Awkwafina on her Migration role: British pigeons are ‘more polite’ than those in New York | Ents & Arts News

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American actress and rapper Awkwafina says British pigeons are “more polite” than their New York counterparts, because they walk slower.

The 35-year-old star voices Chump, the scrappy leader of a New York City pigeon gang, in animated movie Migration.

Pic: Illumination Entertainment/Universal Studios
Image:
Chump. Pic: Illumination Entertainment/Universal Studios

From the makers of Despicable Me, Minions, and The Secret Life Of Pets, it tells the story of a Mallard family who go on a family adventure to Jamaica.

Like her character Chump, Awkwafina – who is 5′ 1″ tall – tells Sky News she has “a big, big personality, but is very small” adding, “and she’s a real New Yorker. So, I feel like that’s definitely something I identify with.”

Her prep for the role was somewhat organic: “My drama study on pigeons is just growing up in New York and constantly just almost having one just fly into my mouth.”

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She’s had direct interaction with our British pigeon counterparts too: “I’ve had some interactions. I feel like they’re more polite. They still walk fast, but not that fast, you know what I mean?”

Her Migration co-star Keegan Michael-Key, who plays homesick Jamaican parrot Delroy, jokes: “They get out of the way quicker.”

Like many New Yorkers Awkwafina admits she isn’t too keen on the birds, which are often categorised as pests, adding: “They’re gritty, they’re one of the city. So, I feel like that’s that was my study. Just living in New York.”

Pic: Illumination Entertainment/Universal Studios
Image:
Pic: Illumination Entertainment/Universal Studios

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Banks, says she and Kumail Nanjiani, who play Pam and Mack Mallard, “did a lot of flapping while recording”.

Banks adds: “You have to put the physicality into it when you’re flying around.”

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Despite the attraction of not having to get make-up or costume for voice acting, Banks says she’d never want to do voice work alone.

“I like the voice work. It’s really fun. It’s really easy. But there’s an element missing, which is the other people.”

Pic: Illumination Entertainment/Universal Studios
Image:
Pic: Illumination Entertainment/Universal Studios

And she says her kids and husband will definitely see her own character reflected in her mummy-duck portrayal.

“My tone of voice in this movie comes directly from my parenting style, which is a lot like, you stay as calm as possible while moving things along until the point at which we actually need to do something.”

Also starring Danny DeVito, who plays Uncle Dan – it’s the unusual thing about animated movies that the cast often don’t meet each other until after filming, when promoting the movie.

Despite not meeting him on set, Awkwafina – a self-professed DeVito fan – has a plan to meet her idol.

“I love Danny DeVito. He’s the best. I’m planning [a wrap party] just for that reason.

Migration is in UK cinemas now.

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