It was a treat to sit down with a handful of writers to talk with THE Annie Potts. When we were told we’d get an exclusive Toy Story 4 interview with Annie Potts, voice of Bo Peep, there was such excitement in the room.
Toy Story 4 Interview with Annie Potts
Bo Peep makes her return in Toy Story 4, after a hiatus of sorts in Toy Story 3. In the last installment of the franchise, we learned that Bo was gone, and huge Toy Story fans were distraught.
After the full Toy Story 4 press conference, we sat down with Annie to find what Bo has been up to, and what it was like to voice this evolved version of a beloved character.
The Revelation of A New Bo Peep
When Amanda of Crazy Amanda Reacts asked Annie how she felt when she read the script, Annie let us know that she didn’t put together the importance of Bo in this story until half a year in.
“It was a revelation each time I came back in (to record). And not really until about 6 months ago, I started to understand how big the role was, because (of) the piecemeal fashion in which we had built it.
Sometimes there would be 6 months lag time before I came back again, and sometimes I would forget. I’ve been working on this for over 4 years, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I saw it. I was sort of knocked out when I saw what they had created.”
Team Bo Made It Happen
Annie shared with her that Bo Peep had a whole team involved in her new and improved look, feel, and personality. We’d heard the same from Keanu Reeves, when he shared that Duke Caboom’s team was made up of very proud and talented Canadians.
Annie was introduced to “Team Bo” and loved the premise behind their dedication, and their attention to every little detail.
“There was a whole team of people called Team Bo, and they were in touch of defining everything about her.
How she might move, how she would move her eyes, what she would think. Everything about this is so carefully considered. I mean, that’s why they’re masterpieces. (With) that kind of care and consideration, it would be nice to take complete credit for who she is, but I’m so thrilled to just have been her voice.”
A Strong Independent Toy
Annie was asked if the message she’d like the audience to understand from this evolved Bo is that she’s a strong independent woman (or toy). She shared something very enlightening:
“I have the privilege of presenting those qualities that are so admirable and inspiring. She’s been knocked around quite a bit, and she’s just kept on going and in a cheerful, inventive way.
No one is going to screw with her. She’s figured out a way to make it happen. I think it’s fantastic for young women and young boys to see this.”
An Early Look At The New Bo Peep
I was pretty pleased to see that Bo Peep had a new look in Toy Story 4, including her porcelain face. We were curious if Annie was able to see this updated look early on in the process of creating the film, and she excitedly said yes.
“Oh, I thought it was great. I mean, she’d had some limitations before being a lamp. Once they got her off the base, all bets were off.
As (Director) Josh (Cooley) was saying, they did all these tests, seeing what porcelain looked like when it broke, filming that, then trying to recreate that with their computer magic. I was very pleased.
She’s very sassy; she ripped off her skirt, and uses it as a cape. Even though this isn’t a superhero movie, her super powers are her heart and her courage.”
All The Bo Peeps At Halloween
We can only guess how many thousands of Bo Peep costumes we’ll see this upcoming Halloween, so we wanted to know how Annie feels about inspiring so many kids to be their very own Bo Peep.
“At the earlier screening (that day), there was a little girl there who had on a Bo Peep outfit and I hadn’t seen one, except on the Bo who walks around the (Disney) parks. But of course, it’s thrilling.
I can’t hardly wait until Halloween to see all the little girls, because I think she’s very relatable. She’s feminine, but nobody’s fool. I think little girls are empowered by that, the world is moving that way, and I think Bo gives it a nice shove in that direction.”
Hellos, Goodbyes, and Generations To Come
In the press conference, Annie commented about how these Toy Story films give us a chance to say goodbyes, and she feels like she’s been saying a lot of goodbyes in this part of her life.
We wanted to know what it was like when she officially said hello to being part of the Toy Story franchise, almost 25 years ago. She shared the details of that “hello” and how Bo will help her say hello to generations to come.
“25 years ago? Where was I? I had a little one and I was about to give birth at the premiere of the first (Toy Story). So, I clock everything by my children. So I was saying hello to a lot of new people at that time.
Of course now they’re grown ups, and a lot of stuff has happened with them always in the foreground. My oldest son is now married and I think they’ll be starting a family soon.
It makes me feel so good to think in the not too distant future, maybe my Granddaughter will be holding a doll whose string she can always pull and my voice will be there with her.”
And just like that, Annie Potts made a room full of women journalists cry. What a legacy to leave for her children and her children’s children.
It was such a pleasure spend some time with Annie, and here her views about the Bo Peep we’ve loved for 24 years.