Billy Eichner: 'Jon Favreau had The Lion King cast physically act out scenes'

The funnyman voices Timon, alongside Seth Rogen's warthog Pumbaa.

Director Jon Favreau had the cast physically act out scenes from The Lion King while recording, according to Billy Eichner.

The Billy On The Street funnyman voices Timon, alongside Seth Rogen's warthog Pumbaa, in Disney's live-action remake of the 1994 animated classic.

In an interview with British newspaper The Independent, Eichner gave an insight into the unusual way that Favreau got the star-studded cast, including Donald Glover, Beyonce, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, to record their voices for the movie.

“It was very unexpected. Jon had this whole performance room set up with cameras all around the perimeter and microphones all over, recording everything we did, and he actually had us physically act out all the scenes," the 40-year-old New York native shared.

"At one point, he had us throw the scripts down and improvise through the entire movie. And a lot of that actually ended up in the final product.”

Eichner explained that he thought the cast needed to do something "more conversational" to help give character to the computer-generated animals onscreen.

“We still have our larger-than-life, over-the-top moment, but it’s a bit scaled down from what the original was," he stated.

That meant that the comedy double act of Eichner and Rogen could let their funny side shine through in their roles as neurotic meerkat Timon and loveable warthog Pumbaa.

“I think that was part of the fun,” the Knocked Up star shared. “Being able to weave in and out of new material and kind of make people think maybe they were going to get the same joke, but then being able to switch it just enough that it felt a little unexpected and therefore funny.”

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