"I was shocked how much of [our] riffing ended up in the movie," says Eichner after seeing the film.
The movie may be called "The Lion King," but it's a warthog and meerkat who really steal the show.
Just like they did in the 1994 animated classic, dynamic duo Timon and Pumbaa get most of the hilarious lines in Disney's new photorealistic remake. And that's thanks, in large part, to the actors behind the creatures' voices: Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen.
Speaking at a press conference for the movie on Wednesday, Rogen confirmed there "was a lot of improvisation" in the recording booth when it came time for the two to do their lines together. And, yes, they really did it together.
"We were actually together every time we recorded, which is a very rare gift to have as someone trying to be funny in an animated film," Rogen continued. "I think you can tell we played off each other and they really captured Billy. That is what's amazing."
After watching the finished product on Tuesday night at the film's world premiere, Rogen said the resemblance between Eichner and his furry, on-screen counterpart was just uncanny.
"He essentially played himself on a TV show for years and this character is more Billy than that character, somehow," remarked Seth. "It's remarkable to me."
Eichner agreed, but joked, "I wish I was as cute in real life as I am in the movie."
"The Timon they designed is so adorable and I think the juxtaposition of my personality in that little Timon body really works," the comedian continued. "I can't imagine looking back not being in the room together. Being able to riff off each other and really discover our chemistry together, you can feel it."
The "Billy on the Street" host also said he was "shocked" at how much of the duo's riffing actually ended up on the big screen. It really works too.
As Rogen said, it's "incredible" to see the "looseness" of their filming sessions translated into a technically refined movie made almost entirely of visual effects. "That mixture is just so incredible," he added.
The two characters also share what director Jon Favreau described as "a gag that references another Disney property." Trust us when we say it's also great.
"The Lion King" roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.