Albert Brooks is probably known to anyone born after 1995 as the voice of Marlin from Finding Nemo, but the funnyman who has seen four decades of success as an actor and director is expanding his creative horizons this year with new movie roles and even a book.
The Finding Nemo star has reached the New York Times bestseller list with his first book, 2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America. The darkly comic book has been getting good critical reviews and been selling great so far as well.
But the book is not the only work Albert Brooks has done outside his normal wheelhouse as a comic actor and director. This year he made his debut as a villain in Drive, which many critics think should have earned him an Academy Award.
The blowback against his snub was so intense that someone even recut a viral video from the movie Downfall, with Hitler ranting from inside his bunker over the injustice of Brooks not being nominated, JAM! Movies reported.
“Somebody sent that to me, it was very funny. I’d heard Hitler had a soft spot (for me),” Albert Brooks says.
Brooks added that, after spending decades in Hollywood, he thought it was time to try something new creatively.
“I mean, it’s nice. But in a long period in showbusiness, that’s all it is, ebb and flow. As long as you get both, it’s OK. You like the ebb … wait a minute, which one is the good one? The flow … you like the flow.
“But the chance as an actor to do something I thought I could do for a long time, that was satisfying.”
That doesn’t mean that Albert Brooks is done directing movies. The visionary director — who inspired, or at least predicted, the rise of reality television with his 1979 movie Real Life that followed a fictional dysfunctional family — said he wants to get behind the camera again.
He told JAM! Movies:
“I never stop thinking about making another movie. The only thing is that if I decide to make another movie, then I take the next three years and that’s what I do. After Drive I’m in Judd Apatow’s movie that comes out at Christmas (the Knocked Up “sort of sequel” This Is 40).”
“I could go through all the parts I turned down because I was making my own movies. All you can do is say no, because if you stop everything stops.”
Albert Brooks is going back to his conventional movie roles as well. He is working on the sequel to Finding Nemo.
Brooks, who is now making a name for himself in the animated world with Nemo and The Simpsons appearances, said he enjoys the challenge of voice acting and is looking forward to his return to the Pixar series.
It’s a different kind of art form, like an elevated kind of acting,” Albert Brooks told Scripps Howard.