A Funny Story About the Guy Who Voiced Roger Rabbit, Plus: The Woman Who Modeled for Jessica Rabbit

A Funny Story About the Guy Who Voiced Roger Rabbit, Plus: The Woman Who Modeled for Jessica Rabbit

Nov 12, 2013

It would take a certain kind of script to make a great Who Framed Roger Rabbit? sequel, but you can't say the audience isn't ready for one. With so much to say about the evolution of animation since Roger's 1988 big-screen debut, a follow-up could be this great bridge between what we used to be and what we are today. Plus, who wouldn't want to watch Roger bumble his way through some adventure, while Jessica Rabbit woos a new generation of horny preteen boys?

Any Roger Rabbit sequel today might even involve motion capture, but back in 1988 we were still a few years away from that kind of technology. Though the character of Roger Rabbit was completely animated, he was voiced by a real dude: Charles Fleischer. The funny thing about Fleischer was that he insisted on wearing the Roger Rabbit costume during the making of the movie even though he never appears on-screen. Here's a behind-the-scenes image of Fleischer in full costume alongside video of him talking about why he did this, telling Jay Leno they created "a new acting style" even though Bob Hoskins thought he was nuts.

 

 

For Jessica Rabbit, it was a little different. Talk about a funky character concoction, Jessica is voiced by Kathleen Turner (in an uncredited role), with Amy Irving stepping in to provide Jessica's singing voice. Her persona is inspired by 1950s pinup girl Vikki Dougan, but her image is based on a combination of actress Veronica Lake and the animated character Red Hot Riding Hood (see below), with a little Tinker Bell and Marilyn Monroe sprinkled on top, according to creator Gary K. Wolf.

Tex Avery 1943 Red Hot Riding Hood

But unlike Fleischer, another human was actually required on set when it came to Jessica Rabbit. They needed a body performance model for the character and found her in actress Betsy Brantley. She would fill in for Jessica so artists would know how to draw her movements. Here is one of only a few behind-the-scenes shots of Brantley as Jessica Rabbit. [via FYBTS]

 

                 

                 

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