Comedian/actor Patton Oswalt has become the latest addition to my ever-growing, lifelong list of favorite voice actors.
For starters, he’s an admitted geek and fan of scifi, comics and cartoons. And I’ve discovered I have far too much in common with him from his stand-up routines.
His voice has a youthful, snarky, sarcastic edge to it that reminds me a little of a whiny kid brother sound, but it’s tempered with a vulnerable and amusing quality that makes it entertaining to listen to. I thought Oswalt gave a really great vocal performance as Remy in Pixar’s Ratatouille, and he’s also voiced characters on Kim Possible, WordGirl, SpongeBob SquarePants, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Static Shock, Crank Yankers, Tom Goes To The Mayor, and the Grand Theft Auto video game series.
[His voice also reminds me a little of Curtis Armstrong‘s (Eek! The Cat, The Emperor’s New School, American Dad, Stroker and Hoop).]
And there’s been buzz over potential Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for the indie character drama Big Fan [<– click to view the trailer] in which Oswalt stars as a parking garage attendant who is the self-proclaimed "world's biggest New York Giants fan."
Oswalt said of the nomination buzz in an interview with Popeater, “I honestly don’t know what to do when you’re nominated. I’m assuming they send a car for you, and you go to some parties. I’d be really happy if the movie got nominated… It would be good to see that happen knowing how hard Robert [Siegel] worked on this film.”
And when asked how he prepared to play the role of a sports fan when he “doesn’t follow sports at all,” Oswalt says, “Basically I had to draw on my geeky love for comics. It’s the same spark, just different fuel.”
As for which character Oswalt enjoyed playing more — “a sports fanatic or a foodie rat in Ratatouille,” he responded, “Doing a voice over and going to Pixar, that whole experience was so fun. It never felt like I was going to work. But ‘Big Fan’ was hard. I really had to figure out a different person than who I am. I had to get use to not tagging things with a joke. It was all new territory for me.”
Oswalt’s new Comedy Central special My Weakness is Strong released on CD and DVD August 25th, and he says he’s hoping to have a book out by Spring 2010: “I don’t know what it is going to be about yet. It’s all random essays, but I might tie it into a narrative. I haven’t decided yet. We’ll have to wait and see.”
Here’s a video preview of the comedy special [Caution: Adult language]:
As for other upcoming projects, Oswalt says: “I just signed on as a regular to ‘Caprica,’ which is a prequel to ‘Battlestar Galactica.’ I’m also a regular on ‘United States of Tara’ and have a pretty good role in ‘The Informant,’ a movie Steven Soderbergh directed [and also features a supporting role by voice acting legend Frank Welker].” Oswalt also has several stand-up comedy dates through November 2009 — see his official site PattonOswalt.com for his tour schedule.
Popeater’s interview with Oswalt also includes a video interview and screenshots from Big Fan. The movie opens in select theaters today (August 28th) and also stars Kevin Corrigan, Michael Rapaport and Jonathan Hamm.
If you don’t mind spoilers for the film, The New York Times has a rather positive review. Additionally, The New York Post says Oswalt gives a “sharp performance” in the film, and Indiewire.com says Oswalt’s performance is “moving, funny, searing, [and] authentic.”
Other recent articles and interviews featuring Oswalt you might be interested to read:
– /Film: Oswalt Explains His ‘Caprica’ Character
– IFC.com: Patton Oswalt: A ‘Fan’ For All Seasons
– TVSquad: Patton Oswalt’s new comedy special is coming
– UGO.com: Patton Oswalt Interview – Big Fan
– Movieline: Big Fan’s Patton Oswalt: “I’ve got to embrace the void that this guy is.”
– Gothamist.com: Patton Oswalt, Comedian
And if you have plenty of time on your hands, search YouTube.com for “Patton Oswalt” or “Patton Oswalt Big Fan” for a number of video interviews and stand-up comedy clips.