Emily Blunt and James McAvoy dish on what their own kids have to say about their voice-over roles in "Sherlock Gnomes." Kids say the funniest things sometimes, right? 

By Lauren Pardee

"Sherlock Gnomes" is the new film your children will be watching on repeat, so it may be in your best interest to get ahead of the trend and learn more about the movie and its stars. As the sequel to "Gnomeo and Juliet," this light-hearted animated comedy transforms another iconic tale—the story of the fictional private detective, Sherlock Homes—in a kid-friendly way. Cue the hilarious gnomes.

The movie, which takes place all around London, follows Gnomeo and Juliet on an adventure to save their eclectic gnome family who was kidnapped by the evil pie mascot, Moriarty. (#gnomeproblems) With the help of Sherlock Gnomes and his trusty partner, Watson, the foursome solves the string of garden gnome disappearances while learning how to respect one another and overcome their differences.

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The movie, directed by John Stevenson (the genius behind Kung Fu Panda) has an all-star cast including: Emily Blunt (Juliet), James McAvoy (Gnomeo), Johnny Depp (Sherlock Gnomes), Mary J. Blige (Irene), Michel Cane (Lord Redbrick), and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dr. Watson).

We catch up with Emily Blunt and James McAvoy to see how parenthood influences them as actors in animated films, as well as gain some insider insight on "Sherlock Gnomes":

What can fans look forward to seeing in "Sherlock Gnomes" that they didn’t experience in "Gnomeo and Juliet?"

Emily Blunt: “Well "Gnomeo and Juliet" was set very much so in these sort of rival gardens—sort of based on the Shakespearian version—but this is a huge action adventure comedy. It’s expanding out to London and its sort of a love letter to London. They go on these crazy adventures with this new character Sherlock Gnomes, introducing another historical, cultural figure in gnome form.”

James McAvoy: “Since we are on Parents.com, I think there is definitely a storyline that parents might identify with when you are taking on a new responsibility—maybe a child, maybe a new house, or whatever, I don’t know—we are as a couple in this movie taking on the responsibility of nurturing a new, young garden and it is something that tests our relationship and tests us to the limit, really.”

What are some of the qualities you both love about your characters?

EB: “I love Juliet’s sense of adventure—she is really courageous and cool and a bit reckless and I think that those are fun qualities.”

JM: “I like Gnomeo’s belief in love and belief in their relationship, it is stronger than anything, it will conquer all. For him it’s just, we love each other so it should work, right? I love that that’s what he believes, but it’s complicated because he doesn’t quite get that he has to pull himself to do a bit more than just love her.”

Do your children get excited to hear your voices behind the characters of these great animated films?

EB: “Well, I think their friends and I think my nephews and nieces are excited, but I think when it’s your mom it’s a little disconcerting, you know?”

JM: “I don’t think the children of actors always respond to their parents' work well. They just want you to be their parent, they don’t want you to be in a movie or pretending to be someone else—what’s that all about? It’s really disconcerting for them.”

Do your children inspire you to take roles like this?

EB: “It’s funny because I don’t know if it is a conscious thing—like, I’m going to make this film for my children—but I think I inevitably have been shifted by having children and so I do think about these types of films more, but it might be a more subconscious decision.”

JM: “I’ve had a good time playing characters in films that are animated my whole career. You get to play really joyous characters. Sometimes you get to play quite uncomplicated characters and that can be a nice antidote to all the complicated characters you’ve played.”

Have your children ever requested that you play a certain character or star in a specific movie?

EB: “Oh my goodness, well, Hazel really likes "Tangled"—I don’t know if you’ve seen it—and she has a rather evil mother in it who Rapunzel calls mother. So Hazel, rather embarrassingly, will sometimes want me to roleplay and we’ll be in a playground and she will be like, “Mother, no!” and I can see all the parents turning around and being like 'oh, it’s because she is British.' She usually wants me to play the baddies, like Ursula. I don’t know why.”

JM: “She wants you to play Ursula?”

EB: “And I just say to her, ‘I don’t want to be Ursula, I want to be Sebastian the crab or something. Why do I have to be Ursula?’”

"Sherlock Gnomes" will be available on DVD and Blue-ray as well as Amazon Video and iTunes in June of 2018.



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