One of filmdom’s most beloved trios – ‘Ice Age’s’ Manny, Diego, and Sid – embark upon their greatest adventure after cataclysm sets an entire continent adrift. Separated from the rest of the herd, they use an iceberg as a makeshift ship, which launches them on an epic seafaring quest. Manny and the gang are challenged like never before to become heroes and do the impossible, as they encounter exotic sea creatures, explore a brave new world, and battle ruthless pirates. Scrat’s reunion with his beloved but cursed acorn catapults him to places no prehistoric squirrel has gone before. Opening in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D cinemas July 13th, ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift’ is directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier. The voice talents of Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo are reunited with Queen Latifa and Seann William Scott in this new instalment of the award-winning and Oscar-nominated animated series. They are joined by new voices Jennifer Lopez, Nick Frost, Aziz Ansari, Alan Tudyk, Josh Peck, Peter Dinklage, Wanda Sykes, Keke Palmer, Drake, Heather Morris, Joy Behar, Nicki Minaj, Josh Gad, Kunal Nayyar, Alain Chabat and JB Smoove. In the fourth installment in the popular franchise, Nicki Minaj lends her voice to a mammoth named Steffie.
I can imagine your background in acting helped on ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift’? And also, as a recording artist and performer, you’re known for your characters and voices….
EDIT: theres a video also
Nicki Minaj: Yeah. I’ve been fortunate enough to continue my acting teachings even with my music. So even when I’m not acting, I’m still utilising all of my acting training with my music. It made it feel very natural and very comfortable to just jump back into what I was doing in the beginning with acting, in being very animated and being very crazy and using your voice as if a person can’t see you. The voice, it’s so incredible because a person shouldn’t even have to see you to know what you face looks like, kinda – or what your face is doing. It’s kind of an exercise because I do it in rap, you know? I practise that as well when I’m in a recording studio doing an album or doing a feature. It’s like, “What is the mood that I’m trying to convey right now? How can my voice and my tone and my accent, how can that convey those things?” So yeah, I would say that helps me do animation. I’m already doing it (laughs).
How did the conversation go when you and Drake first talked about getting your parts in the movie?
Nicki Minaj: I remember with my first audition, I walked across the studio lot and there Drake was. He had already gotten the gig and I was telling him how much I hated him (laughs). He was like, “What, what? I didn’t even have to audition. They just gave me the role,” he was completely rubbing it in my face, pause (laughs). And so I asked him, “What are you?” And he was like, “A mammoth.” So I was cracking up, laughing at him – I’m like, “Definitely if I’m in the movie, I’m gonna a cute little spicy thing.” And of course I’m a mammoth (laughs).
In your own words, how would you describe your character Steffie?
Nicki Minaj: Well, Steffie, she’s a cutsie little ladybug, and of course I call everyone ladybugs if I really love them. But of course she’s not a ladybug, she’s huge, but she’s so beautiful. She’s a mammoth, she has blonde hair and she does really cute stuff with her hair. She does her lashes, she does stuff with Mascara. And, you know, she’s cutsie! I think she’s great.
Overall, how did you find the experience working on ‘Ice Age 4: Continental Drift’ as your first animated movie?
Nicki Minaj: I just think it’s a blessing and an honour. And seriously, I can’t believe I’m in an ‘Ice Age’ movie. My nieces and my little brothers, they’re freaking out. They think I’m making it up. They won’t believe it until the movie comes out that I’m doing a voice in ‘Ice Age 4.’ And of course, Queen Latifah, I’ve looked up to her for so many years, she embodies everything that I’d like to do, you know? She went from acting, she does acting, animation voices – she’s everything to me. To be a part of something she’s a part of makes me very proud. Just working in that environment, the people on the movie were dope people. Everyone was so encouraging. When I was working on it I was like, “This is the best job in the world!”