Craig T. Nelson had no idea "The Incredibles" would garner the success that it did, and after he saw the 2004 animated action/adventure film take the box office by storm, he was ready to get back in the studio and start working on "The Incredibles 2."
But as we all know, that didn't happen for many, many years, despite the original raking in $633 million worldwide.
"I thought we were gonna do it like 11 years ago!" Nelson, who voices Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible told TooFab on Thursday. "When we did the first one, we didn't know what it was gonna be, and then it hit and it got bigger and bigger. This thing got big. I didn't know! So then when it gets that big, you think, 'Oh, we're gonna do another one! Nothin'. Nothin'. Then about the fourth year, you say, 'OK, well, forget that.' And you move on to something else."
Nelson said there were always "rumors" circulating that a second movie was on the horizon but that he didn't take them seriously until he ran into the film's writer and director, Brad Bird.
"I saw Brad, and he says, 'Hey, you know, I'm thinking about [a sequel],'" Nelson said. "And I thought, 'Really?!' You hear stuff, but you don't know for sure. You have this tendency as actors to say, 'Well, when it happens, it'll happen.' Then all of a sudden, it did."
But it's 2018, and the world is saturated with superhero flicks and TV shows -- a concern Nelson said he shared with Bird.
"I said [to Brad], 'What're you gonna do that's different? How are you gonna compete against that? I mean, the Incredibles are just a little tiny family thingy,'" Nelson told TooFab. That's when Bird let Nelson know he wanted his character to take a backseat to his wife, Helen Parr/Mrs. Incredible, in the sequel. "Bob's not gonna be as active," Nelson recalled Bird telling him.
In "The Incredibles 2," Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) gets chosen to go on a crime-fighting mission while her husband is forced to face his greatest challenge yet: taking care of his three children and all of their problems.
Nelson admitted he was a bit weary when he first heard the news but said his new role as a stay-at-home dad turned out to be "so much fun."
"It was wonderful because I got the chance, as a character, to get to know [my kids] and instill in them what I believe and what I think," he said. "And at the same time, having to deal with my wife going out and saving the world when I should be, and yet wanting to help her and assist her and empower her in some way to do the best job she can."
But that wasn't a concept too foreign to Nelson, who's been married to wife Doria Cook-Nelson for over 30 years.
"I'm more than willing in my marriage to take a backseat anyway," he said. "It's just a given! I'm in the backseat. All you're trying to do is essentially not compete with each other, but you're doing the best you can for each other and with each other to make each other the best possible person they can be. Hopefully, you're in a relationship where each other can nurture those talents in each of us that are the best or are the ones that you want to see put out there. It's discovering that that's the interesting thing."
Nelson said he feels "The Incredibles 2" has "a lot of aspects to it that are timely and interesting and confrontive." He said it's the "heart" and forward-thinking principles of the film that make it "wonderfully accessible" and set it apart from the "big escapism" a lot of other superhero movies tend to offer.