Nemo's Voice Is Different In 'Finding Dory' Because The Original Clownfish Is All Grown Up
In real life, it's been over a decade since Pixar and Disney introduced audiences to the nervous, funny, and scary characters at the center of the aquatic animated feature Finding Nemo. But in the movie's sequel Finding Dory , not much time has passed. Marlin's free-spirited son Nemo is still a kid in the new movie, which opens in theaters on June 17. (And it's a good thing Pixar isn't dealing in real time here. Clownfish have a max lifespan of about ten years. Sorry, but that's science.) While a fare few voice actors are reprising their Finding Nemo roles in Finding Dory, the minimal time lapse precludes some talent from returning. Nemo's voice is played by a different actor in Finding Dory, since human children do tend to grow up over the course of 13 years.
It's a different story with animated properties like The Simpsons or Bob's Burgers. Those shows cast adult actors to play kids, making it possible for actress Yeardley Smith to voice perpetual elementary schooler Lisa Simpson for 27 years. But for Nemo, Pixar went with an authentically youthful voice. And if you're a fan of Orange Is The New Black creator Jenji Kohan's body of work, it's one that should be familiar to you. Or at least, a slightly older version of it.
In Finding Nemo, Nemo is played by child actor Alexander Gould who went on to play Nancy Botwin's younger son Shane in the Showtime series Weeds. That's correct: the headstrong little clownfish who got himself into a ocean of trouble in the Disney classic went on to be the precocious and morbid child of a suburban mom turned drug kingpin. Gould played his role on that dark comedy for eight seasons. The actor stepped back from the industry after Weeds; he's currently attending Clark University. In 2012, Gould told Entertainment Weekly that he occasionally watches Finding Nemo with friends. "It’s such a great movie," he said. "I could see it millions of times and it wouldn’t get boring." Alexander Gould may have given up Nemo, but he does make a cameo in Finding Dory. IMDB has him credited as "Passenger Carl."
Your new Nemo is Hayden Rolence. Last year, the Chicago Tribune reported that the Aurora, Illinois sixth-grader had won the role at the age of nine, but that he and his family were sworn to secrecy for two years. The paper stated that Rolence's school administrators wouldn't respond to media outreach "at the request of Hayden's parents, who are trying to have a normal middle school experience for their son and preferred to remain low-key about his Disney Pixar adventure."
But the release of Finding Dory coming up so soon, "low-key" is no longer an option. Rolence and Gould met up on the blue carpet for the movie's world premiere and presumably had a lot of stories to swap about bringing such a beloved character to life. Rolence has been documenting his journey with the film on his Twitter account, where his bio reads, "Just A Kid." Hayden Rolence is just a kid, and a major part of a highly anticipated Disney release.
Images: Walt Disney Studios; Giphy