THE FIRST thing Sharlto Copley noticed about the character Orm, in The Snow Queen 2, was his long nose. Asked to provide the English voice for the troll in the second Snow Queen feature, Copley leapt at the chance because he loves animated movies.

“So I gave him this very nasal voice. When I did the voice, I actually bought a swimming nose plug and plugged my nose. I wore the nose plug every time I was behind the microphone,” Copley explained about creating the voice for the film which opened on the local circuit last Friday.

He was head-hunted by casting/voice director, Ned Lott, for the English version of the film, which is a Russian-made sequel to The Snow Queen. He couldn’t lay down the voice tracks in one go because he was shooting the television show Powers at the time so he would go to the studio on off-days and weekends.

Copley loves voice work and really liked the film’s message and the character. It took several sessions and it was harder to provide a voice for the already fully realised character because he had to bring life to the expressions instead of the other way around.What appealed to him was that the ideas expressed by Orm are part of human nature: “Everybody wants to be loved and to be special and important, to be valued.

“He goes to these lengths of basically lying to make himself appear to be this amazing, valuable creature to everybody. And then, having to face himself and become aware and realise that he’s being dishonest… it is a very powerful message. Especially for South Africans, that idea of really having to look at yourself…

“On the surface, it is so obviously a perfect movie for young kids in terms of a moral message, but it is disturbingly deep and accurate for adults, all those little lies people tell, the message is absolutely relevant to the parents watching as well, and perhaps to some of the leaders,” said Copley.

“It’s a fun movie and I was just excited to do something that my little nephews can watch,” he laughs. Actually, there is also the soon-to-be released The Hollars (March 3 in South Africa) which he is pretty sure his mother would be proud of.

He would like to do more animation voice work and has been trying to keep up with what is happening on the local animation scene, especially what Triggerfish Animation are up to. He has been writing his own feature film, which he will direct and act in next year, but first Copley is taking a break in Canada before he starts visiting the China and Dubai film festival circuit to push the 1970s action crime drama, Free Fire.