Tom Waits Voices Character in Animated Musical, The Monster of Nix

Tom Waits Monster of NixTom Waits has found time between completing his forthcoming studio album and getting inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to take on his latest acting role: Virgil, “a terrifying giant pitch-black swallow” in Dutch artist/director Rosto’s new animated musical about “a troubled boy who fights the destructive force of an all-devouring monster,” aka The Monster of Nix. “Tom Waits was always the main inspiration for the dark and theatrical appearance of Virgil,” said Rosto. “But I had never expected to actually have the privilege to work with Tom. The results are gobsmacking.”

What’s more, Terry Gilliam, Waits’ longtime collaborator and director of his performance as the Devil in 2009’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, has also joined the voice cast of Nix, playing a reclusive forest ranger. “[Gilliam] felt rather uncomfortable about the singing,” Rosto revealed. “And that’s exactly how I wanted this character to sound: scared and insecure. The poor bastard suffered but I got exactly what I wanted.”

The Monster of Nix, a 30-minute short with music composed by Rosto and score contributions by the Metropole Orkest, The Residents, and French indie rockers The Dø, is set to premiere at the Annecy Animated Film Festival in France this summer. For now, you can preview an illustration of Waits’ character above and watch a short teaser clip featuring the voice of Gilliam below: