Chris Evans Did ‘a Shameless Tim Allen Impression’ When Filming ‘Lightyear’: ‘He Certainly Was the Blueprint’

Pixar is not done with Toy Story yet, as it released Lightyear last month. The story centers around Buzz, but none of the other original characters appear. Lightyear is not the first Buzz spinoff not to feature the original voice actor as the title character. However, the movie still drew attention by casting a former Marvel star as the lead. Chris Evans spoke about how he got into character for Lightyear — by doing an impression of Tim Allen. 

Chris Evans voiced Buzz in ‘Lightyear’

Pixar expanded the Toy Story universe with its spinoff Lightyear, which depicts the in-universe movie that spawned Buzz Lightyear toys. In the film, Buzz and his crew have to escape Emperor Zurg after getting stranded on another planet. Besides seeing familiar characters, fans get to know new faces like Commander Hawthorne. 

Even though Allen has been Buzz for years, the studio got another big-name actor to be the space ranger. Still, Pixar felt like Evans could bring a different version of the protagonist to life. 

While the franchise introduced Buzz as a toy, the prequel depicts his cinematic counterpart that inspired the action figure. Evan’s character is a young test pilot. While this Buzz can be funny, he does have a more serious side. 

Chris Evans admitted to doing a Tim Allen impression for ‘Lightyear’

chris evans time allen lightyear
(L): Tim Allen | Amanda Edwards/WireImage, R: Chris Evans | Jon Kopaloff/WireImage

For Lightyear, Chris Evans had to re-imagine Buzz to separate himself from Tim Allen while still respecting the original character. Not only did he have to find the right voice, but the actor felt intimidated when saying the iconic catchphrase, “To infinity and beyond!” Evans explained how he approached the part. 

In a video from IMDb, Evans answered whether he found it difficult not to sound too much like Allen. The star considered the latter as a guideline but needed to do something fresh with the character. Evans mentioned that it took a while for him to nail the role.  

“I mean, my first couple of sessions, I really was doing a shameless Tim Allen impression. You can’t help it,” Evans stated in the interview. “So, he certainly was the blueprint, but you have to find room to create a little nuance.” 

Eventually, Evans was able to feel comfortable enough to establish his interpretation of Buzz. He lowered his voice to give the space ranger an authoritative presence. However, he still tried to pay homage to Allen’s performance while standing out. 

Allen gave his opinion about ‘Lightyear’

Since the director did not approach Allen for Lightyear, fans may have wondered his opinion about the prequel. At first, he tried to avoid any discussions about the film. However, he shared his thoughts in an exclusive with Extra

Years ago, Allen and a few members of the original team talked about ideas for a spinoff Buzz project. He feels they would have made the plot more adventurous if it had come out in the ’90s. However, a new crew came together to tell a different kind of story. 

“This is a whole new team that really had nothing to do with the first movies,” Allen said. “There’s really no Toy Story, Buzz without Woody. It just doesn’t seem to have any connection to the toy.” 

Additionally, Allen explained that he first believed Lightyear would have actual actors appear. He had heard Pixar say they were doing a live-action. However, the studio explained the movie was live-action within the fictional universe.

RELATED: ‘Lightyear’ Director Reveals His Thoughts on More Pixar Spin-Off Movies