The world fell in love with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” breakout star BB-8 this weekend, but few realized who was responsible for the little droid’s “voice."
There were actually two stars who consulted on the project; comedians Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz. It took hawk-eyed reporter Drew McWeeny over at Hit Fix to catch their names listed under “vocal consultants” in the credits, and to bring the story to light.
McWeeny reached out to Hader to find out what the job entailed. Hader replied, "JJ [Abrams] f**king around with this sound effects app on his iPad that was attached to a talk box operated by me. It looked ridiculous but it made BB-8's voice. At first I tried doing a voice, but we all agreed it sounded too human."
Schwartz, best known as Jean-Ralphio on “Parks and Rec,” told GQ all about the experience. “It was never going to be just me talking. It was always getting someone who could translate the droid ‘voice’ and give it personality. They got Bill Hader to start doing it as well, ’cause Bill’s incredible and has that same cadence of being funny and warm, but he and I didn’t overlap in the edit studio.”
He added, “In the end, I don’t even know if anything we did is in the movie! I’m not sure what the final process was, but ultimately [J.J.] got to try everything he wanted to. And actually seeing the scenes before anybody else—it was so exciting! It was a dream come true. It was so hard not to tell people. And I didn’t.”
Ben said he stayed mum until someone else broke the news. “I didn’t tell anybody! Someone announced it online, and I retweeted it. I knew that I was in the credits, so people who are geeky like me who watch every moment of the credits would see it.”
For more about Ben’s experience working on the film, visit GQ.com.