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This interview was originally broadcast on June 28, 2007.
In 2007, director Brad Bird and actor Patton Oswalt joined Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about their film Ratatouille, Pixar's animated comedy about a foodie rat who becomes a chef in a top Paris kitchen.
Oswalt — a foodie himself — is the voice behind Remy, the rat hero whose exquisite sense of smell and taste make him yearn to be in the culinary world. Bird says he decided to cast Oswalt in the role after seeing him perform a stand-up routine about the Black Angus steak restaurant.
"He was so volatile about food and so passionate and funny about it, you know, it just struck me: 'That's the character,' " Bird says. "He's so volatile, but in a good way. I mean, you know, Patton has very strong opinions about anything and he'll let you know, and when he loves something, he loves it, and when he hates something, he hates it. That kind of extreme emotion is perfect for Remy."
Bird wrote and directed The Incredibles and Ratatouille. He is also the director of The Iron Giant. Oswalt is a comedian and actor. He has appeared on the television show The King of Queens and in several movies, including Big Fan and Balls of Fury.