Craig Ferguson: Talk-show host turned talking owl

Craig Ferguson

When he’s not keeping night owls entertained hosting “The Late Late Show,” Craig Ferguson has been sneaking into recording studios to lend his vocal talents to several animated projects, including last year’s surprise hit “How to Train Your Dragon” and next summer’s Pixar release, “Brave.” Now, Ferguson takes on a classic as Owl in Disney’s new version of “Winnie the Pooh,” in theaters now.

Were you already a fan of Winnie the Pooh?

Oh yeah, of course. I knew the stuff. The books were read to me when I was a very little kid, and I watched the Disney movies and TV shows, I remember, as a child. My favorite as a kid was Tigger — not at all Owl, who I suppose radiated a kind of intellectual figure, but the character of Tigger, who kind of crazy and unrestrained.

You’re not your usual Scottish self as Owl.

I think that we all felt that an English and a sort of stuffy, pompous, kind of upper-class sound was the most appropriate. I think that it gives it a little bit of flavor, because it’s a slightly different sound to the other voices. It’s kind of, you know, fun.

You’ve done a great deal of voice work for animation. What about it appeals to you so much?

Animation is very attractive if you’re in my line of work, because you’re not limited by your own physical appearance, clearly. So you don’t have to worry about your physical limitations, right down to the extent of when you go to work that day you don’t have to shave. You turn up looking like a slob and sound like an owl.

Between acting, writing and hosting a late-night talk show, your schedule must be a nightmare.
It’s not that bad, really. I live about a 20-minute car ride from where I work, and the late-night show takes me a couple of hours a day — and really no more than that.


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