LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston High School’s own Dana Gaier, 16, who voiced the character of “Edith” in both the first and soon to be released sequel Despicable Me 2, will be attending the red carpet premier of the film, on Saturday, June 22, at The Gibson Amphitheater at Universal CityWalk in Los Angeles. The film opens in theaters around the country on July 3. Despicable Me became the 10th-biggest animated motion picture in 2010, grossing over $540 million.
Gaier said she is most looking forward to seeing the movie with everyone that worked on it, including writers Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, plus other cast members like Miranda Cosgrove, Steve Carrell and Kristen Wiig.
“It’s really funny when we all come together to watch what we’ve done, and of course I love seeing all of the famous actors,” Gaier said. “Kristen Wiig and Steve Carrell are two of my favorites.”
After performing in the original animated film Despicable Me, Gaier reported that she felt more comfortable the second time around because she was more familiar with the process and the directors.
“I know exactly who Edith is and how she would say certain things so everything moved along faster,” Gaier said.
Gaier admitted that she is similar to her character, Edith, in that neither of them are “girly-girls” and both enjoy teasing their siblings.
When Gaier is not involved in a show, she enjoys playing sports and doing anything active. She has also been playing guitar and writing music for seven years. She said that her music, her family and her friends are the most important things in her life.
As a freshman at Livingston High School, Gaier landed a lead role in the spring musical “Suessical.” She played a young girl named Jojo, who taught Gaier about imagination and ultimately helped her set the scene during her Despicable Me recording sessions.
“On the LHS stage, I am playing off of other actors and have my lines memorized,” Gaier said. “When I’m acting for Despicable Me I’m recording in a booth by myself and the lines are in front of me, so I have to imagine the action around me.”
Gaier said that she has loved being both on the stage and in the recording studio because they have given her two completely different experiences. Going into her junior year at LHS, Gaier has yet to decide on a plan for college. She said she does know that she wants it to involve acting and singing.
“I would like to voice more animated movies and hopefully get a chance to appear onscreen in film,” Gaier said. “I will continue to take voice and acting lessons whenever I can.”
Gaier is not just passionate about acting; she is also an anti-bullying advocate. She runs her own “anti-bullying” website called www.gyourb.org. She created the site, which stands for “Got Your Back,” because bullying is a concern that is very important to her.
Gaier says that landing the role of Edith for the sequel was a challenge, since she was only 11 years old when she recorded the first film and 15 for the second. According to Gaier, the experience of re-auditioning taught her never to take anything for granted.
On Thursday, June 27, Gaier will be appearing on Good Day New York to tell her fans about the film.
“Despicable Me fans should definitely get excited for Despicable Me 2 because it continues the story of Gru and the girls with new, exciting adventures,” Gaier said. “Get ready for more adorable minions.”