NPR : Fresh Air

Filed Under:

Brad Bird, Patton Oswalt On Cooking Up 'Ratatouille'

Play associated audio

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.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

WAMU 88.5

Kate Mulgrew: "Born With Teeth" (Rebroadcast)

Kate Mulgrew, who stars as "Red" in the Netflix TV series "Orange Is The New Black", opens up in a new memoir about her complicated family and the baby she gave away for adoption as a young woman.


Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.