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A Q&A with Jay Baruchel

The actor voices Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon 2, in theaters June 13

June 13, 2014
DREAMWORKS ANIMATION

Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and Toothless return in How to Train Your Dragon 2.

After How to Train Your Dragon hit theaters in 2010, kids everywhere wanted a pet dragon of their own. Now the beloved characters are returning to the big screen.

In the first film, the awkward young Viking named Hiccup showed his village there’s more to dragons than meets the eye. The sequel picks up five years later on the island of Berk, where Vikings and dragons live happily together thanks to Hiccup’s work. While the young Viking gang plays dragon races, Hiccup and his trusted dragon, Toothless, explore new worlds. On one adventure, they discover a secret ice cave, and Hiccup learns there’s an outsider who wants to steal his island’s dragons. But he won’t let that happen without a fight.

Jay Baruchel says it’s been a thrill to voice the brave Viking. The actor says the dragons, and the story, are even more exiting in the 3D sequel.  “It’s funnier than the first one and it’s way more epic!” Baruchel told TFK.

Actor Jay Baruchel arrives at the How to Train your Dragon 2 premiere, in Westwood, California.

JEFFREY MAYER—WIREIMAGE/GETTY IMAGES
Actor Jay Baruchel arrives at the How to Train your Dragon 2 premiere, in Westwood, California.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 hits theaters on June 13.

TFK:

What’s new on the island of Berk since we last left it?

JAY BARUCHEL:

It’s five years later, so the bond between dragons and humans is stronger. Everyone is in love with dragons and now has one of their own. The dragons have become part of everyday life. They’re living in perfect harmony on the little island.

TFK:

Have the young Vikings, like Snoutlout and Tuffnut, grown up and matured at all?

BARUCHEL:

They’ve grown up, but I don’t know that they have matured. They’re all biologically older, but that’s probably where it ends! My character Hiccup and Astrid are probably as close to mature as you can find, and they’re still kind of like kids in a lot of ways. Hiccup is being groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps, but he doesn’t know if that’s what he wants to do. I think a lot of kids get caught between what they want to do and what their parents expect of them.

TFK:

How has your relationship with Astrid changed?

BARUCHEL:

I think we’re a couple now. But she doesn’t make fun of me any less. One of my favorite parts in the movie is when we see Astrid do an impression of me. It’s quite funny. She’s every bit as tough and brave as she was in the first film.

TFK:

What adventures are in store for Hiccup and Toothless in the second film?

BARUCHEL:

Throughout the movie, Toothless and I are always exploring. We find people living with dragons in a completely different way. And there’s someone who wants to take all of our dragons. Let me just say, we’re not going to let that happen without a fight.

TFK:

On his new adventure, Hiccup meets his mother, Valka. Could you talk about why she’s important to the story?

B

Hiccup (right, voiced by Jay Baruchel) speaks to his father (Gerard Butler) and mother (Cate Blanchett)

DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
Hiccup (right, voiced by Jay Baruchel) speaks to his father (Gerard Butler) and mother (Cate Blanchett)

ARUCHEL:

When we meet Valka, we start to understand a bit more about why Hiccup is wired the way he is. She thinks she knows everything there is to know about dragons and so does Hiccup. The two of them sort of teach each other.

TFK:

How has the relationship between Hiccup and his father, Stoic, changed since the first film?

BARUCHEL:

Stoic has his own dragon now. His son has shown him there can be a different way. At the same time, Stoic is still a traditional Viking. He expects all the same stuff out of Hiccup, so they sometimes butt heads.

TFK:

Hiccup always seems to be looking for adventure. In that way, he is very brave and daring. How are you like your character Hiccup and how are you different?

BARUCHEL:

I don’t like traveling very much, so that’s how I’m different.  But I think I have a lot in common with Hiccup. Growing up, all the kids my age wanted to play baseball and hockey. I was more interested in movies and comics. So that’s something I always felt in common with Hiccup. He’s a bit different from the kids he grows up with too.

TFK:

If you could be a dragon for a day, what would you do?

BARUCHEL:

If I could be a dragon for a day, I would probably use my fire to barbeque. I would fire up some hamburgers in the backyard. I might have a little fun scaring a few bullies. And I might have to see what it’s like to fly.

TFK:

Hiccup is skilled at training dragons. Do you have any pets of your own? Are you a good trainer too?

BARUCHEL:

I have two cats right now, one of which resembles Toothless. I’ll say dragons train way easier than cats do. There’s a very low ceiling on how much you can ever train a cat. I’ve convinced them to pooh in the litter box. To me, that’s the big success.

TFK:

What did you think of the success of the first movie that led to a trilogy and a live stage show?

BARUCHEL:

It’s incredible. You could work your entire career and never be a part of something that means half as much as this first movie meant to everyone. We were all really proud of it. It’s special. No character I’ve ever played has had that much of an impact.

TFK:

Why should kids go see How To Train Your Dragon 2?

BARUCHEL:

It’s exciting and funny and beautiful. You are going to escape to another world. Everything you liked about the first movie is better this time.


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