Cars 2: Emily Mortimer On Playing a Car, Playing Hopeless & Impressing Her Son


Emily Mortimer aka Holley Shiftwell

Emily Mortimer finally got that glam role. In the new Pixar movie Cars 2 she plays the stunning spy Holley Shiftwell. Emily lent her voice to this new Cars character bringing Holley to life revving along side her spy mentor Finn McMissle ( Michael Caine), Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) and Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson).

We got the chance to sit down with Emily Mortimer about what it was like to play a spy, about her real-life ‘dippy’ act, and on how she totally impressed her son.

About being in the movie:
It was really cool.  I mean, first of all, it’s fantastic looking this good in a movie.  I normally do parts where I never get to wear Mascara or have a blow dryer on my hair and I just look far from glamorous.  So I don’t think I will ever look as good as I do, as Holley Shiftwell.  And I’m not normally this sort of, you know, together empowered ‘Spy Car’ type.  In fact, my friends will make me run for a bus just to give themselves a good laugh so I’ll totally mal-coordinated really in real life.

It’s fantastic to get that opportunity.  My instinct with the part was …  well … she changed over time and I went in there thinking if this was me and this was my first mission in the field, I would be just so shitting myself, and terrified and I kind of played it like that although I think it was kind of funny.  In a way, I think, to allow the main character more room to be the fish out of water and also to have an empowered female part in a guy’s world surrounding by all these men. It was important that she wasn’t just this sort of hopeless person.

On playing into being a hopeless dippy female off screen:
[My son] always thinks of me as this sort of hopeless sort of dappy thing and I play that part a little bit and — and I don’t think I want to.  I think now I’ve got a daughter cause my son is 7 and my daughter is 1. I think it is more important to me to think, kind of think about that more and what it is I’m doing every time I’m sort of pretending to be a hopeless dippy female and — and of course I’m not.

I mean, you know, I mean, I am at times.  But I’ve got a career and hopefully organized and I can sort of live my [life].  So yes, I was very pleased to be able to play finally and to be told to my natural instinct to be a bit kind of … how does one be a Spy?  Actually no, make her stronger.  She wouldn’t be in this job unless she knew what she was doing.  It was good to bring that out cause it’s a new phase of my life, power woman.

Her favorite part of the film:
I can’t remember.  I said I loved every single minute of it.  It was too enjoyable.  It was just a thrill to be in the company of John Lasseter making this film and — and to just feel that this is a guy that does it how it should be done.  You know, somebody that is just so passionate and gets such a kick out of what he does and is so bright, and pays such attention to detail and is so collaborative and kind.  It’s just amazing. But my best moment of all was when we watched, the day that we watched the movie and I had my little boy with me.  He’s seven so he’s the perfect age for this and he’s known Pixar all his life. And the moment where I get wings and I fly and he turned to me and he went, ‘Mom, you’re amazing!’  It was just so great.  And he’s not usually that impressed by me.  So it was really cool.

Full Disclosure: The author participated in a press junket for the above coverage and was the guest of the Walt Disney Company while attending. Any opinions presented here are purely held by its author and do not reflect those held by Pixar Animation Studios or the Walt Disney Company.



Article Posted 5 years Ago
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
what do you think?
close comments
Subscribe to the
Follow us on