Toy Story 4‘s Duke Caboom embodies Canada and so does the actor who voices him, Keanu Reeves. Perhaps that’s why he’s such a perfect fit for the role. He was so perfect, in fact, that he got cast without name recognition.
At a press conference for Toy Story 4, director and co-writer Josh Cooley explained the process by which they cast the film. “When we cast these roles, we don’t want to see faces,” he said. The same was true for Duke Caboom:
“We have a casting department. They bring in a bunch of recordings, we say turn the headshots over. We don’t want to see who this person is, we just want to hear the voice. We don’t even know who we’re listening to. So we’ll listen to a bunch. ‘Who is that?’ But right away, I think we grabbed… one of [Keanu’s], and we were listening to it. We all went, ‘Whoa. Who is that?'”
Keanu Reeves on Voice Acting
Reeves’ face has become famous thanks to his many action roles, but he maintains his work on Toy Story 4 wasn’t much different. During the same conference, he described how similar playing Duke Caboom was to his previous work.
“I think in a odd way, you’re doing the same thing. Right? You’re finding the emotions of the character, the timing of the character, and the voice of the character. I would say for us, we don’t get to. The thing that’s really cool about the film is how they physically embody Lightyear’s movements and Gabby Gabby’s kind of thing. You kind of just feel like you’re finding the emotion, the timing of the character. It’s really the same thing in the way that you’re doing it if you’re not doing an animated project.“
It’s fun to imagine the actors actually performing their Toy Story 4 roles, and Keanu Reeves was no exception. “When I was playing Duke Caboom, to get into character, I would go ‘kaboom.’“
Do you hope to see Reeves take on more voice acting after Toy Story 4 premieres on June 20th? Let us know in the comments below, and check That Hashtag Show for the latest news on your favorite films.