'Home': Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Jim Parsons Dazzle at Los Angeles Premiere
Fox and DreamWorks Animation's movie, about an alien and the adventurous girl he befriends, opens March 27.
The purple carpet was rolled out in Westwood on Sunday for the L.A. premiere of 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation's Home, a movie about an alien and the adventurous girl he befriends starring Jim Parsons, Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez.
The movie centers on Oh (Parsons), a misfit from a race of aliens known as the Boov who finds himself on the run from his own people after making a huge mistake. After striking an unlikely friendship with Tip (Rihanna), he helps her look for her mother (Lopez) as he learns that making errors is part of being human. Steve Martin voices the Boovs' leader.
Rihanna arrived fashionably late to the event as she posed for photographers while pushing a baby buggy meant to look like the car that her character drives in the film — which Oh has turned into a vehicle that hovers.
On the carpet, Lopez admitted she was she "emotional" while performing her voice work given that she was playing a mom who had lost her daughter.
"[There was] lots of crying and screaming and desperation," she said. "It was intense."
She also told The Hollywood Reporter that she hopes young moviegoers take away an important message: "At the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you are in the world, that when you're with the people that you love, you're home."
For his part, Parsons told THR he was "nervous" taking on his first voice role in an animated project.
"When I saw a drawing of this little character, I wanted to do it very badly, but I was actually nervous because I thought, I don't know, there was something so relatable and identifiable about him that I thought, 'Ooh, I bet somebody with a better voice should do this.' But luckily, they wanted me."
He ended up having a great time voicing Oh.
"The director [Tim Johnson] was so encouraging about the innocence and enthusiasm of this little guy, and once I started to tap into that, it really started to take off for me, and it was a place I felt very comfortable working from, and the script just kept that train rolling," he said. "It was one of the most fun things I've ever had the chance to do as an actor."
Johnson said he actually read the book from which the movie was adapted, Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smekday, seven years ago with his sons.
"I read a few chapters and tucked them in and cheated on them and finished the book at two in the morning. I just loved these characters and wanted to bring them to an animated screen," he said, adding that he's a huge fan of science fiction. "But a lot of science fiction looks the same, and so my rule was no laser beams and silly technology, so it was fun to envision the Boov, who use bubbles to fly around, and the Gorg, who [use] these triangular-shaped spaceships, and we just had a ball designing the shape, language and color of the film."
Johnson added that he found his dream cast and praised Parson and Rihanna, also making her animation debut.
"As we were trying to find a voice from the Caribbean, somebody said, 'Well, Rihanna is from the Caribbean,' and we all laughed: 'Well, she'd never do it,'" he said. "But she loves animation, and so right away she wanted to voice Tip. And when we approached Jim to voice our little alien, he'd never done an animated film, but he's such an adventurous actor he wanted to try it. They're such powerful, emotional, funny performers in the movie."
Among the other notables at the screening were DWA chief Jeffrey Katzenberg; Viola Davis; Octavia Spencer, who gamely took photos with numerous fans lined up outside the Regency Village Theater; Home producers Mireille Soria and Suzanne Buirgy; voice actors Matt Jones and Brian Stepanek; Beau Casper Smart, who performed the motion capture for the film; Tia Mowry; and Garcelle Beauvais.
Home, which hits theaters March 27, was adapted by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember. Christopher Jenkins also produced.