It’s onerous to think about Turning Crimson’s Meilin Lee with out Rosalie Chiang’s voice-over. From the passionate “AWOOOGA” to the massive, sniffly crying, Chiang imbues the plucky 13-year-old protagonist of Pixar’s newest animated film with charming zest and particular relatability. Her behind-the-scenes tales from the movie have turn out to be well-liked on TikTok, the place she shared the genesis of the “AWOOOGA” line. However Chiang was initially simply employed to do the movie’s scratch audio — the non permanent audio observe many animated motion pictures use whereas they’re nonetheless within the early levels of manufacturing. Her efficiency received over director Domee Shi and the opposite filmmakers, nonetheless, and so they requested her to be Mei’s official voice.
Chiang not too long ago talked to Polygon concerning the actual second when the character of Mei actually solidified for her — and what Shi advised her that knowledgeable her strategy to the character.
“It was the intro the place she goes, ‘I’m Meilin Lee, and ever since I turned 13…’” Chiang says. “And after I stated it as soon as, Domee was like, All proper, are you able to now say it as if you drank 10 Crimson Bulls? And 12-year-old me was like, I’ve by no means had Crimson Bulls. However I knew precisely what she meant. And I stated it as if I drank 10 Crimson Bulls. And that second, every thing clicked. I simply felt that everybody within the room kind of reached an settlement, like Yeah, that is it.”
For probably the most half, Mei’s character got here simply to Chiang. As a giant Okay-pop fan, she completely channeled her love of boy and woman bands into Mei’s enthusiasm for the in-universe boy band 4*City.
“My squad again dwelling and I — we actually solely speak about Okay-pop. And we will discuss for hours and hours and hours about it,” she gushes. “Truly, Domee was one of many those who inspired me to take heed to Okay-pop. She launched me to bands like Massive Bang, 2PM.”
The scenes Chiang discovered the toughest had been those the place Mei cries, or is in any other case overcome with intense emotion. The primary time Mei’s buddies see her in panda type, as an illustration, Chiang says she needed to do some actual emotional digging. The sequences that got here best to her — like the long-lasting “AWOOOGA!” Mei lets out whereas her crush Devon — ricocheted in the wrong way. Chiang says she had a good time voicing these moments, in addition to something involving humorous actions or strains.
She says there was one significantly hilarious line from an earlier model of the plot that didn’t make the ultimate reduce. It passed off after Mei learns about her household’s ties to purple pandas — particularly, her ancestor Solar Yee, whose shut connection to the creature gave the Lee household the power to rework within the first place.
“Within the authentic [version of the] legend, it was once that Solar Yee had any want,” Chiang explains. “However she selected to be an enormous purple panda. And Mei is like, ‘You could possibly have had something! Fame, cash, a smokin’ sizzling bod!’ I really like that line a lot. And I bear in mind everybody within the room laughing [when we recorded it]. I used to be a little bit unhappy it didn’t make it.”
Turning Crimson is out on DVD and Blu-Ray now, with some hidden Easter eggs and deleted scenes obtainable to search out.