Joseph Gordon-Levitt And Archie Yates Dish On Wolfboy And The Everything Factory – Exclusive Interview
There’s a new wizard in town, and he has a bright purple beard. Apple TV+ recently launched its new kids’ show “Wolfboy and the Everything Factory,” and there’s a lot to love whether you’re a kid or an adult. With talents like Joseph Gordon-Levitt voice acting Professor Luxcraft (the aforementioned purple bearded wizard) and “Jojo Rabbit” alum Archie Yates taking on the voice of Sprout, the series nabbed top talent on all age levels.
Fans know Gordon-Levitt from projects like “Inception,” “Looper,” “Don Jon,” “50/50,” and “500 Days of Summer,” while Yates’ breakout role as Yorki in “Jojo Rabbit” stunned audiences in 2019. Now, the two have entered the world of Sprytes in a realm called the Everything Factory, where a young boy in a wolf mask just can’t help getting into all kinds of trouble under the watchful eye of Luxcraft.
During an exclusive interview, Looper spoke to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Archie Yates about everything from voice acting on “Wolfboy and the Everything Factory” to drawing inspiration from Gandalf and working with industry talents like Juno Temple and Taika Waititi.
Playing pretend on a large scale
Joseph, you’ve been doing a lot of really great voice acting in the past few years. How do projects like “Wolfboy” compare to your live-action roles like “Inception,” and what, if anything, prompted that focus?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Oh, it’s pretty coincidental. I’ve always loved doing voice acting. When you’re acting in front of a camera, there are so many different things that can go wrong, even besides just your acting. And when you’re voice acting, it’s just you, and you can kind of purely focus in on what you’re doing and use your imagination. It reminds me of being a kid, actually, and playing pretend, which is so much of what “Wolfboy and the Everything Factory” is about, using your imagination.
Archie, you’ve worked with some incredible industry staples, from Taika Waititi to now Joseph Gordon-Levitt. What have been the highlights of working with these guys, and have they given you any advice on acting, life, or the industry?
Archie Yates: Well, working with Taika, in particular, was really enjoyable and really funny. He’s just such a cool guy, and I really, really enjoyed working with him on “Jojo Rabbit.” He would just be so chilled out all the time. Not so much when he was in focus on work mode, but still, he was really, really nice to everyone. And working with Joseph on this fantastical project has been absolutely amazing because I cannot wait for my two little cousins — probably four cousins now. Yeah, four cousins that are younger than me. I can’t wait for them to watch this — I feel like they are going to really enjoy it, because this show is designed for young children.
Yer a wizard, Luxcraft
Joseph, pop culture has many fan-favorite wizardly professor-type characters, from Dumbledore to Gandalf. Are you a fan of any of those characters, and did they help inform your direction at all? How did you set your character apart from those that came before?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Absolutely. I’m certainly a Gandalf fan and have been even before I read “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” and stuff, and I love the movies too. And, of course, Ian McKellen. But yeah, Professor Luxcraft is … He’s a bit of a dandy, this one. He’s not as somber, “You shall not pass.” His beard is a lovely shade of violet, so he’s a little bit different than your typical mentor wizard, but he also is beautifully magical. And I love the way that he is constantly comparing magic with creativity and art. And that’s really straight from the mind of the creator of this show, Toff Mazery, who’s such a brilliant artist.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's connections with Juno Temple
What was it like having Juno Temple cameo on the show?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Oh, so she plays this spirit of chaos called Nyx. And when we were trying to figure out who would play it, I had just finished shooting with her on “Mr. Corman.” And I said, “I think Juno would be perfect for this, and I bet she would do it.” And I was really, really grateful that when I called her up, she was game and her performance is so good.
That’s awesome. What made you both excited to sign onto this project, and why do you think adults, as well as kids, need to tune into the show?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt: Go for it, Archie.
Archie Yates: So when I first got this script from my agent, I thought to myself, “This is weird, and this is very bizarre.” And as I learned more information about him, what it was about, I gradually liked it more until I was at the point where I was like, “Yes, I would love to do this.” And so yeah, that process didn’t really take very long because I actually … I don’t know how to explain it.
The full season of “Wolfboy and the Everything Factory” is available now on Apple TV+