How Joe Pasquale landed a job voicing a Hollywood movie – thanks to Bob Hoskins

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Joe Pasquale has a Pampers advert and Bob Hoskins to thank for landing a role in 2006’s Garfield movie: more here.

If you’re reading this from the UK, then you may already be acquainted with the work of comedian Joe Pasquale, whose all-but-trademarked squeaky voice is a distinctive part of his act. It’s also a voice that’s earned him a lot of professional voiceover work, and one of those jobs many moons ago was for a nappy advert.

As he explained on the Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, he was hired to do one particular Pampers campaign with the late Bob Hoskins. Unusually, the pair were to sit in a recording booth together, rather than record their lines separately. Yet as Pasquale explained, Hoskins didn’t believe the sound coming out of his co-star was quite right. “That voice… I’ve never heard it come out of a geezer before”, he explained. After a brief chat about how Pasquale spoke in the way he did, in the end the pair had to record separately.

A year down the line, Pasquale’s agent took a phone call: he was being offered a voice role in a big Hollywood sequel, the film that’d become Garfield: A Tale Of Two Kitties. The original Garfield film had been a big hit, and 20th Century Fox had quickly ordered a sequel. And for the follow-up, alongside Bill Murray, Tim Curry, Billy Connolly, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sharon Osbourne and Richard E Grant? The filmmakers wanted Joe Pasquale to voice Claudius the rat.

Curious, Pasquale enquired as to just how that had come about. The answer was another member of the ensemble: Bob Hoskins. “Bob Hoskins apparently said you were the man for the job”, his agent reported. It must have gone down well, too, because Pasquale was then hired to voice another Fox production, Horton Hears A Who.

It’s well worth digging out the podcast episode, where Pasquale goes into a little more detail as to the recording session that led to all of this coming out in the first place. You can find the episode here.

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