Phyllis Smith reacts to Oscar buzz for her ‘Inside Out’ voice performance

Debate has sprung up in recent years about whether there”s room in the Academy Awards for voice-only roles and motion capture performances. Could a performance like Scarlett Johansson”s in “Her” or Andy Serikis” in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” ever get an Oscar nomination?

That conversation has found its way into this year”s Oscar season, with Phyllis Smith”s mopey, Eeyore-esque performance as “Sadness” carrying the emotional experience that is Pixar”s latest animated feature, “Inside Out.” HitFix”s own Alan Sepinwall declared her the heart of “Inside Out,” which was released on Blu-ray and DVD last week.

Voice roles are honored with other accolades, like the Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production. And the Academy informed HitFix that voice-only performances are indeed eligible for the Oscars” acting categories. The question remains whether the Academy”s voters would ever nominate a voice performance alongside live action roles that have the benefit of both voice and physical presence, and whether a new Oscars category purely for voice performances would ever be created.

As for Smith”s reaction to the Oscar buzz for her performance, you can see that in HitFix”s video interview with her below. Her director, Pete Docter, told us he does think she”s deserving of Oscar attention for her Sadness.

In the video below, Smith also talks about how “Inside Out” helped one kid conquer his fear of jumping off a diving board and what “playing ‘Inside Out”” looks like.