Throughout his career as a writer and comedian, Jim Gaffigan has talked quite a lot about being a parent. Fatherhood has inspired many of his best stand-up jokes and it has always been clear that family is at the center of everything Gaffigan does. That's why it came as no surprise to his fans when he was cast as the affable father of the titular sea monster in Disney and Pixar's Luca, which arrives on Disney+ this Friday.
Gaffigan's character, Lorenzo, is a bit absent-minded at times. He wants to do the right thing for his family, but he's not always focused on the right things, which is a relatable notion for any parent. Over a Zoom interview ahead of Luca's premiere, Gaffigan talked with us about how his real-life parenting experience helped form his take on Lorenzo.
"Well, that was something that was discussed with Enrico [Casarosa], the director, is that Lorenzo is maybe distracted, but he has good intentions," Gaffigan told us. "So I can understand being a parent that's distracted by has the best intentions. There's a difference between being a disinterested parent and somebody who's just struggling with trying to do the right thing and I so identify with that because I'm a dad, but I don't know know what I'm doing."
Lorenzo really speaks to the difficulties parents can sometimes have trying to figure their kids out. You may think you have everything locked down, but there's always something else you weren't prepared for.
"It's also one of those things where it's kind of like a classic family unit with the grandma there and everything. It's not like he was never the dad and never home or ignored the kid," Gaffigan explained. "I think that a lot of parents, we like to think that we're all insightful and picking up cues on our kids, but you're not going to know everything and then if you look at it from our perspective to our parents, they didn't know. The stuff that we pulled off, they had no idea, and that doesn't mean they were disinterested."
Gaffigan poured his own experiences as a dad into the character of Lorenzo and it really shows. You can watch our full interview with Gaffigan in the video at the top of the page.
Disney and Pixar's Luca arrives on Disney+ on June 18th.