Christina Hendricks’ obsession with ventriloquist dummies prepared her for Toy Story 4
Like a lot of the antagonists in Toy Story movies, Christina Hendricks’ character Gabby Gabby has subordinates. Her toy henchmen however might be the most frightening, a collection of ventriloquist dummies named Benson that do her bidding. Even before Hendricks was approached for the role, she and Gabby Gabby shared an affinity for the dummies.
“The funny thing is that I always wanted a ventriloquist doll, but I had no intention of being a ventriloquist. I just liked the doll, and that he was fancy and wore a like black tie, the monocle. I was just like, this guy is class act. I just liked his whole look. I liked the idea of it. I liked the monocle. So I just, I wanted it my whole life, and I never got it. So now, as an adult, I have it, and it’s in my house. So when I went to the office and they would show me, I was like, but I have that doll in my house. They were like, ‘That is really weird.'”
Hendricks says there was no hesitation on her part for taking the part, and that Pixar came armed with all of the details she would need for her character.
“I said yes immediately….I think they sent me like a brief character description and then they sent me a picture of her. And as soon as I saw the picture I was like, this is awesome.”
Gabby Gabby’s problem in the film is she was a defective toy right out of the package, her voice box has never worked right, and she’s only ever wanted to bring joy to a child like every other toy, and she’ll do whatever she needs to get that attention. For her speaking voice though, there weren’t any sinister influences for Hendricks.
“Her whole thing is that she’s like, ‘Hi, I’m Gabby Gabby’ because we can all remember those toys where you pull the string and it says the same thing over and over and over, and they’re always joyful. It’s the happy voice because they’re supposed to be friends with a child. So we just sort of took that, I’m always happy and just used that as the inspiration.”