Go behind the scenes at the arcade in Disney’s “Wreck-It Ralph,” now in theaters and 3-D . The film stars the characters from a fictional 1980s arcade game called Fix It Felix Jr. For 30 years, bad-guy Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) has wrecked buildings, while good-guy Felix has fixed them with his golden hammer. When Ralph decides to leave the game to become a hero, it’s up to Felix to bring him back.
We spoke with actor Jack McBrayer, (“30 Rock”) who voices Felix, about the movie, video games and his new cartoon project.
What’s it like to be the hero of your own video game, Fix It Felix, Jr.?
McBrayer: I never even expected to have a job like this, so I was happy with whatever role I was given. I loved the movie “Wreck It Ralph,” and the script and the fact that I get to play Felix Jr., from the game Fix It Felix Jr., and (my character) lives in the same world as John C. Reilly’s character, Ralph. It has been just a fantastic experience for me.
Growing up, did you play video games?
As a kid, we had an Atari 2600 — so I’m kind of dating myself — we had Pac-Man and we had Frogger and we had Burger Time, old-school stuff. I have to be honest, I’m not real familiar with the current games that look like real life.
Can you describe Felix and what he’s up to in the movie?
Felix is the ultimate good guy. And he loves his job and he loves fixing things that Ralph wrecks. He just takes pride in that. He finds a little bit of trouble when Ralph decides to take his own journey that kind of leaves Felix in a lurch because he doesn’t realize until too late that he can’t fix things if Ralph isn’t wrecking them. So he forgets how much he does rely on somebody like Wreck-It Ralph.
What do you like most or identify with most about Felix?
We are somewhat similar in that we are very eager to please. We both take pride in our work and don’t want to cause harm in the world — just want to make it OK. I think we both share a lot of those characteristics.
You got to work a little with John C. Reilly and Jane Lynch in the recording studio. How was that experience?
That was amazing. First of all, the entire cast is just so immensely talented. A lot of times, with voice-over work, it’s just you and a microphone in a studio. A couple times, we had a session where I did get to be in the same room as John C. Reilly and as Jane Lynch. For me, it’s more fun because you are goofing around with each other. The biggest challenge for me was just trying not to laugh and mess up some of the takes by just cracking up.
Felix falls for Jane Lynch’s character, Sergeant Calhoun, in the movie. What do you think attracts him to her?
I think that’s an overlaying theme of opposites do attract. I think he sees a lot of things in her that he has never experienced before, and that’s exciting, new, scary. Even the fact that she’s 7-feet tall and he’s 2- 1/2-feet tall, she’s in high-definition and he’s in 8-bit. It is kind of true that opposites do attract.
The movie has four worlds — Fix Felix Jr., Hero’s Duty, Game Central Station and Sugar Rush. Which is your personal favorite and why?
Sugar Rush just looks so cool. And what I love about Game Central Station is it just brings everybody together. Hero’s Duty might have been a little too chaotic and messy for me. Fix It Felix Jr., I do like just the order of things, and how nice and neat things can be (in the world). I’m very OK with that.
Felix has a catch phrase, “I can fix it!” What would your catch phrase be in your life?
My very general one in life might be “That’ll do!” (Laughs) Sometimes what you get can be enough.
Disney created a real version of the Fix It Felix Jr. game. Have you played it?
Yes, and I have to admit, I’m terrible at these things. I know I’m supposed to have good hand-eye coordination, and I kind of don’t, so it gets frustrating to me that I know my six-year-old nephew is going to be able to beat me at my own video game.