Amy Poehler: ‘Inside Out’ A Joy To Make

Amy Poehler is taking pride in her latest film, the animated Inside Out.

According to the Houston Chronicle, even though Poehler was the last voice cast, Poehler’s portrayal as Joy was, well, joyful. Poehler’s performance was full of energy and passion, almost to an annoying degree, but not quite.

“My biggest fear, or I guess the thing I wanted to make sure of, was that Joy was someone you root for,” Poehler says in a phone interview from Los Angeles. “She comes out guns a-blazin’, or I should say accordion a-blazin’, and she comes hard out of the gate. When she slows down and hits some minor keys, I wanted the audience to be able to feel that.”

Pixar’s Inside Out centers around the mind of 11-year-old Riley, a hockey-loving girl from Minnesota whose family is quickly transplanted to San Francisco. Though intrigued at first, she begins to miss her old home and friends. Joy (Poehler) works to keep the other main emotions, Anger (voiced by Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) from taking over Riley’s mind. Poehler was immediately interested in doing the film, her first voiceover effort.

“This movie is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” Poehler says. “It’s unlike anything Pixar has ever done. We’ve been working on this for several years, and I’ve basically been paid for being happy. I feel like at the end of the day I’m going to be handed a bill.”

The Los Angeles Daily News is reporting that Poehler and Pixar, along with director Peter Docter and producer Jonas Rivera, have been working on the script for seven years now. And since Poehler’s television run in NBC’s Parks and Recreation ended, Poehler has been spending a lot of time on the movie.

The main crux of the movie is the “partnership” between Joy and Sadness as Riley goes through the pre-teen angst of moving and making new friends in a place she doesn’t feel quite so comfortable. “I love the age Riley is,” says Poehler, who, with ex-husband Will Arnett, are raising two young boys. “At that moment you are all possibilities and open-faced.”

Poehler has built a reputation on helping young girls. In 2008, along with producer Meredith Walker, Poehler started the Smart Girls Organization (, an alternative to the predominant societal mindset towards young girls and women.

Poehler, at Riley’s age, was “filled with ideas but not quite sure what I was able or capable to do,” noting her fortune of coming from a stable, loving home.

[Image courtesy of the Huffington Post]