SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains very minor spoilers for Finding Dory. If you haven't seen the film yet, and don't wish to know absolutely any details going in, we recommend clicking away to another one of our wonderful articles.
In the making of Finding Dory, director Andrew Stanton brought back many of his original voice actors to reprise their roles - most notably Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks - but there was one part that they had no choice but to recast: Nemo. Actor Alexander Gould was just 11 years old when he voiced the tiny clownfish in Finding Nemo, giving him the perfect childish pitch - but given that he is now in his 20s with a much deeper voice, there wasn't really the option to bring him back as the character. As a result, the young Hayden Rolence provides the voice of Nemo in Finding Dory, but the director did find a place to bring the actor back, specifically as a truck driver named Carl.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Andrew Stanton to talk about Finding Dory at a recent Los Angeles press day for the film, and while we touched on many different topics in our conversation, one was the presence of the original voice of Nemo. I caught Alexander Gould's name in the end credits of the movie and decided to ask the filmmaker about it, and Stanton explained that he was motivated to give the young actor a role partially because of who closely they worked together on Finding Nemo. Said Stanton,
Alexander Gould - I just spent so much time with Alexander on the first movie. It just felt right to, now that he was 21, to bring him back somewhere as an adult. And so we had him read for a couple roles, but the meatiest one was this truck driver, so that just worked out.
Without getting into too much detail, Alexander Gould's role in the movie is primarily contained in the third act of Finding Dory, where he finds himself as a pretty big presence in the big, final action sequence. As far as I can recall, I don't remember any kind of inside joke from the character that could be connected to the actor voicing him, though that's something that may be revealed in a "ah ha!" moment during the second viewing.
Outside of Finding Nemo, Alexander Gould is best known for playing Shane Botwin on the long-running Showtime series Weeds, but continued his work in voice over in 2013 when he played Jimmy Olsen in the animated DC Comics movie Superman: Unbound. Finding Dory is actually his first credited role as an actor since then, so we'll just have to see if it leads to more work for him in the industry.
As for the other actors from Finding Nemo, as mentioned, audiences will be able to hear a whole bunch of them very soon, as Finding Dory will be arriving in theaters this Friday, June 17th.