Tony Hale Finds Daughter Loy's College Journey 'Daunting as Hell'

Exploring Tony Hale's dual role as actor and father

by Zain ul Abedin
Tony Hale Finds Daughter Loy's College Journey 'Daunting as Hell'
© Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Tony Hale, celebrated for his role as the voice of Fear in "Inside Out 2," shares a candid reflection on the mixed emotions accompanying his daughter Loy Ann's transition to college. Hale, renowned for his Emmy-winning portrayal in "Veep," opens up about the impending "empty nest" he and his wife, Martel Thompson, will face as their only child prepares to leave home.

This poignant moment coincides with the release of the Disney and Pixar sequel on June 14. As Loy Ann graduates high school, Hale describes his experience as "beautiful and daunting as hell." The actor expresses a deep sense of pride mixed with apprehension as he discusses the complexities of parenting.

He humorously admits to contemplating renting a dorm room next to hers to stay close, illustrating the typical parental dilemma of letting go while wanting to protect.

Hale's Parental Parallels

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, Hale reveals his emotional journey, comparing his real-life parenting challenges to his character's role in "Inside Out 2." The film introduces a new character, Anxiety, voiced by Maya Hawke, who, like Fear, deals with protecting pre-teen Riley from unseen threats.

Hale parallels the film's themes and his experiences as a father, dealing with the "imaginary narratives" fueling parental worries. Reflecting on the bittersweet nature of parenting, Hale discusses the heartbreak of watching a child grow independent, emphasizing that a part of loving them is experiencing their pains and triumphs as they forge their paths.

Despite the jest about joining her at college, Hale's narrative resonates with many parents facing similar transitions. "Inside Out 2" not only continues Riley's journey with her emotions but also mirrors the real-life challenges parents like Hale face as their children embark on new chapters.

The film's release, alongside Hale's personal story, underscores the universal themes of fear, love, and letting go that resonate deeply with audiences. Hale will also appear in the upcoming Netflix comedy "The Decameron," showcasing his versatile acting skills beyond voice roles.