Hiro Hamada isn’t your average teenager. And neither is Ryan Potter, who provides the voice for the boy genius in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Big Hero 6 (in theaters Friday, November 7). The 19-year-old actor has been on a whirlwind tour to promote the film, traveling just about everywhere between Hollywood, California, and Tokyo, Japan.
D23 was lucky enough to sit down with Ryan and talk to him about bringing Hiro to life in the film. Oh, and we had to sneak in a question about his favorite Disney “thing,” too! Check out the Q&A below to see what this up-and-coming star had to say.
D23.com: What was it like to voice Hiro Hamada?
Ryan Potter (RP): Surprisingly enough, I didn’t have to do anything special to voice Hiro. I just walked right in and lent my voice; it worked out pretty perfectly. I’d say Hiro may seem like your average teenager, but his brain ends up getting him into a lot of trouble. I related to him on so many levels and that’s what made the job easy and fun.
D23.com: What about immersing yourself in Big Hero 6‘s world of science and technology? Were you ever interested in the subjects as a kid?
RP: Growing up, anything futuristic, tech, robots and Super Heroes were my thing. And San Fransokyo just happened to be a city that’s a blend of the place I grew up in, Tokyo, Japan, and a city I visited every holiday season, San Francisco, California. There are no two other cities that would have been more perfect for Hiro to live in.
D23.com: Is Big Hero 6 your first Disney project?
RP: It is, and I think it’s kind of like jumping into the pool. I’m not wading around at all. And it’s a Walt Disney Animation Studios film, so I’m very excited! To put it simply, the team knows what they’re doing. It’s a lot of fun to play in their world.
D23.com: What are we going to love about the film?
RP: I think every single audience member can relate to one of the characters in one way or another, whether it’s a personality or their look. I hope everyone can walk out of the theater and say, “Hey! I saw a little bit of myself in one of those characters.” That’s what I love so much. It’s just such a diverse cast.
D23.com: Last question! What is your favorite Disney “thing”?
RP: I spent my first birthday at Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland is my absolute favorite Disney “thing.” I actually haven’t been to Walt Disney World yet!