Gray hair creeps up on you — sometimes literally. I was in my 30s, sporting a full beard, when I first noticed a few gray hairs appearing. Then there were more than just a few. It wasn’t long before the lumberjack image was beginning to give way to something closer to Old Father Time.
It wasn’t just the image that bothered me. It was the way I felt. Sure, gray hair is supposed to make men look distinguished. To give them gravitas. Look at Bill Clinton. Look at the baby-faced newsman Anderson Cooper,...
There wasn’t a lot of preparation needed. It just kind of came naturally to me, playing a turkey. I guess I just had a lifetime of preparation for it.
What is the biggest difference between acting in an animated film and playing a live action role?
It’s like when you’re a kid with make believe. It’s all sort of in your head. It’s also just easier. There isn’t a big crew, no hair and makeup and wardrobe. You just roll out of bed and go up to the sound studio. I like it. I would never have thought, based on my voice, that I would have done a lot of animated work, but for some reason it happened.
How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?
I celebrate it in Dallas with my family. We watch the Cowboys game, eat Thanksgiving dinner, and maybe try to get up a football game earlier in the day. My mom makes the Thanksgiving dinner, and she’s great at it. She makes apple pie, pecan pie, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, yams. I’d say it’s my favorite meal of the year.
What does the holiday mean to you?
I read an article a few years ago about how the holiday is a nightmare for nutritionists, but for psychologists, there’s actually something quite healthy about it. The idea of giving thanks, of being grateful, has a lot of health benefits. The simple act of writing down three things a day you’re grateful for has a measurable impact on people’s happiness and contentment. I wasn’t writing them down, but over the course of the day, I’d see a sunset, or someone laughing, and I’d check that off and say that’s something to be grateful for. It shifts your perspective because you’re now looking for things to be happy about. Take the time, make the decision, to slow things down, and make a conscious effort to look for things over the course of a day to feel good about.