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Edoardo Leo voices the iguana Leo for Netflix

Edoardo Leo goes back in time to the fifth grade. No, he doesn’t have to repeat any exams, he does it to give life to one of the cutest animated characters that exist. He lends his voice to the protagonist, a 74-year-old tuatara (a sort of iguana-turtle) in the animated feature film Leofrom November 21st on Netflix.

LEO – Leo (voice by Adam Sandler). Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.Courtesy of Netflix

It’s a tough challenge because he sings (and quite a bit, given that the story at times seems like a musical) and disguises himself while speaking so as to look like an old and lazy little animal. At the presentation of the platform’s schedules, What’s Next, he asked himself: “But why did they call me?”. But you can see that he is happy and that this adventure is the perfect conclusion to a period full of projects: «This has been a particular year, full of dramatic stories, I enjoyed dubbing a cartoon, especially knowing that in the United States he the voice of Adam Sandler” (who however also contributed to the creation of the story). The biggest difficulty? «Imitate that dubbing model».

Edoardo Leo, in front of the microphone for this interview, seems almost shy, shy, as if this incredible and inspirational story was largely not your fault. It’s difficult to remain shielded when you are attached to a product for children and you have two children of that age, Francesco and Anita (aged 15 and 12).

The story that the platform tells is that of Leo, who has lived all his life in a tiny aquarium in an elementary school class with his turtle friend. At a certain point he discovers a terrible truth: animals of his species only live 75 years. Obviously, there are fears, paranoias but above all regrets for not having seen the world. And so Leo takes action to escape from school and finally be free. What he finds on his way is totally unexpected and he understands that from his glass he has always judged children without really understanding them fully. A classic story, in short, but very modern that will make everyone fall in love with it.

LEO – Jaded 74-year-old lizard Leo (Adam Sandler) has been stuck in the same Florida classroom for decades with his terrarium-mate turtle (Bill Burr). When he learns he only has one year left to live, he plans to escape to experience life on the outside but instead gets caught up in the problems of his anxious students. It ends up being the strangest but most rewarding bucket list ever… Cr: Netflix © 2023Courtesy of Netflix

What attracted you to this project?
«Its transversality, which is something I look for in every job I do».

No doubt?
“I wondered why they thought of me in particular, but then I consulted with my boys and accepted.”

Have you already seen the film with your children?
«I’m on tour (at the theater with I’ll tell you a story, ed.) and I don’t think they will wait for me, they will want to see it immediately, but I’m sure we will all look at it together later».

Are they harsh in their judgments?
«It’s the criticisms that I look forward to the most, above all because I always compare myself with them before a role, for this reason above all. I don’t talk much about my private life but I also understand my children’s complaints: How would the teenage version of you behave if you saw your father’s face on Netflix every three titles? It’s not the best, you’d be embarrassed at the very least.”

LEO – (L to R) Summer (voice by Sunny Sandler), Mia (voice by Reese Hazel Lores), Leo (voice by Adam Sandler) and Jayda (voice by Sadie Sandler) in Leo. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023.Courtesy of Netflix

He said he struggled to sing so much, with his voice aged in the cartoon, but he finally took the plunge?
«I don’t believe in this “jumping in” thing, I prefer to talk about preparation and if I don’t know how to do something I learn it to the best of my ability».

So what’s next on the list of things to learn?
«The piano: I would like to play an instrument well, now I strum badly, but I would like to take piano lessons and I have no doubt that I will one day».

Leo closes a very rich year for you, right?
«2023 is a particular year, full of dramatic projects, I needed this period of dubbing».

Zero pressure?
«Those were there, of course, because in the original Leo is voiced by Adam Sandler, who also participated in the writing of the story. But I had a lot of fun, even if it wasn’t easy to replicate that dubbing model, especially singing which isn’t really my strong point.”

Source: Vanity Fair

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