Thank you to Disney for inviting me to interview Annie Potts for the Toy Story 4 Press Junket. All opinions are my own.
For those of you closer to my age, you can probably remember Annie Potts as Iona in 1986’s blockbuster Pretty In Pink, or even 1984’s Ghostbusters. She was also a lead character, Mary Jo, in the popular TV show Designing Women. But we’re here to discuss her role as Bo Peep in the Toy Story franchise.
Annie Potts has had the role of Bo Peep since the first Toy Story hit theaters in 1995 so she’s perfected it. Bo Peep is a highlight in Toy Story 4 and she makes no bones about being strong, independent, and fearless.
A small group of us had the chance to sit down with Annie after the Toy Story 4 Press Conference last week. I have to tell you that she is the kindest person, upbeat, and has a gentle way about her. Always smiling and patient with any and all questions we had for her.
I mentioned in my press conference coverage that Annie never saw the full script while she was recording. She was “knocked out” when she saw how they created Bo Peep. Because of the way that it was done without the full script Annie didn’t realize until about six months ago how big her role actually was in Toy Story 4. I can tell you that Bo Peep is back and better than ever – she even brought along some new friends that she met on her journey since leaving Molly’s room.
Bo Peep like you’ve never seen her before
In addition to Annie Potts as the voice of Bo Peep, she says that there is a “whole team of people” who were in charge of creating and defining everything about the character. This team was in charge of “how she might move, how she would move her eyes, what she would think.” Annie says that everything about these movies and characters is so thought out and “carefully considered and that’s why they’re masterpieces.”
Annie saw Bo’s new look early on in the process and thought “it was great.”
“She’d had some limitations before being a lamp. Once they got her off the base, all bets were off. […] I was very pleased. She’s very sassy, ripped off her skirt, uses it as a cape. Even though this isn’t a Superhero Movie, her superpowers are her heart and her courage, you know.
And I think that’s the greatest Superpower of all.”
Bo Peep’s Bestie
Someone that Bo Peep found while she was exploring her independence is her sidekick, Giggle McDimples. That’s such a great name, right? The cutest sidekick ever and so tiny she fits on Bo Peep’s shoulder. When asked about the relationship between Bo Peep and Giggle McDimples, Annie calls them best friends. “It’s a metaphor for your bestie who’s always right there to hear the best and the worst of what’s going on with you.”
Giggle McDimples is played by Ally Maki.
How She Felt About Screening Toy Story 4
When asked how she felt to back playing Bo Peep in Toy Story 4, Annie Potts said that “it felt great and that they’re the most wonderful people to work for.”
Then she went on to explain what it was like when she was on her way to screen the film.
“All the way on the drive to the studio to screen the film, I was convinced that just prepare yourself. You’re gonna be the first Actor that completely screwed up a Pixar Movie. Just accept it now before you go in, that could be you. So I sort of watched through my fingers like ‘Ah!’ But I’m pretty sure I didn’t screw it up. I think they’re too good to have let that happen. But it’s a big responsibility.”
Spoiler! She didn’t screw up at all – she gave Bo Peep a voice. Strong and in charge, Bo Peep was fantastic in Toy Story 4.
How she may have missed the opportunity to be Bo Peep
Twenty-five years is a long time! 25 years ago, Annie Potts had a toddler, a teenager, and was doing a series. When her agent came to her and told her that they were looking ‘to do a voice in the first ever completely computer-animated feature-length film’ she said she was too busy and put the disc of short films in a drawer and forgot about it. Fast forward a few weeks and her agent wanted an update – she forgot about it, again.
They ended up sending multiple packages with multiple discs and she came home one night to find that her youngest son had opened one of the boxes, ‘he said, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy you got to come and he popped the disc and of course, he’d been watching them all day.’ She ended up watching like one and a half of the discs and said ‘Oh, I’m so sorry, Mommy’s got to go make a call.’ She called the agent and wanted to know if the offer was still there because she ‘would very much like to be a part of anything these people have to do.’
On getting the call to come back
Of course, she says what we’re all thinking: “When Pixar calls, you say Yes.”
About Toy Story 4
Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries. Directed by Josh Cooley (“Riley’s First Date?”), and produced by Mark Nielsen (associate producer “Inside Out”) and Jonas Rivera (“Inside Out,” “Up”), Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” ventures to U.S. theaters on June 21, 2019.
- Toy Story 4 Movie Review: Nostalgic and Heartwarming
- 10 Tidbits & Life Lessons I learned at the Toy Story 4 Press Conference
- To Infinity and Beyond! Toy Story 4 Plans Revealed
- Toy Story Land Family Adventures
- Teaser Trailer & Poster
- Teaser Trailer Reaction Video & Character Posters