Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

US Olympic stars at Lorax premiere

Danny DeVito and the cartoon character The Lorax at the film's UK premiere
Danny DeVito and the cartoon character The Lorax at the film's UK premiere

Members of the American Olympic team have taken a break from training to rub shoulders with Hollywood legend Danny DeVito at a UK movie premiere.

Hundreds of film fans gathered in the centre of Birmingham to catch a glimpse of DeVito and around 30 US track and field stars as they arrived at the first British showing of The Lorax.

The American athletes, whose training camp is based at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium, arrived by coach, while DeVito had flown in by helicopter from London, where he is starring in a West End play.

US triple-jumper Will Claye was among those who took time to chat to fans and speak to the media in bright sunshine outside the Cineworld complex on Broad Street, Birmingham.

Asked how his team was settling in at its Birmingham base, Claye told reporters: "You guys have been really good to us - we feel welcome.

"We are just trying to get accustomed to the UK so that when we go to the Olympic Village we are comfortable and ready to compete."

DeVito posed for pictures with and signed autographs for fans as he chatted to reporters about how he had provided the voice for The Lorax - the film's environmentally-friendly eponymous hero - in English, Russian, German, Spanish and Italian.

The veteran actor, who will have left London before the Olympics start, said of The Lorax: "I feel it's part of me - I really dig the character.

"It was a labour of love and I am very proud of The Lorax. I worked very hard on it like everybody did."

The animated film, which tells the tale of a forest guardian who fights to protect his world, also features the vocal talents of Ed Helms, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, and is being released across the UK on Friday.

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