Everybody knows the story about Humpty Dumpty, but who knew he’d be a clever and devious little egg in the new DreamWorks Animation film “Puss in Boots.” Zach Galifianakis (“The Hangover,” “Bored to Death”) voices the cunning little egg in the spin-off origin story of sorts on the popular and furry “Shrek” character. Read on to see what Galifianakis says about his animated character and injecting a bit of personality into the yolk-filled character.
The story takes place before Puss met Shrek and Donkey, when he was a swashbuckling hero who protected the innocent. A bunch of old pub thugs tell him that two murderous outlaws called Jack and Jill have discovered an ancient power that can destroy the world. Puss then sets off on a journey with his old friend Humpty Dumpty who also introduces him to Kitty Softpaws, a sly black cat who takes an interest in Puss’s journey. With his new sidekicks, Puss sets off on his most adventurous and dangerous journey ever.
ShockYa: Zack, your character Humpty Dumpty and Puss in Boots are friends. And yet, there is this jealously. How did you perceive Humpty’s motivation for doing these bad things to his best friend?
Zack Galifianakis: The Humpty Dumpty character that I play, and I never thought I’d say that sentence in my life, and I finally have… thank you Jesus. I think Humpty Dumpty is a little all over the place. He’s a little emotional. He’s a little greedy. I think he’s a little vindictive, but he is also trying to have a friendship ultimately. But, his greed gets the best of him. I think down deep in his yolk, that he is an OK guy.
ShockYa: Zack, you’re playing a character that’s famous, but people don’t really know who he is. What was your first impression when you finally got the part and how did you approach giving the character a personality?
Zack Galifianakis: I interviewed the real Humpty Dumpty. (Laughs) He is 90 years old and lives in Vermont. You know, Chris really gave me all the information I needed to know and the context that I needed to do the voice work. All I know are vague childhood memories of Humpty Dumpty, but also children throwing eggs at me — is not much about Humpty Dumpty. But Chris (Miller) filled it in and did do some specifically direction that he saw for the grand scope of the movie. But, to be honest with you, I didn’t really make that connection.
ShockYa: If you could have a fairy tale or cartoon character on Between Two Ferns, who would it be and why?
Zack Galifianakis: Jesus Christ. (Laughs)
“Puss in Boots” arrives in theaters everywhere this Friday.