Honestly, these days, the first place I think of Holly Hunter is from The Incredibles, but as established, I don’t do voicework for article images. Still, I find it interesting that they went for women with very distinctive voices for the Parr women. Not that I dislike Holly Hunter’s voice, you understand, but as we said of Stephen Root last week, you cast him, you’re looking for a very specific voice, and it’s the same with Hunter. And Pixar can cast pretty much whoever they want, so far as I can tell, and chose Hunter and Sarah Vowell.
Not to disparage Hunter’s talent, but she’s been quite lucky several times. Right from the beginning, in fact; a thing that led to her career as it stands was when she was apparently stuck in an elevator with playwright Beth Henley once, which led to Hunter taking over a role in Crimes of the Heart when Mary Beth Hurt left and then having a role in The Miss Fire Cracker Contest. Ten minutes alone in an elevator, huh?
Of course, we’re all lucky for those ten minutes in that elevator, because Hunter is quite a fine actress. She’s had a wide range of roles, from Elastigirl to Ada McGrath to Billie Jean King. I haven’t seen her in a role I didn’t think she was right for, though I’ll admit there are quite a few of her performances I haven’t seen. She is remarkably talented and seems to have good sense about which roles she takes, and that’s two things that do a lot of good for her career.
She says she’s been asked to direct a few times and chooses not to, because she doesn’t think she’s emotionally equipped for the work. Though she has produced, and I guess she likes doing that more. But she says that directing takes a lot of self-awareness and self-confrontation that she’s not sure she’s ready for, so she doesn’t do it. Like I said, good sense.
You might think that another instance of her being lucky is her being cast in Coen films, since she was Frances McDormand’s roommate back in the 70s. You would be exactly backward—they wanted her for the lead in Blood Simple, and she turned them down because she had a play she was scheduled to do. (She does do an uncredited voice on an answering machine, however.) Instead, she suggested that they might consider casting her roommate. So that worked out nicely for everyone, clearly.