ZOOTOPIA+: Check Out Our Exclusive Interview With Stars Bonnie Hunt (Bonnie Hopps) and Don Lake (Stu Hopps)!

We speak with Zootopia+ stars Bonnie Hunt and Don Lake to discuss their returns as Bonnie and Stu Hopps, learning more about their unique dynamic, embarking on an action-packed adventure, and more...

Zootopia+ heads back to the fast-paced mammal metropolis of Zootopia in a short-form series that dives deeper into the lives of some of the Oscar-winning feature film's most intriguing residents, including Fru Fru, the fashion-forward arctic shrew; ZPD dispatcher Clawhauser, the sweet-toothed cheetah; and Flash, the smiling sloth who’s full of surprises.

Bonnie Hunt (A Bug's Life) and Don Lake (Space Force) reprise their Zootopia roles in the first episode, "Hopp on Board."

In that, when Judy boards the train from Bunny Burrow to Zootopia to begin her life as the big city’s first bunny cop, Stu and Bonnie’s youngest daughter, Molly, hitches a ride atop the train, forcing the down-to-earth duo out of their comfort zone and into an action-packed rescue mission.

The actors tell us what it was like playing these characters in what proves to be a very unexpected adventure for the mild-mannered couple, their collaborative process, and why they think Bonnie and Stu make such a great couple. We also hear from them on why not even the pandemic could stop them from tapping into their unique chemistry. 

Bonnie, meanwhile, comments for the first time on playing Mrs. Clause alongside J.K. Simmons as Santa in Dwayne Johnson and Chris Evans' upcoming action movie, Red One.

Check out the full interview with Bonnie and Don in the player below!
 


Bonnie and Stu seemed pretty unassuming in Zootopia, so how much fun was it for you to both delve into this action-packed, unexplored adventure we didn’t see in the movie? 

Don: We were thinking the same thing, you know? We would never get to do an action film. Well, I certainly wouldn’t, Bonnie might. As these characters in an action film, it was like, ‘Oh yeah, let’s have fun with this. Let’s run with this. It was a joy!’

Bonnie: I have six siblings and they all have children, and I’ve seen many times where the parent, who is just going about their daily business, sees one of the kids get too close to the top of the stairs and the parent turns into an action hero jumping over things, grabbing the kid, doing whatever they need to do as they throw furniture out of the way! When we got to play these characters in an action situation where one of the kids is in danger, it was exciting and there was a lot of humour, intelligence, and love at the core of it. It’s the greatest. 

Don, while Bonnie is the driving force in a lot of ways, Stu gets his fair share of action-star moments; how much did you enjoy exploring a whole new side of this character? 

Don: [Laughs] Oh, it’s a gift. What a gift. This unassuming guy gets to be a hero. Who wouldn’t like that? It’s what every guy dreams of. Every normal Joe out there working a 9 to 5 or whatever dreams of being a hero. When we got to see what they’d written for us, I was like, ‘Oh wow, I get to be that guy. I never get to be that guy!’ I loved every minute of it and it’s like Bonnie touched on with all her nieces and nephews. We have grandkids now, not Bonnie and I [Laughs], so it’s fun to watch it through her eyes to see what’s going on. It’s an added treat. 

Bonnie, it’s clear your character will do whatever it takes to protect her kids, so what did you enjoy most about seeing her in this crazy scenario of trying to rescue Molly? 

Bonnie: I love it. I think about my younger self and if I were watching the story unfold. Even now, I can appreciate those kinds of stories where there’s love at the core of peril, consequence, and solution. And a happy ending. It’s what great stories are made of. 

In terms of your collaborative process, did you get to step into the booth together to record this series?

Bonnie: Yeah, it was during the pandemic. I was roommates with my mother! Even though we couldn’t be together physically in the same area, the whole Zootopia team were on Zoom, so it was very creative being together that way during COVID. 

Don: It was a breath of fresh air, for sure. Even though we may not be in the same room together, I hear Bonnie’s voice. I feel her there. We have that other kind of level that we’re lucky enough to have. 

Bonnie: The hardest part, Josh, and I’m sorry to laugh because Don and I are like brother and sister, but there’s this scene with Stu where Bonnie hops up to kiss him, and even though we’re cities and states apart and playing in an animated feature, we were still uncomfortable [Laughs].

Don: [Laughs]

Bonnie: We’re like two kids…oh gosh, it was just hilarious. 

Don: Yeah, and then when we’re watching the episode, you’re saying, ‘Oh my gosh, we’re about to kiss. We’re gonna kiss! What?!’

Bonnie: It’s so ridiculous. Don, we were like two six-year-olds when we were recording this. Worlds apart, and they’re telling us to make it a little more loving, and it’s like, ‘Okay…’ It’s so funny. 

Don: You know, you’re suddenly taking a drink of water and you’re looking around all awkward.

Bonnie: Plus, I was recording in my bikini, so… [Laughs]

Bonnie, on another note, news broke today that you’re joining Red One as Mrs. Clause alongside J.K. Simmons as Santa, so how excited are you for that project and is there anything you can tease? 

Bonnie: It’s worth the wait. There have been other things that came my way where the story doesn’t touch my heart or your intelligence or humour. Then, I got this phone call from Jake [Kasdan] and he sent me the script and said, ‘Let’s talk after you read it.’ I was in. Of course, with Dwayne, Chris, and J.K., it’s a great team.

Don: Bonnie, I’m just hearing about this right now. That’s fantastic! Congratulations. As you say to all of us, they’re lucky to have you. 

Bonnie: Oh, thank you. But I don’t say that! [Laughs]

Don: No, you say that to us when we get there.

Bonnie: ‘You’re all so lucky to have me…’

Don: You always say that to us when we’re lucky enough to get something. Your friends. You always say, ‘They’re lucky to have you.’ Well, they’re lucky to have you. That is tremendous news. 

I can tell you both have great chemistry in this film and real life, and not to make you more uncomfortable, but why do you think these two make such a great couple?

Don: I don’t know, I think you feel our closeness and that rubs off on Bonnie and Stu. It’s very tangible, accessible, and real.

Bonnie: We’re not the perfect couple! You can sense some of the resentment that’s typical of any relationship that’s lasted over two years. Stuff builds up, but there’s still love, humour, and resolution. I love the fact they’re not afraid of making this couple, for the parents watching, they’ve got to have something to laugh at too. It’s just a nice combination. 

All six episodes of Zootopia+ launch on Disney+ this Wednesday, November 9. 
 


 

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