Amy Poehler, Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson and Director Jimmy Hayward Talk About FREE BIRDS

Around this time a year we are usually bombarded with Christmas’ films, but this year we got something different: a film about Thanksgiving. And turkeys bombarding humans. In his latest feature FREE BIRDS, director Jimmy Hayward wanted to send a good message about togetherness through humor.

Hayward: “We felt it was important that the movie is entertaining and has a good message, a message about the flock, being part of something bigger than yourself, that’s the most educational part of it”

Actress Amy Poehler voices Jenny, a sweet and empowered turkey who struggles with having to live underground to protect her family and community.

Poehler: “It was fun to play someone who was part of a flock, which is what my character focuses on, the idea that you can’t do it alone, you have to stick together. Those are universal themes that feel understandable. That the character Jenny is not dumb at all, she’s really quite smart. She is a leader”

Along Poehler, Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson voice Jake and Reggie, two turkeys with very different mindsets when it comes to belonging to a flock. Despite the actors not recording in the studio together, they have their opinions about each other’s performances.

Harrelson: “I’m surprised Owen takes this stuff very seriously,” says Woody Harrelson. “Once, he came in covered with feathers, with a waddle. That was weird. And he had a snood, the flap at the side of the beak. He takes it seriously.”

When asked “why turkeys?” this is what Wilson responded:

Wilson: “We could have just been easily playing soybeans, traveling back in time to Japan, to get tofu out of miso. I just thought turkeys were funnier than soybeans”

They also shared their particular Thanksgiving memories and traditions.

Wilson: “We would always have a Football game and have arguments. And we’d have my mom’s stuffing with turkey. And cranberry sauce. And Apple Pie”

Poehler: “Me and my two kids watch a movie we haven’t seen before. Last year was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This year maybe will watch Free Birds”.


Free Birds opens in theaters November 1.


I also wrote a review of the film, you can read it here: FREE BIRDS Film Review

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Growing up my often trips to the rental store were more about treasure hunting than just a hobby. In 1997 I was lucky enough to get an scholarship to study Arts, Cinema, and took a long course on American Screenplay (which messed up my movie watching since I can predict endings way easier now). Obsessed with animation of all kinds. Married to an amazing tech geek. Lover of food. Visit her site -