Amy Poehler Is ‘So Proud’ to Portray Joy in Disney’s Inside Out 2 | Us Weekly

June 11, 2024

Amy Poehler Is So Proud to Portray Joy in Disney s Inside Out 2 A Dream Come True.jpg
Amy Poehler. Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney/Pixar

Amy Poehler couldn’t be more joyous about getting to reprise her role for Inside Out 2.

“It’s pretty awesome that I get to play [Joy] again,” Poehler, 52, exclusively told Us Weekly at the Monday, July 11, Los Angeles premiere of the Disney sequel. “I love this character so much. I’m so proud to be in this movie. It really is a dream come true.”

Poehler portrays Joy in both the 2015 film and its subsequent 2024 follow up —  the lead of the five major emotions inside the mind of Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias). However, while Joy may be No. 1 in Riley’s mind, Poehler said that she doesn’t see her character as the “best” of the emotions, telling Us that they “all” have “something they bring to the table.”

When it comes to how Poehler brings Joy to life on screen, the actress said that it was easy to jump back into the character’s shoes a second time. “You know what? I actually thought about the first movie to play Joy for the second,” she quipped to Us.

Directed by Pete Doctor, Inside Out hit theaters in 2015 and starred the voices of Poehler, Dias, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan. The first movie followed five of Riley’s emotions — Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness — as they helped Kaitlyn deal with her family’s relocation from the midwest to San Francisco. The sequel sees the addition of stars like Maya Hawke, Ayo Edebiri and Tony Hale, who play Anxiety, Envy and Fear, respectively, a second set of emotions that threaten to throw a wrench into the operation once Riley hits puberty.

While speaking to Yahoo UK earlier this month, Poehler — who is mom to kids Archie, 15, and Abel, 13, whom she shares with ex husband Will Arnett — said she is drawn to Pixar films like Inside Out because they take “high concepts and create visual landscapes that can help us communicate better and talk about stuff” like mental health.

“In the first one they managed to find a way to remind us that sadness is [OK], it’s OK to sit with sadness and just stay there, which is such a beautiful idea, and [in] the second one, anxiety shows up and gets everyone all bothered,” she explained. “So I think it’s going to be another version of that where you’re going to be able to talk to your younger self or your young kids about what anxiety does when it’s left unchecked, and in a funny, interesting visual way.”

Amy Poehler Is So Proud to Portray Joy in Disney s Inside Out 2 A Dream Come True

While Riley gets to have some of Hollywood’s favorite A-listers voice the feelings inside of her, Poehler’s Inside Out costar Ron Funches — who portrays Bloofy, a character from Riley’s favorite childhood TV show, in the films — told Us that he has his own list of stars he’d want working as his inner monologue.

“Anger would be Danny DeVito. That’s good casting, right?” he joked. “And then sadness would probably be that guy from The Office [Kevin, played by Brian Baumgartner], who dropped the chili.”

He added, “Joy will be Lisa Kudrow or me. I’m also very joyful. I’d probably go with Lisa for that. And then Envy, if Lisa played Joy, [because] I’d probably play Envy because I’d be envious of her.”

No matter who is playing them, Funches, 41, emphasized that every emotion is “equally valuable” — which is something he’ll be able to teach his two sons through the lens of these films.

“It’s just a beautiful thing, that it’s something that I can watch with my older son, Malcolm, now, and then I could watch with my younger son as he gets older,” he told Us. “And if they have kids, as you know, I could watch it with my grandchildren. And I think that’s something that you can’t buy.”

Inside Out 2 hits theaters on Friday, June 14.

With reporting by Lanae Brody

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