One of the most versatile performers around today, John Leguizamo has created a career that defies categorization, from playing a drag queen in Too Wong Foo: Thanks for the Everything Julie Newmar to his three one-man shows that were critically acclaimed on-and-off Broadway and in Chicago. Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs is Leguizamo’s third time voicing the role of Sid the lisping slough. In the movie he discovers three dinosaur eggs, and become a loving ‘mom’ to the unruly brood.
Were there any new challenges in coming back for the third film?
The whole thing is pretty tricky. In this one I was a single ‘mom,’ representing single moms all over the country, two jobs, three kids, T-Rex’s are a like teenagers. I was trying to find that vulnerability. I guess it’s easier being alone in that booth. If the other actors had been there, I don’t know if I would have been as vulnerable. It was kind of embarrassing to be that soft, but it was cool to go that far. It’s always really hard to make a voice really pop on the screen so it feels alive, like when you’re getting hit or choked, to get yourself really in that physically, agitated state, so that it really doesn’t get flat.
Did doing your one-man-shows help you in working alone?
Yeah, I think doing one-man-shows you’re used to being alone and having to create the whole thing by yourself made it a lot easier. But at first it was kind of shocking, I was like, ‘So where [are the other actors]? Are they late? I’ve been here for awhile.’ And they said, ‘Nope, they’re not coming.’ So I said, ‘Where’s the film, let’s start.’ And then there’s no film, it’s just this script that you’ve got to make it come to life, and then you start going, ‘Oh wait, maybe this is kind of fun, I don’t have to be worried about being embarrassed or being humiliated, I can be here in my underwear and nobody’s going to care.’ And you just have a great time.
Was it easy for you to get back into character right away?
It’s harder to get out of the character of Sid than it is for me to be in the character. I would end up leaving, talking like this [does a lisp] for about a week, and I realize, ‘Oh shoot,’ I forget that I’m still Sid, I even hear myself right now sounding like that. So that’s what happens to me.
What would you like to see happen to Sid in Ice Age?
I hope he gets a couple of slough females, and they get to go to Hot Springs, that’d be hot.