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One of my favorite things about the Pixar movies does not have as much to do with actually watching the movies: looking up who voices each character later on or even beforehand. For instance, Jacob Tremblay - acclaimed young star of Room and horror movies like Doctor Sleep - and Jack Dylan Grazer - the acclaimed young star of DC movies like Shazam! and hit horror movies It and It: Chapter Two - play a pair of sea monsters who disguise themselves as humans to have an adventures on land by the Italian Riviera. Take a look at what other familiar voices you may recognize, and some you may be hearing for the first time, from the Luca cast, starting with the remarkably talented actor in the title role.
Jacob Tremblay (Luca Paguro)
At only 14 years old, Jacob Tremblay has become one of the hardest-working and critically praised performers of his generation since his breakout role in 2015’s heart-wrenching, Oscar-winning A24 drama Room in 2015 after first making his feature-film debut in The Smurfs 2 in 2013. Ironically, he did not play one of the titular animated blue creatures in said sequel, but Luca is not his first time playing an animated character either having lent his voice to TV series like Amazon Prime’s Pete the Cat (as the title role) and HBO Max’s Harley Quinn as Robin. Tremblay is also voicing Flounder in Disney’s upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid remake, but you may have seen his face from movies like Mike Flanagan’s Netflix exclusive thriller Before I Wake, the inspiring family drama Wonder, and the raunchy but heartfelt Good Boys from 2019.
Jack Dylan Grazer (Alberto Scorfano)
Playing Luca’s friend and fellow sea monster Alberto is another young veteran of recent horror movie hits Jack Dylan Grazer, who played the parentally inflicted hypochondriac Eddie Kaspbrak in 2017’s It cast after debuting in one of the most underrated horror anthology movies, Tales of Halloween, in 2015. The now 16-year-old also played the teenage version of a character also played by Saturday Night Live’s Bobby Moynihan and John Laroquette on the short-lived sitcom Me, Myself and I and a younger Timothée Chalamet in Beautiful Boy. Outside of the animated, Italy-set, coming-of-age movie Luca, Grazer stars in an Italy-set, coming-of-age series on HBO Max called We Are Who We Are, will next voice another supporting character in the animated Ron’s Gone Wrong in 2021, and is reprising his role as Freddy Freeman in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is currently filming.
Emma Berman (Giulia Marcovaldo)
In addition to Luca’s fellow sea monster companion Alberto Scorfano, the curious hero of the newest Pixar movie also, for the first time in his life, befriends a human named Giulia. The adventurous young girl is voiced by Emma Berman, who is actually making her cinematic debut with Luca. So far, the 12-year-old up-and-comer’s only other acting credit is another voice acting role from an April 2021 episodes of the Netflix original animated children’s series Go! Go! Cory Carson as Winifred Wings - an airplane who is afraid of flying.
Maya Rudolph (Daniela Paguro)
Playing Luca’s mother also marks one of multiple voice roles in 2021 alone for former Saturday Night Live cast member Maya Rudolph after playing Linda in The Mitchells vs. the Machines, reprising Aunt Cass on Big Hero 6: The Series, and the upcoming Big Mouth Season 5 on Netflix. Her previous animated roles include Shrek the Third as Rapunzel, Turbo alongside Ryan Reynolds, both The Nut Job movies, and two films inspired by mobile phone activity: 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie and The Emoji Movie from the following year. She has also appeared in person in films like the Adam Sander/Drew Barrymore rom-com 50 First Dates, Mike Judge’s frighteningly relevant futuristic satire Idiocracy, the SNL sketch spin-off MacGruber, and 2011’s Bridesmaids, which also has a famous SNL connection as her co-star Kristen Wiig was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay.
