disney darling Luca star Maya Rudolph says filming in Ireland is 'great craic' and she feels like honorary Dub
"It's heaven on Earth. I feel very lucky to be here. I understand why this is a very special place," she reveals.
Maya Rudolph has just had her first 99 and she's a very happy woman.
Speaking to Magazine+ just days after arriving in Ireland to shoot her latest movie, Disenchanted, the star reveals she is a convert to both the ice-cream cone and her new home.
"I had my first 99 today. I feel like an honorary Dubliner," she smiles. "It's heaven on Earth. I feel very lucky to be here. I understand why this is a very special place.
"I wish that I could take everything I've learned so far home with me and I wish everyone was as smart as the Irish in the way that they live - it's pretty amazing here."
The actor and comedian is the latest devotee of Irish treats, just days after her co-star Patrick Dempsey visited a popular Dublin chipper and went local with his lingo, describing them as "bleeding deadly".
Rudolph, too, has been brushing up on her Irish sayings, joking she's been having "good craic" since arriving.
She's in the capital to film Disenchanted with Dempsey and Amy Adams.
However her most recent movie is Luca, a charming new animated comedy from Pixar.
The family movie set in the Italian Riviera stars Jacob Tremblay as Luca, a young sea monster who turns into human form when he ventures beyond the surface of the water.
Rudolph voices Luca's mother Daniela, who follows him to land in a bid to get him safely home as humans fear the sea creatures.
"It was the Pixar of it all," she says of her reason for taking on the role. "Pixar is so incredibly beautiful and thoughtful. Every single movie is something special to me and to my family."
Filled with gelatos and pasta and vintage Vespa scooters, and with a strong friendship at its core, Luca is a love letter to childhood memories of summer.
For director Enrico Casarosa, who is from Italy, it was a labour of love.
He says: "That is the one wonderful thing about animation. We don't shoot it until we know it's right. Is it funny? Is it funny enough? Let's make it funnier.
"Let's make it better. There are no stones left unturned on trying to tell the best story that we can. It's the beating heart of the film."
As far as he was concerned, casting Rudolph and fellow comic Jim Gaffigan to voice Luca's parents was a no-brainer.
"We knew in Maya we would find someone who could be tough and loving at once," he adds. "There's such a vulnerability and emotion she brings to it. Both her and Jim have this natural improvising ability.
"So we knew we could have real fun and embrace the idiosyncrasies of this mum who was vacillating, sometimes very quickly, between love and rage and competitiveness and worry.
"We wanted this fast, interesting and complex mum. It was really like sitting back and watching the show very often with them because they would have such fun with the lines and improvise a lot."
Luca is in cinemas now and on Disney+ with Premier Access
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