Video game movies have been a Hollywood staple for nearly three decades now, dating back to 1993’s Super Mario Bros. Yet, it’s taken quite some time for Sonic the Hedgehog to find his way to the big screen. That situation has finally been remedied though, as the iconic Sega character his headlining his own movie this weekend, and Tika Sumpter, who viewers may recognize from the Ride Along franchise or Mixed-Ish, is along for the adventure.
Sonic the Hedgehog is directed by Jeff Fowler and centers on the blue little ball of speed as he tries to navigate the complexities of life on Earth with his new best friend, Tom Wachowski. Tika Sumpter plays Maddie, Tom’s wife, who gets wrapped up in their shenanigans. They must soon join forces to prevent the evil Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey) from capturing Sonic and using his powers for world domination.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Tika Sumpter in honor of the movie’s release in theaters this weekend. We talked about how her character fits into the story, what it was like working with Jim Carrey and whether or not we’ll see her again in Ride Along 3.
So you play Maddie in Sonic. Can you tell us a little bit about her and how she fits into the story?
Tika Sumpter: Sure. Maddie is a veterinarian who is a very supportive wife of James Marsden’s character, Tom, and they both live in a small town, and they take an adventure. They take an adventure that they never thought that they were gonna take with this little blue blur. And she basically tries to help Sonic and Tom get to wherever they need to go. I can’t give you much of the after that. I’m trying to, like, work around what I can say.
No, I totally get it. So this is obviously based on the games. Were you a fan of the games growing up, or were you a gamer at all? Was that kind of a part of your life?
Tika Sumpter: My brother was a big gamer. So, you know, a little sisters nag little brothers sometimes. Big brother’s actually, and so I would always go in his room and ask if I can play and he’d say no. So I’d have to watch a lot of the times, and so once in a while, he would give me his controller, and I would not make it that far. But the fact is, I was entranced by this little blur. You know, this fast little hedgehog. So I do remember him and Tails and Knuckles and all that stuff. So, yeah, I grew up watching it and can’t believe that I’m now part of his world.
So a little more specifically with the movie. Jim Carrey’s in this and he hasn’t done a role like this in quite some time. I just don’t think we’ve seen him kind of go off the rails like this in a while. What was it like working with him when he was dialed up to 11 In that way?
Tika Sumpter: He’s such a professional man, like he knows what he wants to do. I mean, that’s why you hire Jim Carrey because he brings something else that is not on the page. And he does that in this. It’s like that thing where you’re like, “Oh, my God, I missed him so much.” You know? And he delivers. To be honest when he would come on set, at first I was like, “Jim Carrey’s coming on set!” And he’s like, “Hey guys, how are you doing?” It was so normal! I was like, “Oh, yeah, hey, my hero is amazing and kind, and normal, and wanting to collaborate.” Then when he got in his costume, he turned into Robotnick, and it was amazing to see.
Video game movies have a long history with Hollywood, and they can be somewhat famously challenging to adapt into movies. From your vantage point, how do you think Sonic kind of approached those challenges?
Tika Sumpter: So I come from two vantage points, right? So I come from the point of remembering Sonic when I was a kid. But also I wasn’t a game head, you know what I mean? Completely like my brother. So going into it, it’s like I’m watching a movie, right? But then also the surrealness of like, It’s Sonic. So I’m excited on both ends. And let me tell you, when I saw this movie, my jaw dropped because this thing is good. Like, really good. And I don’t want to hype it up, want you guys to say if it’s good or not. But, for me, my experience, how I felt in the theater, I remember looking at my fiance going, “It was It’s so well done.” Jeff Fowler really put his heart and soul into it, and it moves. And it’s adventurous and the music pushes it. And Sonic is just like this dude. This little teenager you wan to hang out with. And every character has a point of view, and you care. You care about this. You care about the characters, which makes a film, you know? And so I’m really proud of it and excited for especially the gamers to see it, but also people who are just interested to see it.
Just before I let you go, I do have to switch topic just a little bit. We haven’t anything about Ride Along 3 in a little bit. Have you heard anything about that? Do you think you’re gonna be coming back for that?
boldTika Sumpter: I haven’t heard. Call me when you hear about it [laughs]. I don’t know. I mean, that would be great. I love the franchise. I love the guys. I love [Ice] Cube, who plays my brother and Kevin [Hart], who plays my husband. So we’ll have to see, but I want to be part of the action this time.
Sonic the Hedgehog speeds into theaters on February 14 from Paramount Pictures.