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Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake greet media ahead of "Yogi Bear" premiere

posted 12 Dec 2010, 05:21 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 12 Dec 2010, 05:23 ]

Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake hit the "brown" carpet in Los Angeles to pose for photos and talk with the media ahead of the premiere for their new film, "Yogi Bear."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (DECEMBER 11, 2010) REUTERS - Dan Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake were among the celebrities to walk the "brown" carpet on Saturday (December 11, 2010) ahead of the Los Angeles premiere for their new film, "Yogi Bear."

The two actors posed for photos and talked to the media about playing the lead roles in the 3D movie based

upon the classic American cartoon series that launched in 1961 and ran for nearly 50 years.

Aykroyd portrays the picnic basket-stealing star, Yogi Bear, and Timberlake voices Boo Boo, Yogi's patient and reliable sidekick.

The film combines live action with 3D computer animation.

Aykroyd said his ability to play Yogi Bear is based on his childhood roots in Canada.

"Well, my preparations came when I would walk home through the snow and across the frozen creek from school in Quebec, in the winter of Canada in February, when the light left the sky at 3:30 p.m. And you get home there, and strip the snowsuit off and, you know, unfreeze the ankles. And Yogi and Boo Boo were my fire. That black and white TV, I would turn that on, and my brother and I would huddle there. And we would warm ourselves to the Catskill and Jersey rhythms of the original creators, and just the joy of having our mind off school work and walking through the snow. So, Yogi was subliminally infused into me over many, many years, growing up in Canada."

Aykroyd was one of the original cast members of the popular "Saturday Night Live" (SNL) sketch comedy series based in New York. He is also well-known for creating "The Blues Brothers" characters with the late John Belushi. He has had a long career as an actor, screenwriter and musician.

Aykroyd, 58, talked about working with Timberlake, his equally famous co-star.

"We did three-quarters of the movie, our sequences, together, face-to-face, mic-to-mic. Which was really great. I mean, because, he channels Boo Boo. And I was so surprised because that's from my generation. But of course as a kid he watched the reruns and then DVDs. You know, it lives on, because it's just distinctly great, you know, American cultural export."

Timberlake shared why he wanted to get involved with the film.

"You know, I grew up watching cartoons, and only child," explained Timberlake. "It was very entertaining for me. So, you know, Yogi and Boo Boo are kind of classic, iconic cartoon characters. And knowing that Dan was going to be the voice of Yogi definitely swayed me. You know, I begged and pleaded to be able to host SNL for the first time because I grew up watching people like Dan on SNL. So, I'm a huge fan of his. And so getting to work with him was, you know, chalk that up."

The 29-year-old actor also talked about what he did to prepare for the role.

"I basically listened to the old 70s cartoons and just tried to mimic the voice. That's it. But I also think that we wanted to put a modern spin on what was classic about the characters, and Boo Boos very dry. He's very dry. And so I think maybe that probably got worked in, you know, for the reincarnation of these characters."

Timberlake is a popular entertainer who has won six Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards thus far. Career highlights include a stint on The New Mickey Mouse Club with the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera and as lead singer of N'Sync, before he began working as a solo act in 2002. He has acted in several films prior to "Yogi Bear," most recently starring in "The Social Network."

Anna Faris also stars in the movie, playing a documentary filmmaker who wants to meet Yogi.

Faris was candid about her reasons for wanting to play a part in the film.

"I wanted to be a part of this because I was such a fan of the cartoon when I was a kid," smiled the actress, 34. "And it was really, just exciting for me to be a part of something so iconic. And it had a lot of nostalgia for me. And honestly, my parents are always very happy when I do a movie that they can see."

Faris may be best known for her recurring role in the "Scary Movie" film series.

Another Canadian actor, Tom Cavanagh, stars as the character "Ranger Smith" in the movie.

"Yogi Bear" will be released in theatres across North America on Friday, December 17, 2010.