Texas at SXSW 2014: Alan Tudyk, 'Premature'
I interviewed a trio of native-Texas actors at SXSW for the comedy Premature, which premiered at the fest (my review). Alan Tudyk was born in El Paso and grew up in Plano. The veteran of Juilliard has a hefty list of credits in both television and film including roles in Serenity, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Suburgatory, Arrested Development, Firefly, Dollhouse and V as well as voice performances in the animated films Ice Age (and its sequels), Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. Due to time constraints, Laurie Coker of True View Reviews and I interviewed Tudyk together.
True View Reviews: First time at SXSW?
Alan Tudyk: No, I've been here before. I worked in the music festival a few years ago. I have a good friend who lives in town. I used to come to Austin all the time. I used to spend every New Years here. This is where you could find me on New Year's, hanging out, watching music. Not so much these days. My girlfriend had a film here one year.
Slackerwood: Everybody wants to know know if there will be another Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
Tudyk: There was almost one, but I think it's currently dead. Unfortunately. You know, it could be alive -- hell, what do I know? But it came close and then something happened with the producer-y guys, I don't know what it was, and then director Eli Craig got an offer to do some really big badass movie. [Co-star] Tyler Labine and I really want to do one, and he's starting to make movies now. He's producing movies, and he wants to do a movie with the two of us. We would love to do one.
TVR: Obviously, you should do one, because you've got a fanbase...
Tudyk: Well, it's tricky, because you've got to do it right, because one of the things that was so great about the first one is you've got these two guys and the kids are killing themselves, and they misunderstand the situation. The kids misunderstand the situation, so all these extraordinary things are happening because of this misunderstanding, and both realities seem plausible from their perspective. So you've got to re-create that from guys who've already learned that kids killing themselves all around them could mean this other, so it's tricky. You've got to be smart about it, because you don't want to ruin it by doing a bad second one.
TVR: What's next for you?
Tudyk: There's some independent movies. I did some independent movies last year. One called Tell with Robert Patrick, one with Kristen Wiig called Welcome to Me, and then I did this thing that you can watch on television on Adult Swim which is called Newsreaders. They did one season of it last year, it's a spinoff of Children's Hospital, which is Rob Corddry, and a really funny show. And it's Rob Corddry's company, and he's producing it. He actually does a Newsreaders, and they lost their host. And I'm going to be their new host, Reagan Biscayne, and I'm reporting fake news, sort of like The Onion. It is very funny. It was so much fun to do.
Slackerwood: So you'll be competing with Jon Stewart?
Tudyk: No, he does fake news about real news. He's real news. His is real. He always says his is fake news, that isn't fake news.
TVR: It's real news that is funny.
Tudyk: It's funny news, right, that's it. It's funny news and making fun of the news and making fun of politicians. This is like, there's one about a game show called Precipice and what happens on Precipice, is unlike Jeopardy! where they have the contestants ask the questions, they do something interesting. They ask them questions and ask them for the answers but what's really interesting is that if you go into negative numbers on the game show, you owe that money back to the game show. People are going into debt on this game show, and they've got very aggressive creditors that'll take your house.
Slackerwood: I talked to friends in the Austin Browncoats, and they have a friend named Emily McCaskill...
Tudyk: I know that name.
Slackerwood: Who went to Plano High School with you, and mentioned something you did called "Road Kill Cleanup?"
Tudyk: Wow! It was "Dan the Animal Man," was what that was. That's so cool. I wrote it.
Slackerwood: Her comment was that they all knew you were talented but they didn't know you were also so talented at writing.
Tudyk: Right. I've been writing something, and we're on the verge of making a deal about it. If it's not this year it'll be next year that you see something that I wrote. Because I was too lazy to read.
[In high school speech class] we had to present a humorous monologue, and I didn't want to find one, so I wrote one about a guy -- Dan the Animal Man -- who was about cleaning up roadkill.
TVR: It just sounds funny.
Tudyk: It was just ridiculous.
Slackerwood: And right in line with Tucker & Dale.
TVR: You're a writer, write Tucker & Dale.
Tudyk: You know, I haven't figured out Tucker & Dale. We talked about Tucker & Dale Go to Yale, that's what we have so far, and that's what the script was based on. But I don't know how he pulled it off. I don't know how, if I can pull it off I will, but I've got other things to write, sadly. Luckily.