This Halloween is going to be filled with sadness—in a good way! Pixar’s Inside Out is arriving on video on demand on Oct. 13, just in time for Halloween planning. And if the costumes at this summer’s Comic-Con in San Diego are any indication, dressing up as Sadness will be popular with both kids and adults. TIME spoke with the woman who gave voice to Sadness, The Office’s Phyllis Smith, about how the character resonated with audiences and why a sweater beats a skimpy outfit when you go trick-or-treating.
TIME: Going into the movie, it seemed like Joy would be the obvious hero, but critics hailed Sadness as the breakout star. Did you expect Sandness to become such a hit with audiences?
Smith: No. I did not. I really did not have an idea that Sadness was going to play such a role in little Riley’s life because as we worked on it for three years, when you’re working by yourself or with one other actor, you’re just working on that portion of the script, so I did not have a full vision of how it was going to be compiled and play out as it did.
What do you think it was about Sadness that resonated so much with people?
We all have these emotions, but you never really want to own up to sadness. You want to bury it. But this movie shows it’s okay to be sad. There is a place for it. And the film so brilliantly leads you to acknowledge that. And I also think that part of the film when Joy is comforting Bing Bong, people can relate to just having someone listen to them.
I think it did strike a chord because I went to Comic-Con in July, and I think I saw more people dressed up as Sadness than any other character.
Seriously. More than Spider-Man.
Maybe it’s their way to express themselves without having to be embarrassed about it or having to actually talk about their sad feelings. They can just run around looking blue. I guess we should expect some Sadness at Halloween too.
That is my prediction: Sadness will be one of this year’s big Halloween costumes.
That and Donald Trump with the hair.
That would be a great encounter at a Halloween party: Sadness and Donald Trump having a conversation.
I wonder what she would say to him. I think she could listen to him and probably give him a little bit of a reality check.
Do you have any tips for people planning to dress up as Sadness for Halloween?
If they paint their face blue, make sure it comes off. And always get a nice sweater that fits well and will be warm on that cold night.
Sadness Halloween costumes could start a revolution because Halloween for so long has been about skimpy outfits.
Yes, we need more sweater-based costumes. Not just adults: The little ones have to weather the cold too. It’s a smart decision to dress up as Sadness rather than anything that involves short sleeves.
How did they pitch the part to you without coming out and saying, “You sound sad”?
They actually heard my voice in Bad Teacher, the scene where Cameron and I are eating lunch.
At the very first pitch they had that scene that they showed me from Bad Teacher, and I guess it was the quality of that voice that they were drawn to. And every session after that I asked them to play back that scene from Bad Teacher so I could hear my voice in it and make sure I was in the right register of my voice.
Kids tend to watch movies over and over again once they have access to them. What do you think kids and parents can get out of multiple watches of Inside Out, now that it’s on VOD?
It might give them leave to talk about an issue in their own life that they’re angry about or sad about. Someone told me that his sister was a principal and had instructed all of her teachers at the school to keep track of Inside Out and buy dolls and such to use as a tool to have the children express themselves. Maybe the video can be used in the same way.
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