Linda Cardellini reprises her role as Velma in the sequel, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. This time, Scooby and the gang confront an anonymous masked villain who is plotting to take over the city of Coolsville by wreaking mayhem with a monster machine that creates Mystery Inc.’s classic foes like The Pterodactyl Ghost, The Black Knight Ghost and The 10,000 Volt Ghost.
Cardellini says she was excited to come back to the role. “Velma gets to do much more in this film. It’s just fun, especially now because I play something so incredibly different, such a polar opposite from me being in ‘ER’ and playing this single, struggling working mother to going and having a movie coming out where I play this broad, Velma Dinkly Mystery Inc. Scooby-Doo cartoon come to life young woman. It’s such a fun thing to be able to play two such different things and have them come out around the same time.”
She adds that there’s a certain comfort coming back to a character, but that there’s challenges as well. “When you’re working and you’re doing other things in between, there’s a lot you forget. So that’s a little scary. Especially for a character who’s been around for 20, some-odd, 30 years. You have a certain responsibility to it, and even though it’s a cartoon, you wanna be able to make it a thing that the kids can relate to. But for me, I had more freedom in the second film because we knew what the first film was. We knew finally who the star of the movie was, we were able to see him for the first time after the movie was completed. It wasn’t until a year after that we ever saw what Scooby-Doo looked like. So coming into it the second time, we actually knew who it was we were working with and that it would work and kids would believe it. So coming in the second time, there was a certain amount of comfort with that. You wanna keep it fresh for yourself and for other people You don’t want people to sit there and watch you do the same thing over and over again.”
So what kind of techniques did she use the second time around to work with something’s that’s not there? “We’re lucky because we have Neil Fanning on the set. He does the voice of Scooby-Doo. And although you can’t look at him, which is sometimes hard because you can hear him, he’s great and he will actually improv with you as Scooby. He’ll do the noises when he’s scared, he’ll say things. That gives you a real sense of what it’s going to be like. Otherwise, with the monsters, with the skeleton men, we had no idea what they were going to look like. The way they were in my imagination was nothing at all how they turned out to be – thank God, because I had a weird version of them. But you just make something up and have to commit to it 100 percent, which is sort of what you learn as an actor.”
One of the funny scenes in the film features Velma wearing a tight red outfit. She says most of the scene was her and Seth Green improvising on the spot. “Seth and I would joke around with each other so much and when we were sitting in the van, [director Raja Gosnell] would let the camera just go and we would joke around and improv with each other. Some things we never dreamt would be in the movie. Some things we were just joking back and forth. And I would make that noise because it would make us both laugh. And so then I improvised. He said something like, “You look beautiful.” And I went [fart sound]. “Oh sorry, that’s the suit. I swear.” And suddenly it ended up in the trailer and now it’s in the movie and it’s pretty great because it sort of just came out of hanging out and joking around with each other.
Cardellini adds that Velma gets to lose her glasses again in the sequel, because “it’s not a Scooby-Doo episode if Velma doesn’t lose her glasses or wear her orange turtle-neck.” She also had to wear the glasses and wig for the action scenes. “For the first movie I cut my hair and I had this long brown hair and I cut my hair to look like Velma’s hair-do. The second time through, I said, ‘No way.’ That hair-do is tough to grow out. I wore a wig. The wig actually looked more like real hair during the action sequences. My hair actually looked much more natural in the second movie, which is hilarious because it’s a wig. But that thing is glued on, and tacked on with so much force that it’s like a two-hour process to get it on and off. And the glasses, we finally had figured out how to keep them on. And at one point I had a little wire behind them. It’s funny because in some of the scenes, because of the reflections, they would take out the lenses of my glasses.”
She says that she would like to continue playing the role in future sequels. “I love playing Velma. Part of the reason why I wanted to audition is because I could see myself playing her. I wanted to be playing her. Part of the reason I audition for parts is because I can’t stand to see somebody else play them. So for me, until the story gets stale, which it hasn’t, I would like to continue to play her.”
Cardellini plays nurse Sam on ER, which was a bit of an adjustment. “There’s one day. There’s the first day. And even on that day you have to hit the ground running. But after that, you work so hard and so vigorously with the people who are next to you. And they’re such pros, I mean the actors, the writer. That show is such a great institution that you are not a stranger for very long. You may have had a bumpy few seconds, but after that you better get on the boat and start doing it because it doesn’t wait for you. Especially for Sam because she’s supposed to be so incredibly capable and knowledgeable, and be this great nurse that I didn’t have the introduction period of having the insecurity of coming to a new hospital because that’s not part of her character. So I sort of had to bite the bullet and jump right in .”
Linda also says she stars in Martin Short’s upcoming Jiminy Glick movie, based on his Comedy Central show. “I think that’s coming out in October. It was all improvised, which was a totally different experience. I play the daughter of this fading movie star who’s troubled because of her mother’s lifestyle.” The mother in the film is played by Elizabeth Perkins.
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed opens nationwide this Friday.