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Actor Ed O'Neill dives into new role in animated sequel 'Finding Dory'

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Ed O'Neill voices Hank the octopus in the animated sequel "Finding Dory," with Ellen DeGeneres in the lead role and Kaitlin Olson as Destiny the whale shark. (KABC)

The filmmakers behind "Finding Nemo" are hoping to make another splash with moviegoers by bringing back several beloved characters from under the sea in "Finding Dory."

Ellen DeGeneres returns to voice the lovable, but very forgetful, blue tang fish who is on a mission to reunite with her family.

Along the way, she's helped out by a group of deep-sea Good Samaritans, including an octopus named Hank.

When Ed O'Neill started doing the voice work on this animated adventure, he had no idea what he was getting into.

"I didn't know even what I was doing in this movie. I thought it was a cameo," O'Neill said. "No one told me. I never saw a script, I never saw sides. I was told it was an octopus, and show up. I said yes because I thought, well it's Pixar."

But director Andrew Stanton asked O'Neill to come back - again and again and again.

"I thought this is like 'Groundhog Day,' you know, and it's a cameo!" said O'Neill. "I'm getting paid by the session over here, and I gotta drive to Burbank. After six months he finally said you know this is a lead role. Didn't know!"

O'Neill says he received some strong familial encouragement to dive into the role of Hank.

"My daughters said you have to do it, that's Nemo! And so I said OK fine. Thank God!"

"Finding Dory" is in theaters on Friday.
Related Topics:
entertainmentmoviesmovie sequelsdisneypixarhollywood wrapHollywoodBurbank
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