We caught up with Andy Samberg, who reprises the voice of Johnny in Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation.
The third instalment in the animated monster family franchise, Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation sees Johnny and Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez), who are now married with kids, leaving the comfort zone of the hotel to join Drac’s Pack on a luxury monster cruise.
The dream vacation quickly turns into a nightmare, however, when Mavis discovers that Drac (Adam Sandler) has fallen for the ship’s captain, Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), who could pose a threat to monsterkind.
As well as a new setting and vacation theme, it’s no longer Halloween, but Andy Samberg promises that the key elements of the previous movies are all present and correct in Hotel Transylvania 3.
“The first two certainly struck a chord with kids and families who enjoyed them, so the goal was to deliver on that promise once again,” he tells STACK.
Samberg also notes that the humour hasn’t changed in order to better appeal to a millennial audience.
“I think there’s basic things in movies that kids just enjoy which has nothing to do with the era – maybe the pace gets a little faster as each generation gets inundated with more and more TV and movies.I think kids get sarcasm more from a younger age. In this post-SpongeBob era, where things really starting becoming manic and rapid-fire, they can stick with a faster pace.”
With kids of their own now, and entering the third phase of their relationship, Samberg says that it’s all smooth sailing for Johnny and Mavis.
“I think they’re trying to enjoy their vacation time and just trying to help Drac along with his personal life. That’s the main focus on this ‘Monster Cruise’.”
It may be a monster vacation, but the movie reflects what we humans have all experienced when embarking on a family holiday – it can be both a blessing and a curse. As a member of the comedy music group The Lonely Island, Samberg can relate.
“It’s like when I go on tour with my band, and you get jammed into a small space together, you have to try and stay out of each other’s way a little bit, emotionally, and be thoughtful and stuff like that. But with families – it’s all out the window.”
When it comes to voicing an animated character, Samberg says that performing in a sound booth rather than on-camera can be a liberating experience for an actor.
“It’s freeing in a way because you don’t care about what you look like and you‘re also not worried that you‘re going to be judged on the acting as much, because audiences are going to be looking at a different person when they watch the movie. So when the director asks you to push it further and take it bigger and less nuanced, it’s a safer environment to do that.”
That may be the case, but does he find the temptation to make adult jokes when working on a family film difficult to resist?
“They cut them out . . . But you have to do them to get them out of your system when you’re recording, but you know that they won’t use them.”
Having voiced Johnny three times now, Samberg says he’d be happy to do it again should a fourth film in the franchise come along.
“I would certainly never go on the record saying that I don’t want to do something,” he laughs.