‘Lightyear’: Chris Evans Couldn’t Help but Do a ‘Shameless Tim Allen Impression’ for ‘Toy Story’ Prequel

The "Captain America" icon looked to "Toy Story" vet Allen as a "blueprint" for voice acting.
Chris Evans presents the award for best movie at the MTV Movie and TV Awards on Sunday, June 5, 2022, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Chris Evans
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Chris Evans didn’t have to look to another galaxy for his take on “Toy Story” legend Buzz Lightyear.

The “Captain America” star couldn’t help but harness the iconic Buzz Lightyear voice originated by Tim Allen in the animated franchise spanning back to 1995 when portraying the “real” astronaut Buzz in “Lightyear,” out June 17.

“It’s tough,” Evans admitted to Variety on the red carpet for the film’s premiere. “The first time you have to do that iconic line, ‘To infinity and beyond,’ you just kind of do a shameless Tim Allen impression, because it’s intimidating.”

Space Ranger Buzz (Evans) sets out to save his fellow astronauts after being marooned on another planet for decades. Directed by Angus MacLane (“Finding Dory”), “Lightyear” also stars Uzo Aduba, Peter Sohn, Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, James Brolin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Efren Ramirez, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.

“Angus and everyone at Pixar was so collaborative and you kind of let them guide you, and eventually you feel comfortable enough to try to make your own tracks in the snow and find your own interpretation while still using Tim Allen as the blueprint,” Evans added.

The “Gray Man” actor previously called Disney/Pixar’s “Lightyear” a “dream come true,” saying, “Anyone who knows me knows that my love for animated films runs deep. I can’t believe that I get to be a part of the Pixar family and work with these truly brilliant artists who tell stories unlike anyone else. Watching them work is nothing short of magic. I pinch myself every day.”

The film first screened during 2022 CinemaCon to rave reviews, and director MacLane credited the actors’ dedication to voice acting for the success of the space buddy movie.

“Each of the performers immediately inhabited their character, which gave us the opportunity to play a bit during recording sessions,” MacLane said earlier. “This resulted in a level of specificity that elevated the material and brought additional depth to the characters’ relationships. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented and generous cast.”

“Lightyear” marks Evans’ first major voice acting role to date. He previously voiced Casey in 2007’s “TMNT,” plus reprised his role of Johnny Storm in the “Fantastic Four” videogame circa 2005.

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