John Leguizamo likes to keep himself occupied and has done a good job of that since starting out as a standup comedian on the NYC circuit in the 1980s. At 49, the Colombian-born entertainer is not that easy to pin down, with a scattered résumé. One thing the fast-talking Leguizamo has always been a master of is voices. His latest role is Alex, a prehistoric bird in Walking with Dinosaurs, in theaters Friday. Leguizamo, who is also the narrator, talked to us from the Four Seasons Hotel Miami.
On how he prepared for the role: “When I first heard about the script, I thought, “Oh great, I get to play a really powerful T-Rex,” so I started drinking whiskey and smoking to get my voice really deep. But then I had to change my game. With this type bird, an Alexornis, we tried a Spanish voice, like just off the boat, then something more ghetto. We settled on kind of a Ricardo Montalban thing.”
On how it’s different than “Jurassic Park:” It’s really educational, so you’ll be entertained and moved at the same time. The animation is amazing because they use live-action backgrounds and really captured the physicality of the dinosaurs. Every time a new dinosaur is introduced, they put all the facts about it up on the screen: whether it was a herbivore or carnivore, how much they weighed, how tall, how many teeth.
His plans when he’s in Miami: I’ve got some family and friends here. I gotta go to Indomania, that’s my favorite.