Gino D’Acampo has revealed he initially turned down a voice role in the latest Disney Pixar film.
The TV chef said it was “not the kind of thing that I do” when he was approached to make a cameo in Luca, a coming-of-age story set in a seaside town on the Italian Riviera, about a sea monster boy disguised as a human on dry land.
D’Acampo told the PA news agency: “It was very bizarre. They talked to me about seven, eight months ago to do this cameo role in this animation movie called Luca that Pixar and Disney did.
“At the beginning, I said no, I didn’t want to do it because, you know what? It’s not the kind of thing that I do.
“So I thought no, no, no, no, it really is not for me, blah.
“I didn’t know nothing about the movie – that’s the problem. So then Disney and Pixar, they sent me the video of the movie and they said ‘Look Gino, have a look at it and then please, see what you think again’.
“I watched the movie and I completely fell in love with this guy.
“Luca, this little boy that is a sea monster and then he becomes a proper little boy. It was filmed in a place where I filmed Gino’s Italian Escape, my cooking series, in Cinque Terre, near Genoa on the Italian Riviera.
“So then I thought, ‘Wait a second, I’m changing my mind. This is filmed in somewhere where I’ve been, I know very well, this little boy is just incredible, the story is all about friendship and it’s all about Italian food and how Italian people kind of live their life’.
“And so I said, ‘That’s it, I’m done, I don’t care, I want to do it’.
“I mean, I do have a very small part by the way. I play the part of a priest, believe it or not.
“I mean, why would you want Gino to play a priest? I don’t know, but I play a priest called Eugenio. And it was a lot of fun, it was great fun.”
Describing the animation process, he said: “It’s very weird, very bizarre.
“I do voiceovers for my own shows, so I understand the system of voiceovers but giving someone else my voice, that is a bizarre thing to do.
“I didn’t want to let the director down. And the movie is such a beautiful movie that I didn’t want to ruin it for them.
“But then I got into it, like you do in life and you try and retry. It was not the easiest thing in the world, I have to say, but we did it and everybody’s happy and what a great experience. I’ll definitely do it again.”
Luca is out now on Disney+.