Parent & Child: What was your favorite part about voice acting for Open Season 2?
Steve Schirripa: Well, I really enjoyed the director, Matt O’Callaghan. I had never met him before, and he called me to say that he wanted me to do this character. Also, the material is really, really funny. I’ve done some cartoons, and I’ve done voice acting for commercials and stuff, but I really enjoyed this. Matt lets you do your thing and improvise, so I really enjoyed working with him.
P&C: How are you similar to, or different from the character you play in Open Season 2?
Schirripa: Well, I hope I’m not as lazy as him. I’m a little lighter on my feet than he is. But, you know, I think we’re similar because he’s a nice guy. You know, he’s looks out for his friends and he’s loyal, not unlike my character in The Sopranos. So that’s a similarity. He is lazy, though. I’m up and around. But I think he’s a good guy and a good dog.
P&C: Do you draw inspiration from your children when you’re preparing for a role like this?
Schirripa: Well, I have two daughters who are a little older now — they’re 13 and 16. They weren’t able to watch a lot of my recent work in The Sopranos, so whenever I get an opportunity to do something kid-oriented, or something I think they would enjoy, I jump on it. They enjoy and watch some of my other work, like the Sesame Street Christmas last year, the Muppet Christmas movie, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager, on ABC Family. And, with this movie, I think the parents will enjoy it as much as the kids. My wife and I were laughing out loud.
P&C: Is there a theme or a message in the movie that you hope children will take away?
Schirripa: Well, the main character, Eliot, is an insecure guy who is going to get married, and he’s scared that things will go wrong. Ultimately, Eliot and the rest of the cast come to terms with their fears. I think that the film shows that it’s okay to be scared, and it’s okay to screw up as long as you’re a good person. It’s okay because, you know, we all make mistakes.
P&C: The film is set in the wilderness. Do you enjoy the outdoors?
Schirripa: I walk down to the local deli, which is as far outdoors as I go. I think the outdoors is beautiful, but I’m not one of those guys. I just did some work for the history channel where I had to brand a calf on a farm, which was a first for me. It was certainly a different experience considering that I’m a city guy.