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Meet the Voice Actors Behind the Emotions in "Inside Out 2"

These amazing actors' voices conveyed the sequel's message perfectly

Yet another Disney and Pixar animated film strikes gold with Kelsey Mann’s family comedy-drama Inside Out 2. The movie follows Riley, a thirteen-year-old girl navigating puberty. She gets acquainted with a new quartet of emotions (Anxiety, Envy, Ennui, and Embarrassment) that stir up conflict with old emotions JoySadnessAngerDisgust, and Fear.

The sequel of 2015's Inside Out has been breaking massive viewing records since its first weekend in cinemas this year. As the sequel hits the notch of more than $295 million, Pixar makes a mark for its most successful opening of 2024 to date.

Before its premiere (it was released in the Philippines last June 12), select critics and fans had the privilege to visit the Pixar headquarters in Emeryville, California, and catch a 30-minute sneak peek of the highly-anticipated film.

On Instagram, Kendra Kramer (daughter of Filipino actress Chesca Garcia and former professional basketball player Doug Kramer) shared her exclusive experience there, where she had the chance to meet the talented creators, gain insight into the creative process behind the masterpiece, and even do a voice-acting trial for the Disney Pixar character, Joy.

The lovable characters in Inside Out 2 sure know how to tug at our heartstrings. But credit also goes to those who pulled the strings behind the scenes and conveyed the emotions in the best way possible through their voices. Let’s meet the voice actors who brought the nine emotions to life.

Amy Poehler as Joy
Amy Poehler as Joy | Photo from @pixar

Amy Poehler as Joy

Reprising her role as Joy, Amy Poehler exudes a distinctive charisma. Her infectious energy and comedic flair shine a spotlight on the ever-optimist, Joy. Throughout a career spanning more than two decades, Amy has garnered many awards and accolades due to her sharp wit and versatile performances. It is also evident that she is dedicated to projects that seamlessly intertwine humor with heartfelt storytelling. She received the Favorite Voice in an Animated Movie at the Nickelodeon’s Kid Choice Awards in 2016 for her voice portrayal of Joy. 

Amy is an actress, comedian, and producer who has received acclaim for her memorable portrayal of Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation and her tenure on the late-night live sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live. Her comedic timing and sincere portrayals consistently make her a standout in every role she portrays. 

Phyllis Smith as Sadness
Phyllis Smith as Sadness | Photo from @officialphyllissmith

Phyllis Smith as Sadness

Phyllis Smith is an actress renowned for her role as the nurturing Phyllis Vance on the American comedy series The Office. She returns as Sadness in Inside Out 2, infusing the character with her gentle and calming voice. Back in 2016, as the voice of Sadness, she won an Annie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production. 

Before her venture into acting, Phyllis demonstrated versatility and resilience in the entertainment industry through roles such as a casting associate and dancer. Her transition into the world of acting scored her rave reviews and a dedicated following of supporters. Phyllis’ poignant delivery and empathetic voice lend an authentic depth to the deuteragonist role of Sadness, an emotion that deeply resonates with humans.

Lewis Black as Anger
Lewis Black as Anger | Photo from @pixar

Lewis Black as Anger

American actor Lewis Black breathed life into the emotion of Anger. A renowned stand-up comedian and social critic, Lewis’ skillful performance captures anger’s raw, unfiltered nature of anger, blending it with a unique sense of humor. 

Lewis achieved widespread recognition through his appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where his impassioned commentaries on politics and societal issues prove to be remarkable. Notably, he has been honored with two Grammy Awards for Best Comedy Album, specifically for The Carnegie Hall Performance and Stark Raving Black. 

As the voice of Anger, Lewis made a signature style of crackling his voice with intensity, transforming every outburst scene into a moment to remember. His fiery wit and explosive delivery made him the perfect fit for the role.

Tony Hale as Fear
Tony Hale as Fear | Photo from @pixar

Tony Hale as Fear

Tony Hale’s neurotic charm shines through in his role as Fear, who was first voiced by Bill Hader. Known for his versatility and comedic roles, Tony fills the character with a captivating mix of derangement and vigilance. His vocal performance masterfully captures Fear's jittery and anxious energy. 

Throughout his career, he has earned numerous awards, even bagging two Primetime Emmy Awards for his hilarious portrayal of Gary Walsh on the smash-hit HBO series Veep. His acting chops are truly commendable as he effortlessly shifts between comedy and drama.

