Alec Baldwin on voicing Santa in "Rise of the Guardians"

Alec Baldwin is back on the big screen in DreamWorks' latest holiday offering, "Rise of the Guardians." In this new animated tale, the "30 Rock" star dons a husky Russian accent as the voice of North, a modernized version of Santa Claus, who helps Jack Frost (Chris Pine) battle the evil Pitch (Jude Law), a.k.a. the Boogeyman. Hugh Jackman and Isla Fisher also co-star as Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny) and Tooth (the Tooth Fairy), respectively.

Baldwin sat down with CBSNews.com in New York, and he wasn't shy about his reasons for taking on the project.

CBSNEWS.COM: What is it about "Rise of the Guardians" that appealed to you?

ALEC BALDWIN: The question becomes who's doing the asking. If it's Larry Spielberg, that's one thing. But if it's Steven Spielberg...It's the people who are making the films. Films are so risky. It takes a lot of time and it's a big investment. And you want very badly for it to be with people you have faith in. In the big-ticket animation market like this, [studios] spend a lot of money to make these really, really lush movies...these family films. DreamWorks, to me, is at the top. They're among the best, if not the best, at this. So when [DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg] is the one that calls you and says, 'I want to talk to you about this project'...You can always assume it's going to be something great.

CBSNEWS.COM: You were alone in the recording booth when you worked on this?

BALDWIN: I did one session with Chris Pine. Everybody's traveling. The DreamWorks model is that they pick people who are sort of in demand. They pick people like Hugh Jackman and Isla Fisher and Jude Law and so forth...We were not in the booth together. That would not be possible. It would be nice. But most of the animated films I've done...that's not the case.

CBSNEWS.COM: What sort of reception to the film have you been receiving so far?

BALDWIN: The response has been everything that we've hoped for. People want to go to the movies that time of year. They want to go out of their house in the cold time of winter. There's a fireplace that you all huddle around literally. And then there's a fireplace that you huddle around figuratively...I'm grateful that we have this film that's ready to hopefully do quite well during the holiday season.

"Rise of the Guardians" opens on November 21st. Watch the interview with Baldwin at the top of this story.

  • Ken Lombardi

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