Stars Of ‘Sing’ Pose With And Talk About Their Characters

There’s a unique treat coming your way this holiday season as reality singing competitions meet the world of animated adventures in Sing.

As a unique treat involving that unique treat, the stars of the movie have taken time out of their busy schedules to pose with their characters and give us a look into their thoughts and feelings about them.

Matthew McConaughey (above) plays Buster Moon, an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who still believes in the wonder and magic of his once-grand theater and will do anything to preserve it.

Like all the stars of Sing, McConaughey does his own singing in the film, with a memorable rendition of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

Of Buster, McConaughey says –

“I’ve always regarded Buster as the ultimate creator…a showman who refuses to accept defeat and a guy who will accomplish the impossible through sheer force of will.  Others may see his theater collapsing around him, but not Buster.  Through his eyes, you’ll begin to imagine the crown jewel of this incredible town…a place where people can truly transform.”

Sing Movie Reese Witherspoon
photo: Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures

Reese Witherspoon voices Rosita, an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 children who keeps the flicker of a secret dream inside.

Witherspoon on Rosita –

“Ever since she was a girl, Rosita has held on to this tiny part of herself she’s been hesitant to share with the world.  But once she genuinely owns who she is, this shy mom and wife realizes that it would be criminal not to unleash her talents.  In fact, it’s the love and passion Rosita’s given and received that pours out of her when she embraces her inner diva and lets loose.”

Sing Movie Scarlett Johansson
Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures

Scarlett Johansson is Ash, a betrayed teenager who will mend her broken heart through the power of rock-and-roll.

Like all the stars of Sing, Johansson does her own singing in the film, including renditions of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” and an all-new original song, “Set It All Free.”

Johansson on Ash –

“Once Ash understands that all of the attention, effort and energy she’s been giving her worthless boyfriend has been standing in the way of her own musical gifts, she transforms into a badass.  Ash eschews outdated expectations that she should deliver a pop-princess act on the stage and just rocks it out with original music.  I adore her.”

Sing Movie Seth Macfarlane
Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures

Seth Macfarlane voices Mike, a con man who croons as smoothly as he swindles.

Macfarlane also does his own singing, including renditions of standards like “Pennies From Heaven,” and “My Way.”

Macfarlane on Mike –

“What I like about this character is that he has zero concept of just how small he is.  Mike is a whirlwind mix of bravado, swagger and showmanship, and he genuinely believes he has nothing to prove.  He needs the contest money because he’s made some very poor decisions, and he’s certain that his larger-than-life personality and stage persona hold the ticket to winning.”

Sing Movie Tori Kelly
photo: Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures

Tori Kelly is Meena, a timid teen with an enormous case of stage fright who keeps a powerhouse voice trapped inside.

Kelly on Meena – 

“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have a bit of Meena inside.  She’s that timid kid who desperately wants to share her gifts with the world, but is always second guessing herself.  As an artist, I went to that place of insecurity inside teenage Tori to find my inner Meena.  Then you take a deep breath, shake off the nerves and just let the music take over.”

Sing Movie Taron Egerton
photo: Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures

Taron Egerton voices Johnny, a reluctant part of his dad’s bank-robbing crew, as well as an aspiring singer who longs to step out and show who he really is. If the trailers can be believed, Johnny makes up an especially integral part of the film’s ensemble crew.

Egerton has a special challenge in the singing department, taking on Sam Smith, John Legend, and Elton John, with songs like “I’m Still Standing.”

Egerton on Johnny –

“I think that one of the biggest fears we all have is that we will disappoint our parents.  All you want is their acceptance, but as you come into your own, you begin to realize that your dreams don’t always intersect with theirs.  Johnny’s relationship with his father epitomizes this.  He only needs Big Daddy to listen, to actually hear him, just once.  If that happens, Johnny believes he can become his own man and really soar.”

Sing Movie Nick Kroll
photo: Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures

Nick Kroll is Gunter, the Spandexed show-stopper whose sheer enthusiasm overcomes his lack of actual talent.

Kroll also has a challenge, being in a musical without… the talent, and he’s taking on Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and Bananarama’s “Venus.”

Kroll on Gunter – 

“Gunter knows what we all should: Everything is better in a gold track suit.  He is the yin to Rosita’s yang.  If she’s hesitant, insecure and brilliantly talented…then Gunter is the one who’s first to hit the stage and shake his piggy patootie; he’s a legend in his own mind.  When I first experienced Reese and myself as Rosita and Gunter on the screen, I honestly couldn’t stop grinning.”


All images created by the animation artists of Illumination Entertainment and photographer Norman Jean Roy in a unique collaboration.

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With its highly relatable characters, heart and humor, the first collaboration between writer/director Garth Jennings (Son of Rambow, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri marks the sixth fully animated feature from the studio.

The event film stars Academy Award® winners Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Grammy Award-nominated Tori Kelly.

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times.  Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it.  Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.

Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.  And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving.

Featuring more than 65 hit songs, Sing is produced by Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy.  Together, they have produced all of Illumination’s films since the studio’s inception.  Released by Universal Pictures, Sing arrives in theaters on December 21, 2016.

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Beck Bennett, Nick Offerman, Jennifer Saunders, Garth Jennings,Peter Serafinowicz, Leslie Jones, Jay Pharoah

Written and Directed by: Garth Jennings


Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.