Seth Green (‘Mars Needs Moms’) interview

Seth Green – voice of Chris on Family Guy and executive producer of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken – stars in Disney’s new animated movie Mars Needs Moms, produced by the team behind Disney’s A Christmas Carol and The Polar Express.

Take out the trash, eat your broccoli… who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she’s nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young.

Released in in UK cinemas in Disney Digital 3D and 2D on Friday 8th April, Mars Needs Moms follows Milo’s quest to save his mom – a wild adventure that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling).

Who do you portray in Mars Needs Moms?

“I play Milo, a nine-year-old boy whose mother gets abducted by aliens. He’s a very typical nine-year-old with very few concerns in life beyond the basics. He doesn’t want to eat his vegetables, doesn’t like being told what to do – he just wants to play and have a good time.

“He doesn’t really understand how much he needs his parents until his mom is stolen from him by Martians. Then he spends the rest of the movie trying to rescue her.”

Was it challenging playing a nine-year-old?

“Playing a nine year-old is really challenging in a lot of ways. As you mature, you naturally evolve as a person and there are affectations that you acquire that you don’t even realize – you project the image that you want people to see.

“Kids, on the other hand, have no filters. They just don’t care. That was the fun thing about playing Milo; it was really liberating.”

What does Milo say to his mom that upsets her?

“It’s horrible. Milo says something that a lot of kids probably say: “My life would be so much better without you.” As a kid you imagine that if you didn’t have this tyrannical force dictating your every move, your life might be more free and you could just spend time eating candy, sitting directly in front of the television and playing all hours of the night.

“You never really realize as a kid just how important your parents are and just how undeniable the love and bond between you is.”

Why does Mars need moms?

“Mars has no ability to raise their kids. What’s most important under The Supervisor’s administration is discipline. They’ve given up on the concepts of love and family and nurturing, so they don’t really understand how to raise kids.

“They’ve devised a process by which they can take a mom from Earth and extract her child-rearing abilities and implant that into all of these nanny-bots that then raise the hatchlings.”

How does Milo learn that his mom’s been taken?

“Milo goes to apologize to this mother knowing that he upset her deeply. But when he finds her she is being taken by Martians; he winds up running right up to a rocket ship that’s about to take off and banging on it, screaming: “Let my mom go! Let my mom go!”

“He gets caught up in one of the landing struts that pulls him into the ship and the next thing you know he’s being taken to Mars too. When he gets there they realize they’ve got a stowaway and throw him in jail until he’s rescued by Gribble.”

Can you describe Gribble’s lair?

“Gribble’s lair is so spectacular. It is just a collection of trash, machines, wires and all sorts of things that Gribble has culled from the trash caverns of Mars and turned into the ultimate treehouse. Gribble is technologically advanced and he’s reverse-engineered all this Martian technology.

“He’s figured out how to build a translator so he can understand what they’re saying. He has Martians as pets. Gribble is this guy who, if he dared to venture out, could rule the planet. But that’s not the kind of guy he is.”

Who is Ki?

“Ki is a renegade Martian who doesn’t agree with the philosophies of the Supervisor. She paints graffiti all over the place trying to bring color to an otherwise gray planet. She decides to go against the Supervisor and help Gribble and Milo rescue Mom.”

Who is the Supervisor?

“Supervisor is played by Mindy Sterling whom I’ve had the privilege of working with several times. She’s a really, really talented performer with seemingly limitless ability. She plays the Supervisor who is an almost Mussolini-esque dictator with unshakeable resolve. It’s a fun character, a great villain.”

What was it like working with writer/director Simon Wells?

“I love Simon Wells. He has such a comprehension of human behavior and storytelling. He and his wife Wendy wrote a really clever and powerful script. The fun thing about Simon is he is just game for anything. He’ll throw himself on the ground or climb up on something – he has no ego about demonstrating how to tell a story and he makes you feel so collaborative.”

And producer Bob Zemeckis?

“Bob Zemeckis is a hero – a pioneer in filmmaking. He has consistently made movies that are mind-blowing to me, everything from Back To The Future to Forrest Gump. Something as simple as Forrest Gump – a meandering tale that keeps you so emotionally connected, that’s expertise in filmmaking. I love Bob Zemeckis. It is very exciting to be around his world and get to shake his hand and know that he knows my name.”

Joan Cusack?

“I finally get to work with Joan Cusack. We get to do amazing material together. We only have a handful of scenes together, but we really got to set the tone. She’s a mom so this whole thing has been a very specific type of experience for her. Towards the end of the movie, Mom does this demonstration of motherly love that was a real challenge. But we did it, and I think it went really well. My mom’s going to cry.”

Dan Fogler?

“Dan Fogler plays Gribble. I actually met him a few years ago at Comic-Con where he did a movie called Balls Of Fury and I got to see a preview there. He gave a really incredible performance. Dan brings a ton to the mix. He’s shockingly flexible, dexterous, really agile and a good dancer, too. We had so much fun; he came to play. He’s a lot of fun to work with.”

Why should people see Mars Needs Moms?

“I’m excited to watch it with my nieces and nephews. It’s a movie that both kids and parents will be able to relate to. It’s a fun adventure for kids because the main character is a kid doing all sorts of cool adventure stuff that kids dream about doing. And for the parents, you are getting to watch this child succeed in an effort to save the parent.”