My kids and I loved Big Hero 6, so I was really excited to get the chance to meet with Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney, who lent their voices to the main two characters in Big Hero 6: brothers Hiro and Tadashi Hamada. As I mentioned before, Big Hero 6 is really unique because it is a mash-up of Disney and Marvel. Two great creators on one amazing project!
The Plot of Big Hero 6
Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) is a 14-year-old precocious genius. He graduated high school at the age of 13, but Hiro is not using his gifts for the greater good of the world. Hiro is spending his days and nights participating in back-alley illegal robot fights. His older brother, Tadashi Hamada (Daniel Henney) is smart and confident. Tadashi Hamada is a good guy. He developed, built and programmed a state-of-the-art nurse bot – Healthcare Companion named Baymax that will likely help millions worldwide. But it’s his role as big brother that makes Tadashi truly special. Tadashi takes Hiro to San Fransokyo Tech, and Hiro’s blown away by what’s going on there. He meets the professor who invented the magnetic bearing servos that Hiro actually used in his battle bots. By the time Hiro leaves, he’s sold on the school. He’s sold on going to college. But as with all Disney movies, it seems, tragedy strikes.
The Voice Actors’ Perspective on Big Hero 6
Every kid needs a guy like Tadashi looking out for him, and Hiro knows just how lucky he is to have him in his life. “Tadashi is Hiro’s strength,” says Daniel Henney, who voices the big brother. “They lost their parents years ago, so Tadashi is a father figure, and in many ways, the heartbeat of their family.”
But, adds Henney, Tadashi is smart enough to know how to redirect a kid like Hiro. “Sometimes you have to manipulate the situation a little to get people to see it your way,” he says. “Instead of telling Hiro what to do with his life, Tadashi tricks him into figuring out for himself what’s good for him.”
“Shake things up. Use that big brain of yours to think your way out.”
— Tadashi Hamada
Henney tells us that playing Tadashi has made him a better person, and he dresses better now. Henney goes on to say “ it was a beautiful opportunity for me to go and play this guy who is such a role model for a young man. Tadashi is so smart, beautiful, intelligent, caring, genuine big brother, he’s also very selfless.”
Watching Ryan Potter and Daniel Henney together during this interview was like watching two brothers who have known each other their whole lives. It’s amazing to me how this entire movie is created. None of the actors meet each other until the project is complete and they have their wrap party. Potter and Henney said they felt like they already knew one another once they finally met.
“I grew up watching Disney films, and I grew up reading Marvel comics,” says Potter. “So when I heard that a Disney movie that was inspired by a Marvel comic actually featured an Asian American kid, I absolutely had to be a part of this film.”
“The only limit is your imagination.”
— Hiro Hamada
Potter said that he really didn’t face many challenges channeling the emotions he wanted to bring forward. “I’m Hiro, I didn’t go into that room acting at all. I went into that sound booth simply being myself and living in those circumstances. I feel like, the creators of the film made a really comfortable environment for me, so I just revisited a lot of things that I felt in the past. A lot like Daniel said, it was very much like therapy.”
After chatting with Daniel Henney and Ryan Potter I have an even deeper love for BIG HERO 6. It’s nice to know that the guys voicing these characters my children have grown to love are so genuine and not too different from the characters they portrayed.
Wondering what’s next for these two? Daniel Henney couldn’t tell us much but there is a TV show in his future. Ryan Potter recently applied to college and will be studying photography and film. I wish these two nothing but success and happiness.
Disney’s Big Hero 6 arrives on Blu-ray & DVD today!