Baymax in Big Hero 6

Scott Adsit on bringing Baymax to life in ‘Big Hero 6’

by W. Andrew Powell

Scott Adsit is the man behind the robot in Walt Disney Animation’s Big Hero 6, a film where he voices the gentle Baymax, a kind of medical assistant who is trying to help a young boy with a keen mind for technology as he recovers from a death in the family.

For Adsit, who is likely best known as Pete Hornberger from 30 Rock, it was a dream role that he ranked as a 30 on a scale from one to ten. “It was the best work environment that I’ve ever had. Everyone was so giving and accepting and collaborative that I couldn’t wait to go back to work. I couldn’t wait.”

“Sometimes,” Adsit said, “I’d wait a month before going back to the studio, while they worked their magic, and I would say to my girlfriend, ‘I want to go back!’ And I’m still doing it–I’m going to record something on Wednesday [November 5].”

For the stage, television, and film actor, the work on Big Hero 6 was a transition since he only acted as the voice of Baymax. When I asked him about this, Adsit said, “Well, it’s a lot less physical, and I’m a fairly physical performer–I like to be anyway–and so it was weird knowing that all the physicality of the character is on someone else’s shoulders. And they weren’t recording me–they weren’t taping what I was doing in the booth, because it didn’t matter what I was doing. I was just the voice and in the realm of the film, the voice isn’t always so connected to what he’s doing. It’s kind of a separate program function within his body.”

“So it was great to be in the ensemble that creates Baymax,” Adsit said, “and I didn’t get to see their work until it was done, so I didn’t get to see my performance until months after it was finished.”

Once Adsit saw what it looked like, having his voice coming out of the robotic character, he said he had a mixed reaction. “It was a mix of this is right, and this is completely wrong, because the voice suits the character, but then it’s too familiar, and everything else is so new to me, that it was weird to hear something so familiar coming out of something so fantastic.”

As we spoke about the work, Adsit opened up about his family, who he said were very proud of him, but he also said that it’s been hard not having his father around.

“I’m sad my dad isn’t here, because he was a lawyer, and he was always saying–he was worried for me as an actor because I didn’t always work, and he never really could help me in the business, and that worried him.” Adsit said. “His life was all about helping people become successful lawyers, and stuff like that. So, I’m sorry he’s not here to see this film in particular because it is about family, and it is about… I just got very quiet.”

After he paused for a moment, he said, “I just wish my father was here to enjoy this with the rest of the family because they’re all very excited, and I’m very excited for them to see it.”

Watch the full interview with Scott Adsit below to see what else he had to say about Big Hero 6, and what his favorite moment was in the film.

Big Hero 6 is in theatres now.

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