On Monday, right before the premiere, we got to do a group interview with the child actors of Frankenweenie. From left, Charlie Tahan (Victor Frankenstein), Robert Capron (Bob), and Atticus Shaffer (Edgar ‘E’ Gore). I had seen Charlie Tahan in a few movies, mainly Charlie St. Cloud. I had seen Robert Capron in Diary of A Whimpy Kid, and Atticus Shaffer in an episode of Shake It Up! that my daughter absolutely loved. As soon as these young men entered the room I was immediately impressed with them. As a group they spoke of perfecting their craft, and how they spent nearly a year in auditions for Frankenweenie. They three actors were poised, and well spoken.
Where you a fan of Tim Burton’s work before Frankenweenie?
Charlie Tahan: Tim has always been one of my favorite directors, since before I started acting. I was obsessed with Nightmare Before Christmas and I didn’t event know it was a Tim Burton movie at the time.
Atticus Shaffer: Yes, my favorite was of course the original Batman. It was the first one I saw start to finish. I had seen bits and pieces of Nightmare Before Christmas.
Robert Capron: Yeah, I’m like Atticus, because my favorite Tim Burton movie was the original Batman. That was the first one I saw, I love Batman. When I found out I got the part I was flipping out when I first met Tim. Literally the first thing I said to him was, you directed Batman.
What was your favorite thing about your character?
Charlie Tahan: Victor is loosely based on Tim’s childhood. He is one of my favorite directors. I was honored to be able to sort of play him.
Atticus Shaffer: For me, the characters that I normally play are either my voice, they are very calm eye in the storm characters. Some are smart, you know, they know how to figure out problems and whatnot. But then this one, he’s just so over the top. Edgar ‘E’ Gore is a semi villain, he loves everything more big and over the top and also being able to do the impressions of Peter Lorre for the voice is awesome to me. I love doing accents. I was told do do a Peter Lorre impression. I was like, this is so new for me, it’s going to test my acting abilities.
Robert Capron: For me the thing I like most about Bob, despite that he’s a really big guy, his character is huge. Despite the fact that he’s really big and he could very easily be a bully, he’s not, he’s actually a very nice person. That was one of the things I liked about my character.
Any of you ever seen the original Frankenstein?
Charlie Tahan: I’ve seen bits and pieces or most of it, or versions of it, like Young Frankenstein and Mary Barton Frankenstein.
Atticus Shaffer: I was just such a big fan of any classic black and while film, because that’s where the ideas originate from. They weren’t the spoofs or the spinoffs or the parodies or anything. They were groundbreaking back then. At night when there’ll be Turner Classic Movies I will flip through them. I will watch just about any classic movie I can, then I fall in love with it.
Robert Capron: I haven’t seen the entire movie, but I have seen little bits and pieces of it, and I read the original book. That was a good book.
What do you find challenging about voicing your character?
Charlie Tahan: This is my first voice over. I thought it was going to be a lot harder because I found out I wasn’t going to be with the other cast to read with them. Half of my scenes are with me and Sparky, so I just imagined the dog I have at home. You don’t have to worry about blocking or where to stand or, uh, hair and makeup. You just mostly focus all your energy into your voice, so it’s a bit easier.
Atticus Shaffer: Man, I love doing voice over. I mean, that’s the reason I got into the business in the first place. I love telling stories, being able to put myself into these new, completely new characters.
Robert Capron: The thing I like about voice over is that it’s much easier than actually filming. There are so many variables that go into filming, you need lighting, you need to look good with the hair and makeup. With this the character is already made.
How long with the process?
Charlie Tahan: It took three years. I only worked ten days on the movie, but it’s spread out like once every two months or so. It wasn’t ten days in a row.
Atticus Shaffer: Yeah, the thing that’s funny about working on a voiceover is that you might think you’re done with it. Then five months later they will come back and say, oh we need like a couple extra grunts, and like some breathing noises.
Charlie Tahan: I had to go in one day and just laugh, then I got to go home.
Robert Capron: Yeah, one session I had to go into, I had to say one line, then all I had to do is go make some noise and scream.
Atticus Shaffer: It’s a good solid three or four-hour recording session. You have endless amounts of tape that you can use to record and find the right, the right way of saying the line, or the perfect grunt.
Did any of you see the original Frankenweenie short?
Atticus Shaffer: The original short was playing the waiting room where I was before being called in for my audition.
Charlie Tahan: I have and I thought it was cool because it seemed like the original Frankenweenie was kind of like a rough cut, like a sort of sketch of this one.
Robert Capron: The original short was definitely like an outline of what this movie is. I find it really cool that thanks to stop motion animation Tim was able to expand of everything in the short.
Thanks to Charlie Tahan, Robert Capron, and Atticus Shaffer for taking time out of their busy schedules to meet with us. I really enjoyed getting inside their heads, especially right before we walked across the street to the premiere of Frankenweenie. It was neat getting to know some of the actors before seeing them on the big screen.
FRANKENWEENIE arrives in theatres everywhere on October 5th! Follow the fun on Twitter. #Frankenweenie
Disclosure: Disney provided me with a trip to LA in return for my honest review on the movies and events mentioned above. All expenses were paid by Disney and no other compensation was given. All experiences and opinions are 100% my own.