Alan Tudyk is a man of many talents -- and as it turns out, voices. If you've been tuning into MTV's new raunchy animated show "Good Vibes," then chances are you've heard a few of Tudyk's many voices, from the surfing stoner Lonnie to Woodie's preppy father Brock to the very unique Mr. Proper.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Tudyk fills us in on what's coming up for stoner guru Lonnie, how he goes about mimicking voices and the one voice that's been stuck in his head for years.
So what can we expect on "Good Vibes." Probably more boob jokes, right?
Yeah, that's exactly it! I'd have to agree. The show's target audience is definitely younger boys. They'll be covered in the humor spectrum. I think they'll be the ones getting all of the jokes. The show has a lot of heart -- but the heart has a boner. I really do believe that.
When I interviewed Adam Brody, he told me that his mom really enjoys the show.
Nice! It's funny. It definitely makes me laugh, anyway. You know, I say younger boys will get it, but I have the sensibility of a young boy, so I'm the perfect audience as well. Even though I'm not necessarily a young boy, my maturity level is right there.
What's coming up for Lonnie? He's sort of like Mondo and Woodie's stoner guru.
You're going to find out more about Lonnie. He's one of those people that has had several different lives, and he's seen a lot of things. He's been very successful in his lifetime. He was a very well-known surfer at one time, so he tends to step in and offer advice. As a moral character, he's pretty corrupt. He steals, he smokes weed and he lives in a van. He's also a cautionary tale for the boys: You don't want to live like Lonnie.
You're the voice of several characters in the show. How did that happen?
They were really cool about letting me play a lot of people. Each time we would read through a new script, they would assign me a handfull of roles. It was like, "We just need to hear the script, could you read these roles?" That's how it all started, and then they just let me record them. It was so great. I always wanted to do that. They were very trusting and generous about throwing as many roles at me as I could handle. It made me want to do more.
They were like, "Why hire more actors? We can have one actor be the whole cast!"
Yeah! Exactly! It's flattering and really cool at the same time. There are a few voices that I've always wanted to put in things that now have a home in "Good Vibes."
How does that work? Do you just come up with these voices in your head?
I usually get my cue from the script when it comes to creating voices. I take that input, and then I come up with a voice. I did have a couple of voices that I sort of learned a long time ago. They were people that I knew when I was younger. For people who are mimics, you'll just key into a voice. You'll be around someone who has an interesting vocal quality, and you'll key into it. I will certainly start doing it, and I'll do it for a while. I did that with Mike Nichols. I worked with Mike Nichols on 'Spamalot,' and I was Mike Nichols all of the tim until I annoyed everybody around me. You sort of work on it, then you put it down and then you use it one day when it becomes useful. I still haven't used Mike Nichols in anything yet -- except to play pranks on people who know Mike Nichols. I'll leave messages on their phones.
The voice in 'Good Vibes' that I had, well, [in voice of Mr. Proper, reminiscent of a southern Bill Cosby] we call him Mr. Proper, and he was this fella I knew in Dallas, Texas. I would bring him up every time I went to an audition [end voice]. I would be like, 'Hey, do you have any place for this guy?' And everybody was very opposed to me doing that voice because it's an ethnic voice, and I'm very non-ethnic, but for 'Good Vibes,' it was the perfect fit. They were like, absolutely! He began as just a one-off voice in the first episode, but then Mr. Proper found his way into other scripts. In one of the episodes he's Mondo and Woodie's chauffeur for the night, so they just started writing for Mr. Proper. It was very kind of them.
That must feel incredible. You kind of created a character on "Good Vibes."
I've held on to that thing for so long. Anybody who knows me has had to suffer because Mr. Proper comes up from time to time throughout the day. He just interjects here and there.
Did you have any celebrity influences? Adam Brody said that he pulled from Spicoli and a little bit of Anna Faris.
Definitely Spicoli. When you think of a typical west coast surfer-stoner, that's the quintessential voice. There is a voice that I have that's like a kid version of Spicoli. He's one of Turk's friends. Turk has a crew of two guys. One really big hispanic guy, [in character voice] and his voice is like this. It's kind of like Mike Tyson, but he's also hispanic. He's so big, but he has a real big heart [end voice]. Then the other guy is like a mini Spicoli. When creating voices, you just pull from different voices you've heard and people that you've met along the way.
Is there any accent that you can't do?
The Creole accent I can't do. I wish I could. I've tried to learn it, and I just can't do it. It's really difficult. Maybe if I had a coach I could learn it. I used to learn with coaches when I did movies. In "28 Days" with Sandra Bullock, I played a German character, and [my coach] taught me how to do a proper German accent. And then when I did "A Knight's Tale," I tried to do a very low class British accent, and we got very specific. But now that there's the Internet, you can really pull from anywhere. Just go on YouTube, and you can find any accent that's ever existed.
"Good Vibes" airs Thursdays at 10:30PM ET on MTV. Check out this clip of Alan Tudyk as Principal Gurniel in an upcoming episode.