Edward Asner: Tries out a different role
Actor Edward Asner who is best-known as gruff newsman Lou Grant and also expands his resume of grumps as the voice of a curmudgeonly widower in Pixar Animation's "Up," wishes people to know that he can play romance and action, too.
During an interview at his residence Anser said, "I can do lovers." "I can do Sir Galahad types. I'm not going to limit myself in voice-overs to irascible old men.”
"You better get that straight!" Asner said so slyly slipping into the crabby tone that he perfectly adopted as Grant, the role that won him five of his seven Emmys, first on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and later in the spinoff "Lou Grant."
Asner does not want to set limit for himself since Hollywood has done that for him throughout the years. He also added that he had only 1 year in his 50-plus-year career that he landed as much work as he wanted, when he was working on Moore's sitcom and shot 1976's "Rich Man, Poor Man," a miniseries that also won him an Emmy.
Turning eighty years this November, Edward Asner still wishes more offers would come his way. When being asked how often he receives scripts that really interest him, he enquired, "Did you bring anything with you?"
Asner further added, "No, nothing comes in," "I'm not sought after. I never get enough work. It's the history of my career. There just isn't anything to turn down, let me put it that way."
Asner was sought after for the role of Carl Fredricksen in "Up," the latest tale from Pixar and its parent outfit, Walt Disney, whose animated hits include "WALL-E," "Ratatouille," "Finding Nemo" and the "Toy Story" flicks. The film opens Friday.
"Up" director Pete Docter said Asner was Pixar's first choice for the voice of Carl, a lonely, cranky widower who renews his spirit of adventure by tying thousands of helium balloons to his house and flying off to the wilds of South America.
Docter said the Pixar animators often zero in on voices by putting on old movies and TV shows with the picture off, listening only to the audio to see who might fit the characters they're developing. Asner's Lou Grant was an icon of the bullying but lovable boss, Docter said.
Asner made good use of his prickly persona as a world-weary Santa Claus in Will Ferrell's 2003 hit "Elf." His other significant hits are namely "JFK" and "Fort Apache the Bronx," while his several television guest spots are "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "ER" and "The X-Files." Asner also has done a great deal of TV voice-over work for such shows as "The Simpsons" and "Spider-Man."
Currently he got the call to do more voice work for the animated series "The Boondocks," where he has a recurring character. However Asner still wishes the phone would ring more often.
Asner said, "I keep telling people that I'm a better actor now than I've ever been in my life, in my ability to choose and my ability to interpret," "I'd say most people are probably in that same boat, old people, and it's a shame that they're not given the opportunity to demonstrate that intelligence along with their emotion, that it's not utilized.
He continued, "I suppose this occurs in every profession. People are trying to farm you out once you reach a certain age. I think it's an American trait, and I think it's an ugly trait."