Comedian Dane Cook stars in Disney's forthcoming animated feature "Planes" -- the sky-bound counterpart to the "Cars" world -- as the voice of Dusty Crophopper, a crop duster determined to overcome his fears and limitations to compete in the prestigious Wings Around the Globe Rally.
Cook says he "got schooled" in aviation by "Planes" producer John Lasseter and director Klay Hall. But he didn't have to do much research in the area of overcoming debilitating fears, as he reveals he suffered from severe social anxiety as a kid, and even feared going to school most days. He also has a little bit of advice on how to overcome a similar situation.
"I think that you have to have a great support system," Cook tells Zap2it. "You want to have people around you that, you know, value you. It's tough sometimes to find. I think especially in your younger years, it's tough. You want to feel like you're in the cool group in school; you want to feel like you're just hanging with the cool clique."
Though some may view family-friendly "Planes" as a departure for Cook, based on his more adult-friendly comedy, he has been working with children for some time now.
"I do a lot of work with kids," Cook tells Zap2it. "And I always try to send them that message: You know, form your own gang. You don't necessarily have to be a part of somebody else's thing. See the people that you find value in, and try to get to know them and bring them into your world a little bit."
Cook says the advice carries over to his "Planes" character and "what he needs to do to, you know, try something that's bigger than himself."
After the release of "Planes," Cook goes back out on the road after four years off with his "Under Oath" tour. "I always want to bring a brand new show, so it's all new material," Cook says. And he's excited about stepping down from his arena shows to more intimate venues.
"I wanted to scale it back and play some beautiful houses," says Cook. "So these theaters that I'm going into -- it's gonna feel more we're kind of like on top of each other. I like the club element of being very close to your audience. And even though I love a mass audience, and the sound, and how it's an event, this is unlike anything I've done before. So it's gonna be an experience for all of us."
Cook says he's going to film the tour, but no word on what kind of release the footage will see. "Where it goes is still a secret," says Cook. "But I'm planning something really exciting, you know, for the fans."
"Planes" is in theaters Aug. 9. The "Under Oath" tour kicks off Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C.
Photo/Video credit: Zap2it, Walt Disney Studios