We’re happy that Alan Tudyk is on a successful TV show, even if it isn’t “Firefly.” The Television Critics Association went to the set of “Suburgatory,” the ABC comedy in which Tudyk plays outrageous suburbanite, Noah Werner.
He’s also doing a clown show called “That Beautiful Laugh” at La MaMa theater in NY. As the TCA interviewed Tudyk in the show’s classroom (with both real and hollowed out fake textbooks I found out), I jumped in with questions about Tudyk’s work, and, you know, more “Firefly.”
CraveOnline: How does a TV comedy like “Suburgatory” compare to a one hour drama like “Firefly?”
Alan Tudyk: The writing is very tight on this show and it’s geared for comedy. Gosh, I don't know. I can’t put it in the right words, but to do “Firefly” is like doing a film. For some reason this is more about making comedy. Even though they’re real people, the scenes are short and tight. It’s quick and succinct whereas “Firefly” was long, not just the hour but the scenes were long.
CraveOnline: Have you done clown training before?
Alan Tudyk: I did in school and I’m very interested in it. I’m very interested in Comedia dell’Arte. We’re actually starting a theater company. I’m back and forth with my friend Orlando Pabotoy who teaches at NYU and is directing right now at Julliard. I watch all of his productions. He is an amazing clown teacher and one of the few people who does it in this country. He and I have been friends since Julliard when we both went there. Clowning was a huge interest of mine back then and it’s time to get back to it.
CraveOnline: Have you seen any of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter yet?
Alan Tudyk: No, I haven’t.
CraveOnline: What was it like on the set?
Alan Tudyk: It was brilliant. It’s a big period piece. It was amazing.
CraveOnline: So a straight period piece costume drama, except for all the vampires?
Alan Tudyk: Except for the vampires, who look really cool. It’s a huge movie. It’s huge. It was so hard to even grasp when you’re on it because they did Civil War battles, whole Civil War battles plus the story of a love story plus the war coming and the political story. It’s massive, it’s massive.
CraveOnline: You did a performance capture role as Sunny in I, Robot. Why have you not pursued that lucrative industry?
Alan Tudyk: I don’t know. I do know. I did it. I’ve done it. I have a lot of opinions about it. What that is, what that performance is, when you do a motion capture performance, you have an artist taking art and making new art. It’s an absolute collaboration. He takes your acting and turns it into something. He goes through his filter of art.
It’s an artist doing an artist, you get removed by one. I think that the technology’s getting a lot better. The way we did that one was a frame by frame rendering of my face. Yeah, I did it. I’d rather just do it. I’d rather just act on screen where you see my face and I don’t have to go where somebody interprets what I’ve done and changes it. That’s a little diverting.
It’s tough. It’s tricky. It’s awesome to get to do. It was a cool, cool role and I really like that movie, but I did it. I’m done with it I think maybe. Now that I’ve said I’m done with it, that means I’ll be doing one probably next year.
CraveOnline: How long did it take you to mourn the death of Wash in Serenity?
Alan Tudyk: You know, yeah. I’m probably the only one who if there’s another “Firefly” movie, there will be a moment of me going, “Oh no.” because I won’t be in it. But since there hasn’t been, I haven’t had to face that. So as it is, I really liked what it did for the movie. It really raised the stakes in that moment. Nathan Fillion says, “Wash died, still funny. Still funny."