Have you seen the new Peanuts Movie yet? It's adorable. My kids loved it and they did a great job keep a classic just that—a classic but with amazing. modern graphics.
Francesca Capaldi, known for her role on Disney Channel’s “Dog With a Blog,” plays Charlie Brown’s long-time unrequited love, The Little Red-Haired Girl—and Capaldi becomes the first person to give a voice to the character, who never spoke in any of the TV specials in which she appeared.
I had the chance to participate in a Q&A with Capaldi on the day the movie opened in theaters. She’s adorable, enthusiastic, polite—and very excited to appear in THE PEANUTS MOVIE. Here are highlights from the conversation:
It seems like a no-brainer that you'd play the Little Red-Haired Girl in The Peanuts Movie, but was it actually that simple? How did the casting really happen?
Capaldi: I actually auditioned for Sally and another character but I ended up as The Little Red-haired Girl. They say it has nothing to do with my hair color, but I’m not so sure. But I’m really happy to be playing her, because she’s a great character.
Were you a big Peanuts fan before you got this part?
Capaldi: My family and I watched the specials during holidays. Other than that I didn’t know too much about it. But since I was cast in the role I’ve gotten to know the characters and I really love them.
Who was or is your favorite Peanuts character? Why?
Capaldi: I love Snoopy. He’s so awesome! I love how he flies his doghouse. He has such a great imagination. I also like Charlie Brown, too.
The Little Red-Haired Girl has never spoken before in any of the Peanuts specials—did you feel a lot of pressure being the first one to give her a voice?
Capaldi: I can go both ways. It was easy not to have to base my performance off another voice that played her. But there was also pressure because I didn’t want to do a voice that people didn’t think sounded good for her. Basically I just used my natural voice. Steve [Marino, the director] really helped me create her voice.
What kind of advice did Steve and the producers give you?
Capaldi: Well, they wanted me to likable and nice.
In what ways are you similar to or different from the Little Red-Haired Girl?
Capaldi: I’m similar to her because of her red hair. Other than that, in the movie she really likes to dance, which is the same as me. She’s nice and kind and she sees the good in people, and I try to be that way, too.
Tell the truth: Does the Little Red-Haired Girl like Charlie Brown as much as he likes her? Or is she going to break his heart??
Capaldi: I cannot tell you that! They do end up being friends…that’s all I can say! We’ll just have to find out in another movie.
What was it like recording your lines—I understand you were in L.A. and most of the other actors were in New York. How did it work?
Capaldi: Yes, I was in L.A. with Steve Martino, so it was just me in the recording booth. A lot of the actors were from New York. So it was not quite like I expected. When I recorded, there was no contact with other actors.
Was it as fun?
Capaldi: Yes, a lot of fun. It was not like work at all. I just enjoyed it so much.
Since then, have you spent much time with the other cast members? Do you guys all get along? Do you hang out together?
Capaldi: We didn’t actually meet until last Thanksgiving, then we started a chat page. We don’t meet up a lot since some of them live in New York. But when we did Peanuts tour, we got really close and hung out a lot.
Are you going to make more Peanuts movies?
Capaldi: I hope so! I’m hoping for a sequel, a Peanuts 2. It took a long time to make this one, but I think it’s possible. That would be really fun. Hopefully it does well and they want another one!
This your first voice character, correct?
Which do you enjoy doing more—being on screen, or doing a voiceover?
Capaldi: I would say it’s equally fun, because they’re both really different. Being on screen, you’re doing hair and makeup and wardrobe and being with the cast. With a voiceover, you’re just by yourself, nobody sees what you look like. But they’re both really fun.