CARS ON THE ROAD Interview: Larry The Cable Guy On Reuniting With Owen Wilson And Mater's Return (Exclusive)

Cars on the Road star Larry the Cable Guy talks about returning as Mater in the new Disney+ series, recalling some of the biggest laughs in the recording booth and getting to work with Owen Wilson again.

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In celebration of Disney+ Day, Disney and Pixar's original series Cars on the Road will debut exclusively on the streaming service tomorrow, September 8.

The series follows Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and his best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) as they head east from Radiator Springs on a cross-country road trip to meet up with Mater's sister. The series delivers lots of fun adventures for the beloved duo, putting them in unexpected surroundings and paying homage to quite a few classic movies along the way. 

We recently spoke with Larry about returning as Mater in the Disney+ series, learning whether finding the character's voice is still a challenge after playing him for so long and if he discovered anything new about the tow truck on this journey.

The actor and comedian also talks about reuniting with Owen Wilson for this latest Cars project and recalls cracking up on set while recording Mater's hilarious dialogue.

Check out our full interview with the legendary Cars star below:

I know Cars fans are going to love seeing Lightning McQueen and Mater go on this road trip, but how much fun was it for you getting to reunite with Owen Wilson for this project?

Oh yeah, man. I love working with Owen. We’ve done this for so long. We just know what direction the other is going in so if Owen throws something new out and they put it in the script and come to me, I know exactly what he was thinking. I’ll go right along with it, and it’s the same for me with him. It’s so fun to work with him.

You get to explore some exciting new sides of Mater in this series, but having spent so long playing this character, did you find yourself discovering anything new about him?

You know what, this is the first time they’ve been together for a long time. It’s just him and McQueen, so yeah, they’re like a regular set of friends. Something will come up, he’ll be mad, and in the end, they come together and they’re friends again. It’s just like any best friends would be. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got best friends, I love them, and would do anything for them. Every now and again, though, you get angry and you’re like, ‘What are you doing?’

We haven’t seen a lot of that with Mater and McQueen, but they’re together all the time and I think it normalises their friendship even more. They have the same spats as most other best friends, but they’re still best friends, and I think that’s great. So, yeah, there are a few new things there. Here’s the thing I’ve got a beef with Owen about…in all of the Cars franchise, I do all my own stunts. He doesn’t! [Laughs]

In terms of finding the voice - is it easier now after all this time to instantly get into character or does it still take time to find Mater when you return for these projects? 

No, I think that my wife explained it the best. In my comedy, I do this character Larry the Cable Guy, but it’s a complete character from what I am in real life just hanging out with my wife, my kids, and my friends. Mater is literally, like she says, is way more like me than anything else I do. I basically just take myself and I take the character voice I’ve been dealing with for forever, and I combine those two together to come up with Mater. My wife says it the best. She says, ‘On stage, I’m Larry the Cable Guy, but when I do Mater it’s kind of cool because [I] actually see [you] in Mater.’ It’s cool. I just be myself and throw a little accent on it and go to town. 

Mater always gets the best lines, but with so much craziness in this series, were there any that just cracked you up while recording? Were there any fun ones you got to improvise on the spot?

They let me do whatever and if I can think of something else, I’ll go ahead and do it. I’ll know by their reaction if it was good or not, but the character when it gets to me is so well written. They might say, ‘We were thinking about this here, but if you can think of something better for this part…’ There were many times in the studio, and I’ll be honest, we taped this in the last year and a half, so there were so many times when we would wing something and we’d just stop for a second so we could stop laughing because it was so funny!

They let me have a pretty good reign on throwing stuff out. There were so many moments, and I couldn’t really name them because we’ve had quite a few in doing this series, but I think this show has so many good laughs in it. Right when we started and I was just two episodes in, I said, ‘Man, there are so many good lines here. I wish I could bring them and put them in my act!’ [Laughs] There are so many good ones and we laughed through the whole thing. 

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