While the minions may be the most adorable members of the Despicable Me cast, our favorite human character is definitely Edith—the silly, clever, hat-wearing, and utterly lovable middle sister—so we were more than excited to interview Dana Gaier, who plays Edith’s voice in both Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2. Even though Dana says she’s just a “regular teenager,” we’d argue that she’s pretty special! We caught up with the actress and asked her about everything from her similarities to Edith to her celebrity crush. (I bet more than a few of you would agree with her answer!)
Q: What are your plans for the future?
Dana: I definitely want to continue acting. I just moved to Los Angeles and I am going on auditions out here. I would love to be on a TV show or movie. Even though I want to continue acting, I am interested in learning other things and may want to work in casting or directing when I get older. I also sing. Whatever I do, I think it will involve the entertainment business.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
Dana: I like to hang out with my friends, play my guitar, write songs, and play sports.
Q: Who is your celebrity crush?
Dana: I would have to say my celebrity crush is Josh Hutcherson. I’ve loved watching him in movies ever since Little Manhattan (rated PG). I feel like I’ve grown up watching him grow up in the movies! When I heard he was going to be Peeta in one of my favorite books (The Hunger Games), I was so excited.
Q: What is one thing you wish everyone would do to make the world a better place?
Dana: I would love to see the epidemic of bullying stopped. I am doing what I can to help that happen. I have a website called Got Your Back!, where kids and teens can ask questions and help one another. I think we all need to empower each other instead of bringing each other down.
Q: Funniest or most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?
Dana: Last year at Christmas, I went to New York City with a boyfriend to see the tree in Rockefeller Center, and in front of him (and everyone else in the middle of Manhattan), I fell flat on my face. I think all of NYC saw me!
Q: Do people in school treat you like a movie star?
Dana: People know, but they don’t treat me any differently. They may ask some questions when they first meet me, but then they get to know me and see that I’m just a regular teenager.
Q: Personal motto or favorite quote?
Dana: I would have to say my personal motto is, “Be yourself because everyone else is already taken.” I am a real believer that you will be at your best and that people will learn to respect you more when you just act like yourself.
Q: Tell me about your character in Despicable Me.
Dana: Edith is a tomboy and she isn’t scared to be her own person. She loves to be active and even though she acts tough, she is warm and loving underneath, which you can see when she interacts with her sisters and Gru. She is a curious, adventurous girl, which kind of gets her into trouble sometimes, but it’s not because she’s looking to be bad–it’s because she wants to learn about things and help in any way she can.
Q: Are you similar to her in any ways?
Dana: I think Edith and I are similar in that we like to tease our sisters, but underneath it is all in fun because we love them. I think neither of us will follow the crowd just because it seems like the cool thing to do. We do what feels right to us. My parents think that I might be a little mischievous like Edith sometimes!
Q: What book would Edith recommend to her friends?
Dana: I think Edith would really enjoy The Hunger Games trilogy (for ages 12 and up). I think she would see Katniss as a role model because she is strong and fearless, yet she cares so much for her sister that she would sacrifice herself in order to keep her safe.
Q: Which scene was the most fun to record and why?
Dana: I loved recording the scene where we fight the evil minions because Edith gets so excited about that kind of thing. She thinks it is so cool to be fighting bad guys and have a guy like Gru as a dad. I had to make all these fighting noises and exertions, and I had some great lines, too.
Q: Any fun stories about working with your Despicable Me co-stars?
Dana: The first time I met Steve Carrell was actually at the Despicable Me premiere. While we were on the yellow carpet, Steve interrupted the paparazzi, who were snapping pictures of him, just to come up to me and say, “Finally, I get to meet you!” I couldn’t believe it. It was so nice, and he’s such a great guy. Another time, when Miranda [Cosgrove], Elsie [Fisher] (who voice Margo and Agnes), and I went down to Universal Orlando for the opening of the “Minion Mayhem” ride, we spent the whole day together, riding the ride, over and over again. That was a lot of fun.
–En-Szu, STACKS Staffer