBrayer, who plays Felix in both films, and discuss the character of Felix, and in our discussions, we discuss where the character is now, his marital issues, and the process of recording for the film.
LRM: Okay. Well, for starters, how proud are you to be back with Ralph?
McBrayer: I am thrilled to be a part of this. The first one was so much fun to do and it was such a surprise how well received it was, plus it was just so enjoyable to do that I was just beside myself that they wanted to do a follow-up and I’m excited to be part of it — that they remembered me (Laughs), that my phone still worked.
LRM: Of course, you’re back.
McBrayer: I’m back. They said it couldn’t be done.
LRM: This time around, did you get a chance to interact with any of the cast or one booth, solo?
McBrayer: There were several solo recording sessions but my favorites were when I was with another actor. I had one session with John C. Reilly and I had a couple sessions with Jane Lynch, who plays my wife. Those are more fun to me because you really are just bouncing off each other, doing bits. It feels more collaborative.
LRM: We come back. We are back and it’s been six years of marriage.
McBrayer: Right. We did it. Yep. Felix and Calhoun are feeling some marital strife, some tension there, perhaps some stagnation.
McBrayer: Reality, true. It is exactly that and so, it is fun to see them navigate those waters especially, based on the circumstances that are happening to Niceland and to the world of Wreck-It Ralph.
LRM: Right now, congratulations on the newly adopted, 15, 16 children.
McBrayer: Thank you, such an easy transition.
LRM: What’s the secret? How do you do it? I mean, one, two, three, can be a struggle.
McBrayer: A handful, yes.
LRM: Now, double-digit.
McBrayer: Just multiply that times five. It is funny to see the path that Calhoun and Felix take during this and the things that they figure out are working and are not working, but it does make you think about just your own families. And even when I was a kid, how my parents were juggling having three kids especially, they were broke, no joke. And so, it is funny to see how it is in a script, for an animated movie. I mean, ’cause it all comes from somewhere, so to see what you can relate to as a human being, but also like ‘Okay, which one of the writers put that in there? ‘Cause they gotta get to a therapist.
LRM: Right, trying to drive you nuts.
LRM: I don’t know about everyone else but I missed the part where it’s the secret of marriage, in the film. Can you maybe tell us a little?
McBrayer: Maybe that’s in the third installment.
LRM: ‘Cause I was like, wait, what? That’s what I wanna know.
McBrayer: Exactly. I think they did have fun with that part of the movie where they clearly just laid out the map of a successful marriage and successful parenthood and I guess that mystery will remain unsolved for decades to come.
LRM: That was actually cute, that was like-
McBrayer: That was funny, right?
LRM: You were tense, you were just waiting for it and you’re like, oh, wait, oh.
McBrayer: You know, I do have to tell you some inside baseball stuff. They made us record so many different things in between that part, so we just go to makeup stuff in between and just silly versions because sometimes you just had to make up words that looked like what the character’s mouths are doing. And so, some things were just absolutely nonsense like, the true secret to being a good parent is to follow popsicles to church and it’s just based on what the character’s mouth is doing. You just have to make up nonsense words.
LRM: One of the things I like about your character with the spouse is that it kind of touched base with reality.
LRM: Kids, marriage and in this case, he had two characters with different backgrounds.
LRM: And it works, and it’s fine. It’s no issue.
McBrayer: Thank you.
LRM: Can you tell us about that?
McBrayer: Well, I would like to think that’s very common in the world, in general. I think it also, going back to the first one, seeing how people from such different backgrounds can find things in common with each other. And despite their differences and stuff, they do find a real connection and are able to make that flourish and thrive and kind of be the crux of what their future is based on.
LRM: I like your character ’cause yes, it’s a Disney movie and it’s fun to take it to the happy world and all, but I like that reality.
McBrayer: That’s true.
LRM: ‘Cause that’s reality.
McBrayer: If you think about all your circle of friends or stuff, there are several couples in your life where you’re just like, how did these two happen? And it’s beautiful, it’s magic.
LRM: Surprisingly, it works.
McBrayer: That’s right. Thank you, Disney.
LRM: Is there anything you can share that you’ve been working on or juggling?
McBrayer: Not too, too much. I’ve been busy with this. I actually do quite a bit of voice acting these days, which is super fun. It just takes up very little time, so that means I have a lot of hours in the day to just twiddle my thumbs and read the news.
LRM: How did this, coming back to Ralph, get approached? Were you maybe sensing it was possible they were gonna make another one?
McBrayer: Well, you do always hope. When you work on any sort of project, you would like to feel that the reception is there and that the company is happy with the results, that they would want to follow up or do a sequel, or do some sort of follow-up to that. When the first one went over as well as it did, there is always hope. At the end of the day, you can’t bank on that. It wasn’t like I was spending money that wasn’t there. I didn’t go buy an island or anything.
LRM: Maybe now you can.
McBrayer: Right? Mmm that sweet Disney money. When they did bring us in to do a table read for Ralph Breaks the Internet, it was very fun and hopeful. It gets you excited of course. I do have to say, I mean, we did the table read in December 2015, so these projects take a long time.
LRM: I can see with the research of how, in this case, going into the internet. It’s so broad.
McBrayer: It’s so vast.
LRM: How impressive was that when you saw that?
McBrayer: It was unbelievable but also too, the script had changed so much from three years ago to what it is now. It’s been fun to watch what changed just in the world with technology and things that you find on the internet versus what they found worked for the script in particular. It’s always interesting to me to see that evolution and to see what they imbued the different characters with and the storylines that they go off.
LRM: Well, thank you so much. I really-
McBrayer: No Español?
LRM: Hablas Español?
McBrayer: Un poco. Una pregunta, por favor?.
LRM: Qué espera en los proxima seis años?
McBrayer: It won’t be correct. Okay. En proxima seis años, espero que hay otro película de Ralph y Felix, y quiero mas historias con mi esposa Calhoun. Es correcto?
LRM: Es correcto! That was great.