Mega Minions, Maxime Le Mal: Get to know the new characters and voices behind ‘Despicable Me 4’

July 3, 2024 - 4:57 PM
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Mega Minions (Universal Pictures International/Released)

The “Despicable Me” movie franchise is back after seven years.

In the latest installment of the franchise, the favorite villain-turned Anti-Villain League (AVL) agent faces new challenges with new characters introduced.

(Universal Pictures International/Released)

Gru’s (Steve Carell) life is turned upside down with the arrival of his and Lucy’s (Kristen Wiig) new baby, expanding his role to a father of four and a dedicated AVL agent.

While on a mission with the fan-favorite minions, Gru faces villain Maxime Le Mal and his femme fatale girlfriend Valentina, and the family is forced to live different lives in disguise.

Get to know the new characters to watch for in the latest animated film:

Maxime Le Mal

Maxime Le Mal (Universal Pictures International/Released)

Maxime Le Mal is Gru’s longstanding high school nemesis. After Gru embarrasses Maxime by having him arrested at the class reunion for their shared high school alma mater, Lycee Pas Bon School of Villainy, Maxime’s resentment towards Gru festers into an all-consuming vendetta. After escaping from prison, he pursues Gru and his family, determined to settle the score once and for all.

His character is voiced by Emmy winner Will Ferrell (“Anchorman,” “The Lego Movie”).

For Ferrell, the opportunity to go toe-to-toe with Steve Carell’s Gru was too good to pass up.

“Who wouldn’t want to be part of the ‘Despicable Me’ universe?” Ferrell said.

“I approached Maxime with a mix of suave sophistication and deep-seated insecurity, blending those layers to create a villain you love to hate, but also kinda feel sorry for. It’s a delicate balance, but one that was incredibly fun to explore,” he added.

Valentina

Valentina was the most popular femme fatale at Lycee Pas Bon School of Villainy and is now Maxime’s girlfriend and pilot of his giant ship. Her character is voiced by Emmy nominee Sofía Vergara (“Modern Family”).

“I was drawn to Valentina’s confidence and allure,” Vergara said.

“I was excited to play a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, no matter the obstacles in her path. When I first started to think about the voice, I focused on her fierce determination and confidence, and exploring the character further allowed me to find softer, more vulnerable moments for her, too. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a force to be reckoned with, but there are more nuances of her personality than first meet the eye… It’s a different kind of acting experience, but one that allows for creativity and imagination,” she said.

Poppy Prescott

(Universal Pictures International/Released)

To protect Gru from the vengeful Le Mal, the AVL relocates Gru and his family to the picturesque town of Mayflower, complete with new identities.

Poppy is Gru’s new teenage neighbor who dreams of becoming a supervillain. Poppy is obsessed with all things villainous. After Gru and his family move to Mayflower, Poppy promptly identifies Gru’s true identity and blackmails him into helping her pull a heist at Gru’s alma mater, the Lycee Pas Bon School of Villainy. Her character is voiced by Joey King (“Bullet Train,” “The Kissing Booth”).

“Recording voice-over for an animated movie is one of my favorite things to do because you have to give everything using just your voice,” King said.

“The freedom to let loose and not worry about appearances is what I love most, especially when I get to play such a fun, over-the-top yet endearing character like Poppy. I can really go for it, do some wild stuff and there’s no wrong way to do it. Poppy’s voice differs from mine because I added a cute little lisp to her voice, which is one of my favorite things about the character. I love when kids try to be all serious and make a point with that innocent, childlike voice, and in Poppy’s case, with her lisp. And although it wasn’t really my intention, somehow her lisp makes her come off even scarier,” she added.

Perry Prescott

(Universal Pictures International/Released)

Perry is Poppy’s father and Gru’s new neighbor. As the face of Prescott Motors, the largest auto dealer in Mayflower, Perry exudes a blend of confidence with a hint of arrogance.

“I think Perry is loosely based on every blonde bad guy in every ’80s teen comedy,” Colbert said.

“He’s the head of the country club, the captain of the football team, the boss at his office.”

 “I based Perry mostly on my own innate sense of self-importance and pretentiousness. I just looked in the mirror every night and said, ‘Just let them see the real you. Just stand in front of that mic and let the real Stephen out,'” Colbert continued jokingly.

Patsy Prescott

Gru’s new neighbor, Patsy is Perry’s wife and Poppy’s mother. When she’s not living the life of a Mayflower socialite, Patsy is working on her tennis backhand. Her character is portrayed by Chloe Fineman (“Saturday Night Live”).

“Playing Patsy was such a delight for me, and I was especially excited to be able to join the iconic ‘Despicable Me’ franchise,” Fineman said.

“Patsy’s this wonderful blend of suburban charm and socialite sophistication, which I found incredibly intriguing. What attracted me most to the role was the opportunity to explore Patsy’s dynamic with her husband, Perry, and her role within the neighborhood. She’s not just your typical suburban mom; she’s got this whole other layer to her character that I found fascinating to delve into,” she added.

Mega Minions

Mega Minions (Universal Pictures International/Released)

While Gru and his family are trying to live a new life with new identities in the beautiful little town of Mayflower, some of the Minions find themselves with new identities of their own back at the Anti-Villain League (AVL) Headquarters. When Silas Ramsbottom (Steve Coogan), the leader of the AVL, selects five Minions to receive a super serum that will help them go head-to-head against Maxime, the result is the world’s newest and most chaotic superheroes: the Mega Minions. These are all voiced by Pierre Coffin, one of the creators of the Minions and the voice behind all of the Minions in the “Despicable Me” and “Minions” franchises.

Mega Dave has the power of super strength, Mega Tim can stretch over a mile long, Mega Mel can unleash an unstoppable laser blast capable of slicing through a planet, Mega Gus can take flight and Mega Jerry has assumed the shape and indestructible nature of a boulder, able to chow down on anything in his path.

“Their powers were deliberately kept simple and archetypal – strength, flight, lasers, rock-like invincibility and stretching – rooted in classic superhero tropes for instant recognition. We anticipated the delightfully chaotic outcomes of their newfound abilities, but we also crafted a narrative arc that allowed them moments of unexpected heroism,” director Chris Renaud said.

Meanwhile, last week, Universal Pictures hosted special advance screening on June 27 at the SM Megamall, on June 29 at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay and June 30 at the Robinsons Magnolia VIP Cinema.

Here are some moments during the special advance screening of “Despicable Me 4” on June 29:


“Despicable Me 4”, packed with non-stop action and filled with Illumination’s signature subversive humor, opens in Philippine cinemas July 3. — Rosette Adel