Aziz Ansari (Sorta) Went Back To School To Prep For ‘Epic’ Role

The new 3-D computer animated film “Epic” tells the story of a battle between the (very small) forces of good and evil in nature, where the very life of a forest hangs in the balance. It features the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Beyonce Knowles, Steven Tyler and Pitbull.

In the movie, Ansari plays a cocky slug named Mub; O’Dowd is his brave snail sidekick, Grub. Together they form a comedy team in the grand tradition of animated duos like Timon and Pumbaa, Buzz and Woody, and Shrek and Donkey.

Though he brings a lot of funny to “Epic,” Ansari described his serious (and very made-up) preparation for the role. “Pitbull and I took a few classes at a nearby university to learn as much as we could about the insect world,” he told MTV News. “We learned quite a bit.”

O’Dowd was slightly less academic with his own “research” —”I just watched telly,” he said.

“Epic” is in theaters now.