NEW YORK, July 18 (UPI) -- Jesse Tyler Ferguson says he really went for it when creating Shangri Llama, the wisdom-spewing, yoga-loving llama he plays in the animated movie Ice Age: Collision Course.
"This was my first time doing an animated movie, so I just sort of jumped into the deep end of the pool. I was offered the role, I think, from just people seeing [me in] Modern Family," Ferguson told UPI at a recent New York press conference.
"I don't know? Why did you give me this part?" he asked director Michael Thurmeier.
"Because we wanted a really unique voice," replied the filmmaker, who was seated beside him on the panel.
"Well, thank you, kind sir! ... My first day was over a year ago. I think we just sort of jumped in and there was maybe some fine-tuning. I did blow out my voice in my very first recording session. We had to cut that short," Ferguson recalled. "My voice was not sounding like it was when I first started, so I had to take a few days off and come back and finish, but I just sort of jumped into the deep end. I don't know. I didn't really have that much of a process. I thought, 'Since this is my first time doing this, I'm just going to put it out there.' And it seemed to work."
"He was really brave. I mean, it's not easy," Thurmeier chimed in. "These guys are really good at what they do. ... I'm sure you probably thought we were crazy as we're trying to describe the scene with this bendy llama in this crystal world."
"Yeah, without visuals, you're like, 'OK, you're crazy, but I'll jump in,'" Ferguson agreed.
Featuring the voice talents of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and Wanda Sykes, Ice Age: Collision Course opens nationwide Friday. The fifth installment in the film franchise follows the iconic pre-historic creatures as they try to survive extinction from an impending asteroid collision with Earth. The Shangri Llama is a new character they meet on their travels.