Thomas Hayden Church on Over The Hedge and Spider-Man 3

I had the chance to talk with Thomas Hayden Church about his experiences voicing “The Verminator” in the new Dreamworks film “Over the Hedge”.

You got your start doing voice work but it seems as if only now that you are really getting the chance to showcase your vocal abilities in Hollywood. How did this come about?

Thomas: It really started with the success of “Sideways.” The film was highly regarded and it reminded people that I have a distinctive voice and character which tends to work well with voice work.

As part of a large ensemble of voice talent, how much recording did you do if any with the rest of the cast?

Thomas: It was pretty much recorded individually. Some of it was recorded in L.A. but also near San Antonio where I live. Due to the logistics involved, they were able to accommodate me as far as recording locales.

How much input did you have into the character, and were you shown animation or artwork prior, so you could develop your character?

Thomas: I was approached about a year ago and was shown some animation panels. I was able to see his look, wardrobe, features, as well as read a synopsis. I was also sent some scenes which allowed me to build the character.

How much adlibbing or input did you have into your lines?

Thomas: While I wasn’t chained to the dialogue, I was very comfortable with it. Iit is always my desire to honor the writers craft because they spent countless hours developing the words. I figure it’s my job to do what I can to get a clean take and to be focused. It was a very accommodating process and worked very well.

In some of your earlier work such as “Wings” and “Ned and Stacy” you have shown a real knack for quirky characters that are also very easy to relate to. In many ways “The Verminator” is a return to this.

Thomas: Yes, very much so. You know, while I was in Seattle, it was so nice that many of the media mentioned “Ned and Stacy!” It was a show I was very proud of because compared to “Wings” it was a hip and more polished show that appealed to, I think, a more discerning audience.

Looking back, what are some of your favorite moments of helping create the film?

Thomas: I liked what the cast did, and how well they worked with their characters. I especially liked what Nick (Nolte)and Steve (Carrell) did. They were not only perfect they were hilarious!

Thanks again to Mr. Church, THA and Dreamworks for arranging the interview.