Five questions with … Michael J. Fox

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
July 26, 2002

“Stuart Little 2” tackled the big boys at the box office and almost beat “Road to Perdition” for the No. 1 spot last weekend. Michael J. Fox–who voices the congenial little mouse who knows how to drive, fly and play soccer–called from New York Thursday to fill GLARE in on the film and his co-stars.

Q. Do you accept the responsibility that a lot of little kids won’t let their parents kill mice now because of how cute Stuart is?
A. Yes, it’s a little weird. When we did the first movie, the [filmmakers] donated some money for Parkinson’s research and there was this shot of this plush, mascoty Stuart mouse guy handing me a check and I’m thinking, “Some mice are probably going to die [for research] from this. There’s something weird about that.” I probably shouldn’t mention that.

Q. Jonathan Lipnicki plays Stuart’s older human brother. Do you know how much his head weighs?
A. No, but probably a lot more than when [he was in “Jerry Maguire”]. I saw him the other day and he’s a big kid. He’s got this punk look thing going now.

Q. What’s the best thing about doing children’s films?
A. Any time a children’s movie is under 90 minutes I’m happy. Ours is like 77 minutes. That’s OK by me.

Q. Steve Zahn voices one of the cats in the movie. Have you noticed that he looks a lot like you in real life?
A. He does. Penny Marshall told me that. She told me she kept calling him “Michael” when she made “Riding in Cars with Boys.” We’ve actually spent some time together and he’s a bigger, economy-size version of me.

Q. Melanie Griffith does the voice of Stuart’s love interest. Did you ever get creeped out that even though she’s a grown woman, she sounds so much like a little kid?
A. I was jealous! I have kind of a grumbly tenor and it sounds really raspy so I’m always drinking hot water with lemon and honey to loosen the throat when I do my sessions. I did a couple sessions with Melanie and she was perfect from the beginning. She sounds like Charlie Brown’s little sister, Sally. If you listen to both their voices, they’re almost identical.

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