Billy Crystal Says His Biggest Regret Is Turning Down The Role Of Buzz Lightyear

buzz lightyear

Buzz Lightyear has been finding himself in the headlines after the first trailer for the upcoming animated spinoff bearing his name premiered last week, where it drew mixed reactions from fans around the world.

While a lot of people are enthused at the idea of Chris Evans voicing the Toy Story icon in a sci-fi adventure untethered from the classic Pixar franchise, there were cries of Tim Allen erasure and a general sense of confusion as to how Lightyear fits into the grand scheme of things as a seemingly grounded and realistic intergalactic adventure.

It’s been 26 years since Toy Story hit theaters and changed animated cinema forever, and yet Billy Crystal is still haunted by regret. In a new interview with Yahoo! Entertainment, the actor and comedian admits that turning down the role of Buzz Lightyear was the biggest mistake of his career.

“I’m the schmuck who turned down Toy Story. They took dialogue from a scene in When Harry Met Sally when I get mad at all of them … and I say, ‘Someday you’ll go 15 rounds over who is going to get this stupid wagon-wheel coffee table.’ So it’s Buzz Lightyear doing those lines, and then at the ‘stupid wagon-wheel coffee table’ it cut wide and little Buzz is standing under a big stupid wagon wheel coffee table. And then when he goes, ‘I was being nice,’ the visor from his helmet closed. I went, ‘You know what? I was wrong’.”

Buzz arguably wouldn’t be the same character if Crystal had gotten the nod instead of Tim Allen, but missing out on one of the all-time great animated properties has got to be a sore one. Toy Story is about as close to perfect as you can get in terms of both quality and consistency, setting a very high bar for Evans and Lightyear to try and reach next summer.