Dane Cook is diversifying. The comedian has starred in a few movies, so far mostly forgettable romantic comedies, and last summer he made his stage debut as Franz Liebkind in “The Producers” at the Hollywood Bowl. His latest project is “Planes,” the new animated feature from Disney in which Cook is the voice of Dusty, a little crop duster that could. Friday, we chatted with Cook on the phone.
Q. I have a theory that in these animated films, the characters resemble the person doing the voice. Do you think Dusty looks like you? I do.
A. [Laughs] As I was voicing the character, that was my first question: How would it look on the screen. Once I saw the mouth movement, that’s where it clicked for me. I was, like, “That’s my mouth movement.”
Q. Is doing voice work as easy as it seems?
A. I’ll tell you, doing voice-over work is deceiving because you think you’ll pull into this parking lot, say a few hellos, there’s no makeup and wardrobe. But then you’re standing in front of that microphone and you have to be energetic and enthusiastic and able to hear it in your voice. You can’t depend on the animation to raise your level of performance.
Q. Someone seems to think “Planes” is going to be successful because the sequel’s already in the works.
A. The people behind the scenes have a strong passion and belief in the work and they know a lot better than I do, so I’m just following their lead.
Q. Do you have any idea why Boston has been such a breeding ground for comedians?
A. I wish I knew because I’d bottle it. It was such an incredible thing coming up during the boom of the ’80s. There were so many great talents who hadn’t had a breakthrough moment. You were coming up under the heaviest of heavy hitters, guys like Steve Sweeney or DJ Hazard or Don Gavin or Kevin Knox, one of my favorite comedians and a great friend and someone I learned so much from in terms of commitment. There’s a long list.
Q. You did stand-up at the Boston Strong fund-raiser for victims of the Marathon bombings, and took heat for not letting organizers stream or televise your performance. Why was that?
A. It pains me even to talk about it. It was a debacle. The unfortunate thing for me was not that anyone was frustrated with me, but that any focus was taken away from what that evening was. And that’s why I didn’t speak about it. Regardless of what people were saying, it wasn’t about me. It was about the victims and the city of Boston. Now, I can assure people that I had no clue, until the day of, that there was going to be any video or stream. I didn’t feel like the adult content was the right thing to put on live, especially three hours into a show that I knew would be an emotional affair. I’ll tell you it pains me, but I will do anything I can to help the city of Boston. When I come through on my tour, I’ll be donating 100 percent of the proceeds back to the One Fund.