Jada Pinkett Smith has revealed that watching her new movie Madagascar: Europe's Most Wanted was like "taking a really cheap summer vacation".
The actress reprises her role as feisty hippo Gloria in the third instalment of the animated series, which sees the animals try and make their way back to their New York zoo from Africa.
"Watching the movie itself was like taking a really cheap summer vacation. It was a lot of fun watching the historical places that we got to travel to," Jada said.
The petite actress, who is mum to son Jaden, 14, and daughter Willow, 11, with husband Will Smith, insisted she didn't find it difficult to take on the persona of a huge hippo.
"Gloria is what I consider to be the momma of the group. She's kind of the glue. And so I used a lot of my maternal instincts for Gloria.
"She's also pretty sassy and she has a lot of strength and a lot of confidence, and she's very comfortable in her own skin and being who she is. So I basically used those characteristics to formulate her character."
Jada stars alongside David Schwimmer, Ben Stiller and Chris Rock in the movie, but didn't actually spend much time with them during filming.
"You're alone when you're in the studio. You have another actor who plays all the voices for you but it's not Ben and Chris and David," she explained.
"It can be a little challenging in the sense of trying to imagine, say how Chris would deliver a line or a lot of time there's a lot of ad-libbing, so it's a very interesting process. You really don't get to see what's been created until you actually sit in the movie theatre and watch it."
:: Madagascar 3 is released on October 19.