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‘Inside Out 2’ voice stars Maya Hawke and Amy Poehler talk tough teen years

E Inside Out2 06132024
Disney/Pixar

It’s Anxiety vs. Joy in the new Inside Out sequel. Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out 2 hits theaters Friday, and among the new emotions in 13-year-old Riley’s head is Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke, who is wrestling for control with Joy, once again voiced by Amy Poehler.

Hawke tells ABC Audio that when the first film came out, she was 15 and it gave her new language to talk about her feelings. “It had lots of things that mirrored my own childhood, and I was really working on trying to figure out how to be less emotionally destructive and more emotionally communicative,” she reveals.

“Like, I’m not feeling understood, but how can I better communicate so that I am — not just be like, ‘Nobody understands me!’ And I think that this movie did a great job of giving us tools.”

She adds that when she was Riley’s age, “Sadness and Anxiety were at the wheel in that period of time.”

She says, “Like, you know, and even the version of Anxiety that’s excitement, because there is excitement that’s like, ‘Oh my God, it’s Riley’s big game. Oh, this is so exciting. Oh my God. OK, now we’ve got to plan for all the things to go wrong,’ and then … you get home and you’re just like, ‘Ohh.'”

Hawke adds, “It was not my favorite time in my life.”

Poehler tells ABC Audio that when she was 13, one emotion was dominating her mental space. “Well, hairspray was a big emotion, just using it and getting it.”

She adds, “I don’t know. It was [an emotion] in Boston in 1985,” she said of her offbeat answer.

“My head was very crowded, just like Riley,” the SNL vet admits. 

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