Inside Out 2 has many new Emotions. There’s Embarrassment, Envy, and even Ennui. However, one new Emotion stands out above the rest: Anxiety.

The frazzled yet friendly Anxiety is the star of the new film as Inside Out 2 returns to the mind of newly minted teenager Riley.

Disney spoke with Maya Hawke — who plays Anxiety — about bringing the character to life, how she used her own voice in her head for the role, and what she hopes audiences will take away from the new film.

Voicing an emotion, rather than a character, can be difficult. What did you bring to your performance that helped you create Anxiety for Inside Out 2?

The little voice that I hear in my own head — the one that tells me to worry if my shoes are wrong or if I’m going be late to the airport or say the wrong thing — whatever that voice is that’s in my own head, I just tapped into that and let it come out of my mouth instead of keeping it in my brain.

How did working with Disney and Pixar help you create Anxiety?

I actually saw the drawing of Anxiety while I was in the audition process and I just thought, “I HAVE to play this part.” And it was incredibly rewarding to see the end result. In fact, some of the hand gestures and little movements that I did during the voice recording made it into the way the character was animated, which was just the coolest thing to see.

Did you do any outside research into anxiety, which helped you with the performance?

I have anxiety, but I don’t have debilitating anxiety or medical grade anxiety. I do have, like, a character within me that frets and worries, and so I was really able to play with that character that I’ve had in my own life, let her free, and give her free reign in this role, which was really cool.

You’re a film lover, so is there a Pixar film that really stays with you and impacts you as a creator and lover of cinema?

I love all of the Pixar films, they’ve all been super important touchstones in my life, but if I had to choose one, I’d probably choose The Incredibles.

What do you hope audiences take away from both Inside Out 2 and Anxiety?

This movie is just a force for good. It’s like a double rainbow. It takes so many tough emotions that everyone experiences, not just teenagers, and actualizes those emotions in a way that makes them feel less alienating or stressful. I could not be more grateful or proud to be part of this incredible movie alongside this insanely talented, amazing cast.

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.