‘How to Train Your Dragon 2′: Jay Baruchel finds joy in voicing Hiccup

June 10, 2014 | 12:14 p.m.
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Dean DeBlois, America Ferrera and Jay Baruchel, the writer- director and stars of "How to Train Your Dragon 2," at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

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Dean DeBlois and Jay Baruchel discuss the making of "How to Train Your Dragon 2" at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

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America Ferrera talked about what she predicts for the third installment of the "How to Train Your Dragon" franchise at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

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Jay Baruchel cracked up the audience while discussing his identification with the character Hiccup at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

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Dean DeBlois, Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera discuss the making of "How to Train Your Dragon 2" at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

For the stars of “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” which opens in theaters Friday, the potential challenges of voice acting aren’t necessarily a problem.

In fact, Jay Baruchel, who voices Hiccup, the outcast Viking who befriends a dragon named Toothless, said he found comfort in working solo.

“For whatever reason, it agrees with me,” the actor said recently, speaking at the fifth annual Hero Complex Film Festival. “There’s something really nice about only having your voice and making it really pure and concentrated and kind of distilling whatever the beat that you’re meant to be doing just through your voice. I adore it.”

Taking place at the TCL Chinese 6 Theaters, the screening of “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ kicked off Day 2 of the Hero Complex Film Festival on May 31. Programming also included a screening of “Gremlins” and a conversation with director Joe Dante, as well as an appearance from James Cameron, who spoke about his storied career and writing process between screenings of “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2.”

At the “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ event, Baruchel was joined by costar America Ferrera, who voices Hiccup’s ally, the independent-minded Astrid, and writer-director Dean DeBlois, with the trio describing the challenges of following up the 2010 original — a critical and commercial smash that took in about $500 million at the box office worldwide and received Oscar nominations for animated feature and original score.

The two stars displayed a natural chemistry, despite having worked together very little on the new film.

When asked if they had much time to interact with each other, off-screen, Ferrera turned and gave Baruchel a quizzical look.

“Jay, right?” she said.

Baruchel quickly joined in with the joke.

“Canada? Canada Ferrera?”

“That’s very original, no one’s done that before.” she replied, to laughs from the audience.

Watch the clip above to hear what else the two stars and director had to say, and look for more video from this conversation and others from the festival soon.

– Justin Sullivan | @LATHeroComplex

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