Additionally, he also had stints in renowned television series like Arrested Development and American Ultra. In 2019, he voiced another Disney x Pixar character, Toy Story 4's Forky the spork, who was so well-loved the character (still voiced by Tony) even starred in a spin-off of a series of short films titled Forky Asks a Question

Liza Lapira as Disgust
Liza Lapira as Disgust | Photo from @pixar

Liza Lapira as Disgust

Behind the sophistication and sassy tone of Disgust is Liza Lapira, a Filipino-American actress. Her big break came with the hit TV series Dexter, where she wowed audiences as the character Yuki Amado. 

Liza, who has been acting since 1999, has a long list of film and TV projects in her dossier. She also portrayed Kianna in the 2008 flick 21, nailed her role as Special Agent Michelle Lee in the CBS hit NCIS, and aced her portrayal of Ivy, the right-hand woman to Topher Brink in Dollhouse

Maya Hawke as Anxiety
Maya Hawke as Anxiety | Photo from @pixar

Maya Hawke as Anxiety

In the sequel, Maya Hawke steps into the shoes of Anxiety, a brand-new emotion in Riley's mind. With her stellar performance, she injects a whole new vibe into the character, perfectly nailing the rollercoaster ride of teenage worries and doubts.

The daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke, Maya dazzled viewers from the get-go with her portrayal of Robin Buckley in the popular Netflix show Stranger Things in which she was praised for her undeniable charm and jaw-dropping performance. She's not only about the "lights, camera, and action," but she also she rocks the music scene. Her first album, Blush, dropped in 2020, serving up some serious singer-songwriter vibes with heart-tugging lyrics and a sound that's all her own. 

Ayo Edebiri as Envy
Ayo Edebiri as Envy | Photo from @pixar

Ayo Edebiri as Envy

Ayo Edebiri, known for her role in The Bear series, lends her voice to the character Envy, a cute, fresh face featured in the sequel. Ayo is a triple threat: she's a comedian, writer, and actress

Multi-talented, she has swiftly risen to prominence, captivating audiences with her keen comedic timing and engaging narratives. With a spot on Vulture's Comedians You Should Know list in 2019 and guest appearances on comedy podcasts and TV shows, she's got the funny bone game on lock!

Despite her youth, Ayo has already achieved numerous accolades for her contributions to the field of comedy. 

Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ennui
Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ennui | Photos from @disneystudiosph @adeleexarchopoulos

Adèle Exarchopoulos as Ennui

Ennui, voiced by French actress Adèle Exarchopoulos, is introduced to the original emotions by Anxiety. As depicted in the film, Ennui defines boredom; the character is memorable for her slouchy posture, forever gloomy gaze, and how she always sighs on a couch while tinkering with her phone.

Hailing from Paris, Adèle kickstarted her acting journey early on, eventually earning acclaim for her innate talent and mesmerizing on-screen aura. She was known for her breakthrough performance in the hit movie Blue is the Warmest Color back in 2013. On top of her impressive achievements, she has flaunted her acting chops and versatility by diving into a mix of characters in movies like The Last Face and Racer and the Jailbird

Paul Walter Hauser as Embarrassment
Paul Walter Hauser as Embarrassment | Photos from @disneystudiosph @paulwhausergram

Paul Walter Hauser as Embarrassment

Paul Walter Hauser voices the emotion of Embarrassment. The character may not be the chatty type, but watch out, he's like a mischievous shadow, waiting to drop the ball at any moment. 

Paul stumbled upon his love for acting early on. His big break came with the hit movie I, Tonya, where he brought to life the lovably clumsy Shawn Eckardt. His acting skills not only wowed audiences but have also earned him nods from award-giving bodies like the Screen Actors Guild Award. 

Paul isn't just a big-screen sensation; he's also conquered TV screens with stellar performances in hit shows like Kingdom and Cobra Kai. Recently, he secured a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film The Fantastic Four, slated for release on July 25, 2025.

Inside Out 2 is all about emotional storytelling. While the emotions and the narratives attached to them are remarkably written, we couldn't have appreciated the movie the way we did had it not been for these amazing actors' voices that conveyed the sequel's message perfectly.

Text by Leigh Sofia Lazo

Lead photo from Disney and Pixar