Cameron Diaz, who provides the voice for Princess Fiona in Dreamworks’ hit 3D-animated film franchise Shrek, is not particularly keen on playing her character in live theater. While she did attend the opening of Shrek’s Broadway musical counterpart recently, she also made it clear that her role as Fiona would remain in the voice-over booth. Asked if the stage role had ever piqued her fancy, Diaz replied, “No. Absolutely not. What they do up there is, to me, impossible. It’s wonderful, though. They’ve done such a great job. They worked really hard, and it really pays off.”
Suffice it to say that Diaz was thoroughly thrilled by that night’s performance, noting the great differences between working for the cartoon and for the live version. “It’s hilarious,” she says of the stage musical. “There are so many laughs. It’s great to see all the actors playing it together, because when we do it for the animated films, we never see each other. We don’t work together.”
Other stars present at the Broadway opening were America Ferrera of Ugly Betty and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 1 and 2, red carpet kibitzer Joan Rivers, and heartthrob comedian Ben Stiller.
Stiller attended the opening with his wife, actress Christine Taylor; the two admit to being huge fans of the animated films. “We are Shrek fans at our house. We’re going to go check out the musical and let the kids know if it’s suitable for children.”
A fourth film in the Shrek series is slated for release in 2009. Once again, Diaz will take on the role of Princess Fiona, the main squeeze of the film’s odious but lovable green ogre. Mike Myers, who plays Shrek, and Eddie Murphy, who plays his loudmouthed sidekick Donkey, will also continue to voice their characters.
The Broadway cast includes Brian D’Arcy James as Shrek, Daniel Breaker as Donkey, and Sutton Foster as Princess Fiona. While the stage musical was based on the animated film, the film was itself adapted from the fairy tale picture book Shrek! written by the late American visual artist William Steig.