You love her as Emma Pillsbury on “Glee”, now get ready to see Jayma Mays get down with a horde of little blue men.. and women (Yes, she likes to shake it up). I had the chance to chat to the very lovely Ms Mays about her new film – one in which she sadly doesn’t get to sing.
So Jayma, you had actors on set voicing the Smurfs. Make it easier for you?
That helped me a lot. We had two, a lovely girl and guy that did different voices for the characters. It’s helpful when you’re looking at a bunch of stickers and you don’t know which sticker belongs to whom. Even if the lines are being read you’re not sure if that’s Grumpy, “who is that who’s speaking to me?” It helped put you in the right mindset, better than an old ninety-year-old man reading behind you that you don’t know.
Did you do much improvising?
I always think it’s harder to do that when there are six Smurfs in the scene and they’re all over the place. They have the areas that they have to be for that part so it’s harder to improvise when you have all that going on because your brain is so focused on that sometimes just to remember where they are and remember the lines as they are is just kind of good enough.
Did you change your performance for 3D?
I like to do this a lot [sticking out hand] I didn’t really think about it for the most part. I had a big pregnant belly so I tried not to face that right at the camera.
So being pregnant, I guess there was no ‘physical’ comedy on your part?
No, no, that probably wouldn’t be right. No, I’m very — Grace for me is a very grounded role, probably more so than any other character that I’ve done before. She’s got her head on straight and that typically isn’t me. So yeah, I’m a little bit less on the physical side of things in this film.
Did you and your big pregnant belly remember The Smurfs from TV?
I had to watch it, my mother was a big fans of the Smurfs so she always made me watch it on Saturday mornings, but despite my mother I said since the age of five that Gargamel was my favorite. Just to get back at her.
Was it weird watching the finished film – with all the CGI and that?
It’s nice to see it brought to life. Yeah, I haven’t seen the whole film put together but what I have seen, yeah it was really exciting to see something finally there. They could have put anything in there, if they wanted. It could’ve been a horror film for all I know.
It so isn’t! They’re gorgeous!
They really are beautiful little Smurfs. They’re so cuddly and I’m in love.
There’s a real grounded story in the film, and that’s the one of you and onscreen partner Neil Patrick Harris. It’s almost an adult story mixed in with the family film.
I think it’s a really nice story for the two of them. We’re both about to become parents and I think Neil’s character, Patrick, which gets so confusing between Neil Patrick and Patrick. Patrick, Patrick. He’s more apprehensive about becoming a father, nervous about what chaos that might bring into his world. He has things just so and his career path is just so. It’s nice that these creatures come into their world. Even though they’re little blue men, it’s a trial run at being parents and seeing what it’s like having little creatures running around the house. I think it’s a good thing for Grace because she’s testing out her mothering abilities and seeing how that works. So it’s a lovely, sweet story between the two of them and growing up to become parents.
You had fun with it?
We had a lot of fun together. We wanted to have a 1950’s couples banter going on and we were able to do that some and have fun with that and create good chemistry. But he was wonderful to work with.