Maitland McDonagh and Jeanne Wolf

Directors Play Chicken

They had already decided they could make movie stars out of a flock of dumb clucks. So asking Academy Award-winning actor-director Mel Gibson to voice Rocky, Chicken Run's cocky claymation rooster, must have been a breeze for co-producers/directors Nick Park and Peter Lord, right? Think again.

"We were scared to approach him," confesses Park, himself a three-time Oscar winner for such cheeky short films as The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave, both featuring clueless inventor Wallace and his patient dog Gromit. "[Gibson] being such a big star... [we thought], what if he says no? It's going to be so embarrassing. But he was just really into having a laugh, and was familiar with Wallace & Gromit. That made it easy to get him on board; he knew our sense of humor and just played along and was a great sport. It's a credit to him really, the way he can do all these different movies with such credibility. We literally pulled him off The read more

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