Jim Gaffigan (Lorenzo Paguro)
The most notable writing credits of Jim Gaffigan are many acclaimed stand-up specials, his short-lived TV Land sitcom The Jim Gaffigan Show, and Pale Force - a series of animated shorts starring him as the voice of superhero Pale Man and his young sidekick, Conan O’Brien, which were presented on Late Night during the talk show host’s NBC years. As an actor, the comedian (who voices Luca’s father) is known for an a-meow-sing Super Troopers cameo, director Sam Mendes’ Away We Go (also starring Maya Rudolph), and some dramatic roles as of late, such as in Chappaquiddick, and a gig with CBS Sunday Morning. Other animated roles include Henry Haber on a few Bob’s Burgers episodes, himself on Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, and his voice will also be heard in 2021 when he reprises Van Helsing in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, which is now in post-production.
Sandy Martin (Grandma Paguro)
Playing the grandmother of the titular character in Luca is Sandy Martin, whose best known role as the grandmother of the titular character in 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite - which is only one other instance of her history playing a family matriarch on screen. The 72-year-old actress also played Joy’s grandma on the My Name is Earl cast, Mac’s mother on the It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia cast, and also Sam Rockwell’s mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri in 2017. Audience may also recognize Matin from brief appearances in films as old as 1982’s 48 Hrs. or as recent as 2010’s Marley & Me and on TV shows as funny as 2 Broke Girls or as serious as Ray Donovan, on which she has a memorable recurring role as Jon Voight’s onscreen sister-in-law, coincidentally named Sandy Patrick.
Sacha Baron Cohen (Uncle Ugo)
Another undersea relative of Luca’s is his uncle, Ugo, voiced by multi-talented actor and controversial prankster artist Sacha Baron Cohen, who was recently nominated for two Academy Awards - one for his supporting role in Netflix’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 and the other for co-writing the screenplay for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which premiered exclusively on Amazon Prime in 2020. The 49-year-old Brit’s first and other most famous acting gig was as the royal lemur Julien in the Madagascar movies as he is better known for live action characters in comedies like Jean Girard in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby or more serious films like Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street from 2007. The Who is America? host has recently been cast in the title role of the long-awaited Mandrake the Magician, based on the iconic comic strip.
Marco Barricelli (Massimo Marcovaldo)
As Giulia Marcovaldo’s father, Massimo - an intimidating, yet kindhearted, fisherman and cook - we have Marco Barricelli, who is best known for his long history as an actor, writer, director, and educator in the world of theatre. However, for those who those who do not seek entertainment from the stage, the veteran performer has eight screen credits to his name - the most recent being Luca. He debuted on a 1987 episode of the popular daytime soap opera Guiding Light, appeared on the NBC legal drama L.A. Law in 1991, and had a four-episode stint on the dramedy The Book of Daniel (which only lasted twice as long in 2006), to name a few gig. Barricelli has even lent his voice to a few video games, including 1996’s Clandestiny and Manhunt 2 in 2007.
Francesca Fanti (Maggiore)
As a movie set in Italy and directed by an Italian born filmmaker (Enrico Casarosa), it would only make sense that Luca cast also empty Italian-born actors as well. Among them is Francesca Fanti, who is best know to American audiences from the 2009 musical Nine (which also starred Daniel Day-Lewis), the Emmy-winning FX miniseries The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story as the murdered fashion icon’s mother (coincidentally named) Francesca “Franca” Versace, and a couple of uncredited voice roles in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted alongside the aforementioned Sacha Baron Cohen.
Saverio Raimondo (Ercole Visconte)
One of Italy’s most popular comedians is Saverio Raimondo, who stars in Luca as a young bully named Ercole Visconte, whom Luca comes at odds with in the Pixar film. The animated movie is Raimondo’s first (partially) English-language project, having previously appeared in a modest number of projects originating from his home country - including the 2016 pilot for the comedy Dov’è Mario, in which a renowned Italian intellectual (Corrado Guzzanti) suffers a car accident and gains a split personality that makes him a crude stand-up comic by night. Speaking of stand-up, for a taste of what Raimondo’s comedic stylings, try his 2019 Netflix original comedy special Saverio Raimondo: Il Satiro Parlante.