July 9, 2012 at 10:08 AM ET
With three huge hits in the “Ice Age” film franchise already behind them, why did the cast risk their perfect record for a fourth movie, “Ice Age: Continental Drift”? The answer to that depends on who you ask.
Stars Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, and John Leguizamo stopped by Studio 1A Monday morning and each gave their own reason for going back to the ice.
“It’s the billions of dollars it continues to gross,” joked Latifah, who voices the part of maternal mammoth Ellie.
But for Leguizamo, the man behind the not-so-slow sloth Sid, plot trumped profit.
“It was a really tight script” he told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie. “Pirates -- we get kidnapped! There’s a lot of adventure. J.Lo joins us. I mean, you got to sign up for that.”
Romano was all too happy to resume the role of Manny the mammoth once more, as long as it meant he didn’t have to show his own face on screen.
“Well, as you get older…” he drifted off while considering the benefits of hiding behind an animated character. “You can do it in your pajamas. It’s fun -- not only to get into as an actor, but where else you gonna get into these situations? Not in live-action.”
But just because the summer movie isn’t live-action doesn’t mean it isn’t somewhat real. In fact, according to Romano, Manny’s life mirrors his own.
“Manny has been living where I’m living,” he explained. “In this movie, he has a daughter who’s becoming her own person and wants to branch out. It’s very organic to what I’m going through. My daughter just graduated college, and yeah, it’s all real.”
Getting real with Romano and company this time around will be a few new ice-agers. In addition to Jennifer Lopez, Peter Dinklage, Nicki Minaj and Wanda Sykes join the core cast for “Continental Drift.”
“Ice Age: Continental Drift” opens in theaters nationwide on Friday.
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