In episode #14, Sandy Lo interviews star of Dreamworks’ animated film Abominable, Tenzing Norgay Trainor. The actor discusses his favorite scene from the movie, the challenges of voice acting, and college plans. Abominable is now available on digital and coming December 17th to DVD with bonus features.
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Tenzing Norgay Trainor Interview Transcript
Thank you for speaking with me today.
Oh, of course. Thank you for having me.
No problem. So tell us about Abominable and your character in the film.
Abominable is about a captured yeti that breaks out and finds his way onto our main character Yi’s roof, which is where we find the yeti. Me being Jin, Albert [Tsai] who plays Peng, and Chloe [Bennet] plays Yi. It’s just our adventure trying to get the yeti home all while being chased by two evil villains. My character is Jin. I am Peng’s older cousin and Yi’s neighbor and childhood friend. My character’s very stubborn. He’s kind of the pretty boy and he kind of stumbles across the yeti and just un-voluntarily goes on this journey with them across China.
Yeah, he’s definitely a pretty boy with his new shoes.
Absolutely, but that changes by the end.
Yes, his character grows throughout the film.
What was your favorite scene in the movie?
I just loved being part of the whole process. It was so cool. My first animated movie so I’ve never done anything like it. But my favorite sequence was probably the one where me and Chloe–Chloe is Yi–are in the bamboo forest and we kind of have this to heart conversation. And yeah, that was so cool. Most of the time I would record by myself in the booth, but I actually got to do that with her in the booth so it was a really cool experience.
That’s awesome. What would you say is the hardest part of being a voice actor versus being in a live-action film?
You know, that’s funny because a lot of people say animation and being a voice actor must be so easy. You get to show up in your pajamas and bla bla bla. But it’s kind of the opposite. It’s really hard because I’m in the booth by myself and I have to build up all of this emotion and act like I’m talking to people when I’m really just all by myself. I always say it’s really hard to picture looking at a giant yeti on a boat with canola field waves while actually just staring at a beige wall.
Right. I can see how that would be difficult. [laughs]
A little bit.
Well, you did a great job and you got nominated for an Annie Award for voice acting.
Yeah, it’s crazy. Very unexpected, but yes, so many people to thank. I can’t take all of the credit.
Well, you can take some of it at least. [laughs] What do you think the message of Abominable is?
I think there’s a lot of messages. The importance of family is a big one. So is perseverance and to never give up, which we show a lot of because we all come across these obstacles on our journey and we prove by the end of the movie that no matter how hard you try, you can get there. No dream is too big.
Awesome, yeah, definitely an important message. What role can we see you in next?
Right now, I don’t really have anything right now. I’m trying to focus on school and my college applications. I’m still acting at the same time. I have an episode of “American Housewives” coming out. It should be coming out in February, but other than that, we’ll see.
What colleges are you looking at?
Mainly in California because I want to stay acting so USC, UCLA, Chapman University, San Diego. All of those schools.
Best of luck with that.
Where can we find you online?
Well, thank you so much and best of luck with everything.
Thank you so much.
Have a great day.
More About Abominable
DreamWorks Animation and Pearl Studio’s co-production ABOMINABLE is a magical action-packed adventure for the whole family; with a 95% Audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, critics are calling this new animated classic “pure magic” (Dave Morales, Fox TV Houston). Yi, Everest and the gang come home just in time for the holidays on Digital December 3, 2019 and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray™, DVD and On Demand December 17, 2019 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Boasting the biggest opening for an original animated film this year, ABOMINABLE is “an epic, colorful journey home. Beautiful and exhilarating to behold” (Glenn Kenny, The New York Times). The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital versions feature tons of fun bonus content including 2 original shorts, deleted scenes, and activities for the entire family to enjoy.
This magical journey is brought to life with the voice talents of Chloe Bennet (“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D”), Golden Globe® and Emmy® Award winner Sarah Paulson (“American Horror Story”), Eddie Izzard (Cars 2), Tenzing Norgay Trainor (“Liv and Maddie”), Albert Tsai (“Fresh Off the Boat”), Tsai Chin (The Joy Luck Club) and Michelle Wong (“Scandal”). It is written and directed by Jill Culton (Open Season, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc.) and co-directed by Todd Wilderman (Open Season 2). The film is produced by Suzanne Buirgy and Peilin Chou.
From the studio that brought you How to Train Your Dragon, this heartwarming and humorous story follows teenage Yi (Bennet) as she encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in China, she and her mischievous friends, Jin (Trainor) and Peng (Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But the trio of friends will have to stay one-step ahead of Burnish (Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Paulson) to help Everest get home. Heartwarming and a visual masterpiece, “ABOMINABLE is a movie for all ages with laughter and life lessons and a little bit of wonder thrown in” (Allison Rose, Flick Direct).