Sarah Silverman shows soft side in "Wreck-It Ralph"

Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:56pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Sarah Silverman has built her career largely on raunchy jokes about sex and other decidedly adult topics.

So it may come as a surprise that a woman famous for an R-rated song about sleeping with actor Matt Damon and for pro-Obama viral videos is now voicing the role of an adorable 9-year-old girl in a Walt Disney family film.

The animated film, "Wreck-It Ralph," comes out in U.S. movie theaters on Friday. It is about a video game character named Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) who is tired of always being the bad guy. He goes on a game-hopping journey to prove he can be a hero.

Silverman plays the precocious Vanellope von Schweetz who lives in the candy-themed racing game Sugar Rush. Considered a "glitch" by the other kids because she flickers, Vanellope is an outcast who just wants a chance to race with the other girls.

At first glance, the casting of a stand-up comic like Silverman might seem an odd choice. But Silverman told Reuters she knows all about the tough-on-the-outside/sensitive-on-the-inside Vanellope.

"I relate to everything about her," the 41-year-old said about her character. "I know this girl. The scrappiness and the feeling of being on the outside, looking in and wanting to play. And that what we are most ashamed of - the 'glitch' in each of us - can be our super power, our greatest asset, if we let it."

In Silverman's case, she cites her bed-wetting as her own "glitch," which she chronicled in her 2010 comic memoir, "The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption, and Pee."

"I was a bedwetter until I was in my teens," she said. "(I took something) from my childhood that I thought would be my greatest shame and let it inform the greatest part of my life. I went in to comedy and was not scared because I had suffered great humiliations growing up. Bombing in front of strangers on stage? Who cares! The stakes got lower for me because I had nothing to lose."   Continued...

Cast member Sarah Silverman attends the premiere of the animated film "Wreck-It Ralph" in Los Angeles October 29, 2012. REUTERS/Phil McCarten