We interview The Boss Baby: Family Business director Tom McGrath about working with the voice cast, the film’s story, and much more.
The Boss Baby: Family Business, arriving in theaters and on the Peacock streaming service July 2, explores a whole new generation of the Boss Baby family tree. This time around, Tim (Alec Baldwin) and Ted (James Marsden) have grown up and grown apart – until Tim’s daughter Tina concocts another mission to bring them back together.
Director Tom McGrath spoke to Screen Rant about bringing the band back together and adding new members of the family.
After the first movie back in 2017, I became a stepparent, so I look at those movies completely differently now. Where is Tim now in his life, and what is his relationship like with his brother Ted?
Tom McGrath: We told the story of when they’re kids, but now Tim has grown up. He’s a stay-at-home dad with two beautiful daughters of his own. Boss Baby was hardwired for business, so he went off to be a successful financial tycoon in the city, and they’ve kind of lost contact with each other.
There’s the new baby – Tim’s youngest daughter, Tina – that needs to get the brothers together for one last mission. And her real mission is really to get the brothers back together, because it’s family business.
James Marsden is a new addition to the franchise. Can you talk to me about his comedic timing and what he brought to the role of Tim?
Tom McGrath: Yeah. We do have some musical numbers, and so we we’re looking for somebody who could sing, but also just have a charm and a great voice juxtaposed against Alec.
James has great comedic chops. I remember watching in Enchanted, and he was just so funny. He can do serious as well as comedic, but he brings so much charm and warmth to that character, and really played great against Alec. And he’s a joy to work with.
Add Amy Sedaris into the mix, and we have our dream cast with Jeff Goldblum and Eva Longoria, Jimmy Kimmel, and Lisa Kudrow. It was a dream cast.
James Marsden has the voice of an angel in this film. Speaking of the music in this room, are there any songs that you wanted it to get in there but that didn’t quite make it?
Tom McGrath: No, we pretty much got everything we wanted. Part of it for me is, is working with Hans Zimmer and Steve Mazzaro, because the souffle rises when they bring the music into the picture and tie all these themes together. We have an original song, “Divided We Fall, Together We Stand” – which we started a while ago, and it seems really appropriate these days thematically. We’re really happy with the music.
It’s fun to play the nostalgia with some of the needle drops we have in there from Rocky Horror Picture Show and stuff. But hopefully, it’ll resonate with the adults in the audience and the parents, and bring a nostalgia to the movie.
Our 6-year-old fell in love with Tim’s two daughters, Tabitha and Tina. Can you talk to me a little bit about Tabitha wanting to follow in Ted’s footsteps, and how Tim feels about their relationship?
Tom McGrath: Often with parents, your kids can be just like you or the exact opposite route. I just thought that was really interesting. If you’re an athlete, your kid might want to be an accountant. If you’re an accountant, your kid might want to be an athlete. That kind of thing.
We thought it’d be funny if she was more like Ted than Tim. And it worked for the story, because Tim valued his childhood so much and thought his daughter should have the same childhood he did. It’s kind of a cautionary tale in a way, to really embrace who your kids are and support who they want to be instead of trying to make them in your own image.
Just out of curiosity, can you talk to me about how Tim and Ted’s relationship evolves throughout the course of this film? Because Alec and James are so good together.
Tom McGrath: Yeah, we just wanted that comedy duo of Abbott and Costello; that playing off each other. And it’s a testament to Alec and James’ acting that oftentimes they weren’t in the room together, but they played it like they were in the room together.
Which was really a fun dynamic, because characters that get along aren’t very interesting characters. It went to the truth of what it can be like with our brothers and sisters in a family. It’s fun to take that truth and caricature it, and make people laugh at it and laugh at ourselves.
- The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)Release date: Jul 02, 2021
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