Meet the new voice behind Nemo for the Pixar animated film 'Finding Dory'
Hayden Rolence takes the role over from Alexander Gould for the new film, which features the return of actors Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres. 'I mainly tried to make my voice sound like Alexander's voice,' Hayden says, 'because I thought he was such a good person to play Nemo.'
Hayden Rolence stands triumphantly in a giant window at Chicago's The James Hotel, his arms outstretched as if to give the entire world a big hug.
"I'm not going to stand against the glass," he says, looking down at Ontario Street below.
The 12-year-old Aurora boy loves the camera, and the camera loves him back. It's a media romance meant to be. Hayden has been a professional model since age 4.
But his latest claim to fame has nothing to do with how he looks.
It's how he sounds.
Hayden, a student at Still Middle School in Aurora, supplies the voice and personality of little clownfish Nemo in the new Disney/Pixar animated adventure "Finding Dory," which is now in theaters.
The original Nemo, Alexander Gould, recently turned 21, so the filmmakers had to find a new actor with a young voice to match the one from the 2003 movie.
"I mainly tried to make my voice sound like Alexander's voice," Hayden says, "because I thought he was such a good person to play Nemo."
"I'm glad that people are asking me all the same questions," he confides. "It's hard to answer questions I haven't thought about yet."
Hayden started by posing in print advertisements for clothing, toys and children's items.
Then came a series of TV commercials for Allstate Insurance, the PGA and Sears, followed by appearances in film shorts.
And now, a Disney movie that promises to hit the top of the box office charts.
Hayden beams as he describes reading Nemo's lines in the studio sound booth.
"I'm just in a room with Andrew Stanton (director/writer) and Lindsey Collins (producer) and a couple of other people trying to help on how I should do my voice," he says.
"I'm just by myself. The first time I met the other actors was during the premiere just last week!"
Was it difficult to emote while saying your lines by yourself?
"Yeah, it sort of was," he replies. "I had to make it sound like I was talking to other people, but I'm not talking to anybody else."
Hayden confessed he did have one particular line of dialogue that gave him trouble.
"My single worst line was one they cut," he says. "I had to say a tongue-twister. I don't remember what it was, but it's hard to say tongue twisters for me in general because I can barely get over my own words.
"Then, the fact that I had to do it in my Nemo voice makes it all the harder."
Hayden has nobody to credit for his success except his mother, Marlene Rolence.
Several years ago while at her hair salon, Marlene heard a friend say Hayden and his sister Meadow should consider professional modeling, they were that cute.
"I didn't think much about it," Marlene said. Then her friend mentioned that modeling jobs can pay for college expenses.
"'Oh, really?' That caught my attention," Marlene says. "You could have pushed us over with a feather when we found out he got the part (as Nemo)."
Even though the acting bug has bitten Hayden, he still prefers math and science as his favorite subjects. He also enjoys playing golf and being coached by his father, Jason Rolence.
But professionally, he's been bitten bad.
"I will definitely be an actor because as I've said before, I love everything about acting," Hayden says. "I want to try some more on-camera work. I want to do more voice-over stuff."
But what about his sister Meadow, also a model and actress? Any sibling rivalry about who earns the most money, gets the better jobs or bigger billing?
"I am not in that struggle. I cannot say the same thing about Meadow, but ..." His Nemo-esque voice grows serious.
"I'm just glad that she gets jobs. I'm glad that I get jobs. I'm just really ... glad."