Kodi Smit-McPhee talks about voicing Norman in “ParaNorman”

Kodi Smit-McPhee is best known for his role in the dark horror film “Let Me In”. Kodi also voices the role of Norman in the stop-motion animated film “ParaNorman”. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Kodi about this role in the film, the process of doing voice work and what he has planned upcoming.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about your experience voicing Norman in “ParaNorman”?
Kodi Smit-McPhee: It was really cool. I have done voice over work before but it was computer generated, a lot quicker and overall very different. I knew about stop-motion before this but when I worked on it, it was completely not what I expected. When I when to Oregon to see Laika studios, I was just blown away at how much passion they have and seeing how much work and patience goes into creating the town and these characters. It really motivated me to do the best that I can really do.

MG: Tell us about the process of recorded your role?
KSM: We knew that there were ten sessions that I had to record and there were a few months in between. I would go in and record the whole script and then send it off to Laika. They would work around my around my voice and then I would go back in and touch up anything we had to do over.

MG: How long did the whole process take?
KSM: It was about two years. I started when I was fourteen and now I am sixteen.

MG: When you recorded the voice were you with any of the other cast?
KSM: Yeah. It was really cool when I got to record my material with someone. Usually since I was typically in this black room when recording solo. When someone came in it helped fill in your imagination a bit and makes those scenes very natural. You can actually interact with someone and react off their energy. It was an awesome experience.

MG: What was your biggest challenge doing voice work?
KSM: I think the biggest challenge was keeping the voice up in that area, since I was getting older at the time. In the Town Hall scene, where he climbs up the side of the building and was yelling at the Witch, it was such an emotional scene. It was very hard to do. To get all of that emotion out through my voice was a challenge but we did get it in the end.

MG: After starring in “Let Me In”, what do you enjoy most about the horror genre?
KSM: I think the cool thing of horror is that as it gets older, people are bringing so much more into it. I think with “ParaNorman” and “Let Me In”, there is the horror aspect and it is fun but there are also these underlining deep stories within them. So you are able to take two things away from it.

MG: What do you have planned next?
KSM: Right after “ParaNorman”, I did “Romeo and Juliet”, which is something totally different. It is with Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth and Paul Giamatti. Then I did a sci-fi film called “The Congress” which is also with Paul Giamatti and Jon Hamm. Right now, I am in New York working on a new film called “A Birder’s Guide to Everything” with Ben Kingsley.

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