When stars collide
The stars of Ice Age: Collision Course may have recorded their parts separately, but when they meet, sparks fly
Spanning 16 years, Ice Age is one of the biggest animated movie franchises.
Opening here tomorrow, Ice Age: Collision Course is its fifth instalment and the sequel to 2012's Continental Drift, with Ray Romano and Queen Latifah returning to voice the married woolly mammoths Manny and Ellie.
This time Manny has two catastrophes to deal with - an asteroid is about to hit Earth, and his daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) wants to get married.
Since he doesn't appreciate change, he doesn't deal with the dual shockwaves well.
Ellie's approach is more measured. Although she is happy for Peaches, she is unhappy at the prospect of the empty nest to come.
Even though US actors Romano, 58, and Latifah, 46 - whom we meet at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills - have never acted together and recorded their voices separately for the film, they are as comfortable together as any married couple, constantly referring to each other and making each other laugh.
So if an asteroid is going to hit Earth in five days, how would you spend the rest of your time?
Romano: I was going to say that I would stay with my wife, but if I have five days... (laughs).
I would probably do everything that I was scared to do. I would skydive, I would surf naked, sing, eat like crazy.
Latifah: I would want to be around people I love and I would want to do something fun too.
I see myself in that movie that stops that apocalyptic thing from happening.
Romano: You are not playing the game.
Latifah: But that's part of my game. In my five days, it's an action movie. We are saving the world and we band together and, no wait, that is Ice Age (laughs).
Romano: And let's be honest, have sex with everyone (laughs).
How strange is it that you only get together when you do publicity for the film?
Romano: This is the only time I get to see her.
We are never in the studio at the same time.
I have done five of these movies and I have never been in the sound studio with another actor. It's always yourself and the director.
And even when you're not in the same place at the same time, that's how good our chemistry is.
Latifah: I think their relationship has grown, and by saying all these words through these years, I just become much more comfortable and I feel like I know my relationship because of these movies.
Not because of working with him. Really because of reading these lines and knowing how he sounds and what his intentions are and so we have kind of grown in the strangest way, but not by actually working together.
What made you want to return?
Romano: It's lucrative (laughs). But it's such a good message.
Latifah: For me it's been about making films that my family and the kids, my nieces and nephews can see me in.
To be able to be part of something like Ice Age that will live with kids, it will be part of their childhood memories and be part of them for the rest of their lives.
And the cheque (laughs). I took a picture of it.
Collision Course is also a story about extended families in a way.
Romano: It doesn't mean you have to be a blood relative to be a member of a family.
It's all different people and everybody looks different and is different, but they are all together.
Latifah: I think that is something that set Ice Age apart from other animated films.
I love the fact that it brought this mixture of characters together who become a family and who keep adding on to that family and keep extending more of themselves.