Belfast Telegraph

Hong welcomes animation award nod

James Hong has said he was pleased to get an award nomination for his work on Kung Fu Panda 2, because it is hard to know how well you have done when you are a lone voice in a studio.

The veteran actor, whose credits include Chinatown and Blade Runner, won an Annie nod for bringing to life the character Ping in the animated follow-up - also starring Jack Black and Angelina Jolie.

Asked if he was pleased about the nomination, he said: "Yes, because when you do voices, you're just one person in the studio most of the time, and you wonder, 'How did I do?' And when your peers looks at it and they say, 'James really did an excellent job', it's a vote that you did very well instead of just being locked up in a room with no reaction at all."

Asked how long it took to record his part in the film, he revealed: "Over the course of two or three years; it takes that long. I think the first one took a little longer than the second one. They generally take three years, unless they really hurry it."

The 82-year-old actor, who made his film debut back in 1955 in Clark Gable film Soldier Of Fortune, said he had no idea his career would last so long.

"When I went to Hollywood, I finished my engineering and I was still a stand-up comic at that time," he said.

"To enter that movie with a small role, then to have that career blossom into 500 on-camera roles, TV and movies... looking back it's totally unbelievable that this kid from college just went at it and did this. And when you're doing it you don't really know what you're doing; you're just accepting the jobs and doing your best in the role."

:: Kung Fu Panda 2 is out now on Blu-ray Triple Play and DVD.

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