The parental challenge of getting kids to put down their devices and unplug is one that Blu and Jewel face as parents of three young blue macaws in Rio 2 but during recent interviews with the cast, I found that the stars who voice the characters were split over their love for new technology versus traditional devices that are a throw back to the past. I sat down with Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Rodrigo Santoro, Andy Garcia, and George Lopez during the Rio 2 world premiere weekend to ask them about their one device they just can’t live without.
The question was prompted by the theme of a connected family that we see as Rio 2 opens. In the first movie, we were introduced to Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) who reveled in the conveniences of modern life from his Minnesotan upbringing. Now we find Blu, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and their three children living the perfect domesticated life in Rio. Book loving Bia (Amandla Stenberg from The Hunger Games), adventure seeking Tiago (Pierce Gagnon) and Carla (Rachel Crow), a spunky musical teen who loves listening to music, are as different as the kids in any family but Jewel worries that they’re becoming more like human than birds.
“Jewel grew up in the jungle and the kids are being raised in Rio, so there’s definitely more of a human influence on them,” said Hathaway. “They listen to music players, eat pancakes, and watch TV. Jewel is not the biggest fan of that kind of domesticity.”
In real life, Hathaway prefers listening to vinyl records over digital forms. She revealed that she couldn’t live without her record player because she finds “a warmth” to listening vintage albums that is “reflected in the analog recording of the music with vinyl.” When asked what her favorite record is she took some time to think before saying:
I have some old recordings of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, the comedy show that they used to do. They never get old. I’ve listened to them so many times, and I laugh every single time.
For anyone wondering the way to Hathaway’s heart, she confided that her amazing husband made her a mix record for their first Valentine’s Day that would be the first thing that she would grab in a fire.
Following Hathaway, Andy Garcia (who voices Jewel’s father, Eduardo) said that he “couldn’t live without the little thing that you put inside the 45 record so you can actually play it. I’d have 400 45s that I would never hear.”
Like Hathaway and Garcia, Rodrigo Santoro (Túlio) likes to “be a little old-fashioned” and have a notebook and a pencil handy. “That’s what I like to have with me even though, we type and we keep it all in an iPhone or whatever. I like to write.”
Even though George Lopez was the first to respond and shared that a smartphone is his must-have gadget (“the phone has become like the Swiss army knife of technology”), Santoro’s love for writing prompted him to talk about the importance of handwriting even though most kids write using the computer.
“A friend of mine is a principal at a school, and in that school, they were going to stop teaching cursive, you know? They don’t really write pen to paper… I mean, so much of your personality is revealed in your handwriting,” Lopez mused. “When you write to yourself, you can kind of almost feel what you were feeling at that time.”
This post was inspired by attending the Rio 2 world premiere as a guest of Twentieth Century Fox. I was not obligated to post and all opinions are my own. Images courtesy of Fox and Death to the Stock Photo.