'Escape from Planet Earth' stars go green
Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba and Rob Corddry discuss planet-saving practices.
Fri, Feb 15 2013 at 5:26 PM
Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company
As the title suggests, the animated movie "Escape From Planet Earth" is about aliens who crash-land on our planet in the infamous Area 51 and spend the rest of the movie trying to thwart the general who's keeping them prisoner (William Shatner) and get home. Viewers will recognize the voices of Brendan Fraser, Ricky Gervais, Sarah Jessica Parker and Jane Lynch along with Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba and Rob Corddry, who have a few things of their own to say about the planet — saving it, that is.
"It's impossible to do everything but I try," says Vergara. "I recycle and try not to buy things that are not good for the world. I hate leaving lights on or wasting water."
For Vergara, who grew up in Colombia watching Disney movies like "Cinderella" and shows like "The Smurfs" (she's since done two movie versions of the show), this latest voiceover assignment was fun and easy. She recorded her part as a curvy newscaster in two hours. On her ABC hit "Modern Family," her character Gloria is a new mom, and she enjoys working with the "very well behaved" babies who play her son. Her real-life offspring, Manolo, is a 21-year-old college student in New York, and Vergara admits to fretting over who he's driving with and if he's taking the train or walking alone night. "As a mom, you never stop worrying."
Later this year, Vergara will appear in "Fading Gigolo," a comedy written and directed by John Turturro co-starring Woody Allen and Sharon Stone, and Robert Rodriguez's "Machete Kills," in which she plays an assassin. "I was shooting and jumping and driving," she says. "I had an amazing time."
Jessica Alba is in "Machete," too, but as in "Escape," she and Vergara don't have scenes together. Alba seized the chance "to have the liberty really to be over the top and crazy" in her recording sessions as the movie's scheming villain and play a part in something that her young daughters could see. Generally, her film roles, such as the "Sin City" movies (including the forthcoming third installment "A Dame to Kill For") are off limits "for a very long time. My character is pretty hardcore," she says of that role. "I got to reunite with Bruce [Willis], and then I actually got to work with Mickey [Rourke]. That was kind of a dream come true."
Off screen, Alba devotes her time to the expanding The Honest Company, which has grown to 80 employees since its launch last year. In addition to the baby products line, there is now laundry detergent, dish soap, surface sprays, toilet cleaner, bath products and soy candles with non-toxic wicks, "So you're not breathing in any black smoke. They're hand-poured by single mom in Texas. We want to employ as many artisans in the U.S. as possible."
Alba has a lifestyle book coming out in March called "The Honest Life," about "how to eliminate toxic chemicals from everything, from your beauty regime to putting together a nursery, to DIY stuff for the home. The increase of allergies and asthma with this generation, and even my generation, is really environmentally caused," she believes. "So if we can try and get rid of all of that stuff, then we can have healthier families."
Rob Corddry, the father of two daughters ages 6 and 4, says he teaches them green practices. "I'm setting an example and it makes me better at it. I love it when my daughter says, 'Daddy, the water is still on.' She calls me out on it and that means she's learning." He also follows the old water-saving rule in the bathroom: "If it's yellow, let it mellow."
In "Escape," Corddry plays Gary Supernova, the tech geek and unlikely hero of the movie, and he found his first try at animation "a challenge. I really had to get used to acting by myself. Sometimes they would film me. I was very self-conscious about it," he admits. But playing the straight man was no problem for the sketch and improv veteran. "If you make the other person look good, then you will look good by default and the scene will be better," says the alumnus of the Upright Citizens Brigade and "The Daily Show."
Currently in the zombie movie "Warm Bodies," Corddry will also appear in Michael Bay's "low budget dark comedy" "Pain & Gain" and in "Rapturepalozza," "a really low budget, indie, end-of-the-world comedy." He hopes to continue to "do cool stuff with people that I like. I am not really at the point in my career where I have the luxury of choosing whatever I want to do," he says, "but I have been very lucky that I have been able to do cool stuff."