“Inside Out 2” director Kelsey Mann “cried” after Maya Hawke’s audition

Director Kelsey Mann has disclosed how Maya Hawke landed the voice role of Anxiety in the highly anticipated sequel, “Inside Out 2.”

Courtesy: CBR

With the release date just around the corner, fans are buzzing with excitement for the arrival of all-new emotions like Anxiety, Ennui, Embarrassment, and Envy. 

The sequel for the Academy Award-winning film will delve into the tumultuous world of teenage emotions wreaking havoc for the protagonist Riley, played by Kensington Tallman who replaces Kaitlyn Dias from the first film. 

Mann, in a recent interview with Collider, shared a delightful anecdote about casting Stranger Things star Maya Hawke to voice Anxiety, “There’s something really cool about Maya; she’s just awesome.”

He continued, “Believe it or not, I actually auditioned Maya from Disney World! We were trying to schedule an audition, and [producer] Mark [Nielsen] told me, ‘Good news, Maya said yes, she’d love to meet with you! Bad news, it has to be during your vacation.'” 

Mann laughed, responding, “Ah, man, I’m at Disney World!” Luckily, the team wasn’t deterred. “Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out,” Nielsen reassured him.

Detailing the unconventional setup, Mann explained, “It was awesome. I was with my family, and they said, ‘Alright, I’ll be right back.’ They took me backstage to some random office with a computer and Zoom. And Maya absolutely crushed it!” 

Beyond her performance, it was Hawke’s “genuine connection to the character” that truly resonated with Mann. “My favorite part was at the end,” he shared, “we talked about what I wanted for the movie, and she just immediately connected with it. I think I even cried a little as she was talking. 

“We finished the call, and I immediately called Mark – we were like, ‘Oh my God, she’s perfect!’ Then, I went right back to EPCOT and continued my vacation. It was hilarious!”

Inside Out 2 releases in theaters on June 14th.

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