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Daryl Sabara Gives Voice to 'Hero Boy' in "The Polar Express"

Interview from the LA Premiere of "The Polar Express"


"Spy Kids" star Daryl Sabara plays an important part in "The Polar Express," a non-traditionally animated holiday film written and directed by Robert Zemeckis. Based on Chris Van Allsburg's best-selling Christmas story, "The Polar Express" is the tale of a young boy who is beginning to question the existence of Santa Claus.

Catching up with Daryl Sabara at the Los Angeles Premiere of "The Polar Express," I had the chance to find out how he performed his part in "The Polar Express" and what else he's been busy working on since the end of the "Spy Kids" franchise.


How are you involved in "The Polar Express?"
In this film, I got to replicate Tom Hanks - his performance as Hero Boy. And so basically what I did was I went into a sound studio and I got to watch his performance, and I got to replicate it with my voice.

So you watched his performance and picked up how the character should sound?
I just watched what he did in his performance and how he said the words. Basically, I just replicated it.

Was it a little weird watching Tom Hanks, this grown man, perform the role of a little boy?
You just have to have an imagination for these things. I have a lot of imagination.

Were you familiar with “The Polar Express” book before working on the movie?
I read the book every year.

What makes the book so special?
It’s just the feeling. When you read the book you get this feeling about Christmas and the Christmas spirit. I still believe in Santa Claus. I hope you do. You do, right?

Of course, and the Easter Bunny. What else are you working on?
Right now I’m working on an interactive DVD called Choose Your Own Adventure. And I’m also doing an independent film called “Lucky 13.” Scott Marshall directed it – Garry Marshall’s son. It’s about a boy going through his Bar Mitzvah. Garry’s in it, Doris Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Jami Gertz, Jeremy Piven… My role is the boy going through his Bar Mitzvah. I get the hectic role (laughing).

What’s it like being on a set with Garry and Scott Marshall?
It’s like a big Italian family. There’s lots of food. I had to watch myself (laughing). And just to get to see everybody every day. And Garry would give everybody a hug. And it was just such a warm set.

Additional Interviews from the Premiere of "The Polar Express:"
Nona Gaye / Peter Scolari / Tom Hanks & Robert Zemeckis / Producer Steve Starkey

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