‘Lightyear’: Who Plays Izzy Hawthorne?

Disney‘s new animated release, Lightyear, features a cast of notable stars. After hearing a familiar voice in the Toy Story spinoff, some may be wondering what actor plays Izzy Hawthorne. 

‘Lightyear’ tells the story of a different Buzz Lightyear

The first Toy Story movie hit theaters in 2005 and introduced Tim Allen and Tom Hanks as the beloved toys, Buzz Lightyear and Woody. It was followed by three sequels and a standalone film featuring Allen called Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins

But Lightyear tells the story of a different Buzz Lightyear. This one, who is voiced by Captain America star Chris Evans, is the movie hero the toy is based on. 

In Lightyear, Buzz is a Space Ranger who gets stranded on a new planet with his crew. The group eventually encounters the evil Zurg and must defeat his army of Zyclops robots. 

So who plays Izzy Hawthorne in ‘Lightyear’? 

Taika Waititi and Keke Palmer attend the UK Premiere of Disney Pixars' "Lightyear"
Lightyear stars Taika Waititi and Keke Palmer at the premiere | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures UK

Lightyear introduces Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) as Buzz’s commanding officer and best friend. He encounters time dilation when he goes out to test their hyperspace fuel.

Eventually, years pass on the planet. And Buzz returns to meet Alisha’s granddaughter, Izzy Hawthorne, played by Keke Palmer. 

Palmer is an award-winning American actor and singer most known for her roles on projects like Akeelah and the Bee and True Jackson VP. In recent years, Palmer has taken on the role of television host, appearing on ABC’s talk show, Strahan, Sara and Keke

Keke Palmer reveals what she loves most about her  ‘Lightyear’ character Izzy

In a recent interview with Screen Rant, Palmer talked about her love for Toy Story. She revealed how it’s always been a presence in her life and what an influence it has been. 

“I don’t remember the first time I watched it because I feel like it came in my life when I was a baby, and I’m like, ‘That’s the movie!’,” Palmer told the outlet. “So, I’ve always known it and loved it.”

Speaking about her Lightyear character, Palmer revealed what drew her to the role. She explained that Izzy’s bond and connection with her grandmother signifies a relatable family journey. And she pointed out how much it adds to the movie and the franchise’s overall theme. 

“I love Izzy as a character, because I think she represents all the qualities that we should champion more in leaders and leadership,” Palmer told Screen Rant. “It’s sometimes about giving the floor to others and encouraging your team; seeing something in someone else and not being afraid to pivot. It doesn’t mean that everything’s gonna be perfect.” 

“And then also the legacy piece,” she added, referring to Izzy’s relationship with Uzo Aduba’s character. “There are a lot of themes in Lightyear, but the legacy piece between she and her grandmother Alisha, who Uzo played, is incredible. Because we all wanna make our parents and our family proud, and learning how to channel that into something that also feels very much like us is the journey.”

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