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Interview: Alan Tudyk Talks ‘Wish’ and His G.O.A.T. Voice-Acting Role

November 22, 2023Ben MK

Best known for playing Hoban 'Wash' Washburne in Firefly and Serenity, Alan Tudyk isn't just a man of many faces, but a man of many voices as well. Whether it's the plethora of characters he's played on mature-themed animated shows like Robot Chicken, American Dad! and Harley Quinn, or the more family-friendly roles he's taken on in Disney movies like Zootopia, Big Hero 6 and Frozen II, Tudyk has built up quite the impressive resume when it comes to acting both in front of and behind the camera. And with Walt Disney Animation Studios' 62nd film, Wish, the 52-year-old actor is adding to that formidable filmography — playing the talking goat Valentino, who, along with his friend Asha (Ariana DeBose), embarks on an adventure of epic proportions, as they set out to free the wishes of everyone in the magical kingdom of Rosas.

I caught up with Alan Tudyk to chat about Wish, the one voice-acting role he considers to be his G.O.A.T., and to find out more about his upcoming role in James Gunn's animated superhero series, Creature Commandos.

You're no stranger to voicing animated characters, and you've voiced many of them in Walt Disney Animation Studios movies like Moana, Raya and the Last Dragon, and Encanto. How did that experience come into play when voicing Valentino the talking goat in Wish?

Tudyk: So much of it is the relationship, really. Chris Buck, who was one of the directors on this, and I have worked together in the past. And Jennifer Lee, who now runs Disney Animation, worked on Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. [And] they had a little goat, his name's Valentino, [who's] Asha's right-hand man — right-hand goat. [So] we took at shot with a deeper voice. [In Valentino's voice] "Like, that is his voice." And for Chris to go, "Yeah, that's it, we got it. Let's go with that," it took us maybe an hour. And then he was like, "Yeah, that'll be the voice of Valentino in this movie." That is a lot of faith, and it's very generous. [laughs]

When did you first discover that you had a talent for doing voices in the first place?

Tudyk: When I was little, I liked voices. I liked cartoons a lot. I liked Robin Williams a lot, and watching him. And so I would practice doing the voices that I heard him do, or [that] different comedians did. But I always considered that just acting. And then it wasn't until I was acting in a play that some casting director saw me and then called me in to start auditioning for voice-overs.

Was there a scene in Wish that was a favorite for you to work on?

Tudyk: I like the songs, cuz it's an original musical comedy, so all the songs are new. Ariana DeBose does the singing, [and] so does Chris Pine, [who's] the villain. They do the really good singing. I go [in Valentino's voice] "It's fantastic!" and "Oh! That's where the gas comes from!" I do things Iike that, but I'm part of the song, so that was pretty great. I liked being in the dumbwaiter also, and I don't wanna give too much away, but the chicken [scene] is pretty great. So I think I'm coming down to all of it with Valentino in Wish. I enjoyed doing all those parts.

Valentino may be a goat, but in terms of the many voice-acting roles under your belt, what's your G.O.A.T. — your greatest (or most favorite) of all time?

Tudyk: [In King Candy's voice] "I like King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph, because he was very sweet in the beginning." He was giving people candy, he's silly, he was like an old vaudevillian. I liked him a lot. And then he also had a great turn, cuz he was evil. You didn't realize that he was Turbo. And there's actually a point where he's beating a small girl who has candy in her hair with a car antenna. Like it got dark, it got dark!

You're also voicing Doctor Phosphorus in the upcoming adaptation of the comic book series Creature Commandos. Can you tell me a bit about that project?

Tudyk: Well, it's James Gunn, and it was the first project that he did when he took over [DC Studios]. It was one that he wrote, and it's fantastic is I guess all I can say. I had never heard of Creature Commandos, and then I look at the picture of all these super-powered people together, and I don't know how any of these people fit together. One of them's Frankenstein, there's magic, it's like how does all of this fit together? And it's one of best things that I have read. It's just what James Gunn does, you know? He's very good with that.

Last but not least, if you could be granted only one wish in real life, what would it be?

Tudyk: If I could have a wish, personally, I think it's what most clever people [would do] if you only get one wish, [which] is to have infinite wishes — or to be magic. My wish is to be magic, and then I could have as many wishes as I want. And I'm saving whales, I'm ending greed, I'm allowing white after Labor Day. Big wishes, they're comin'. And [there are] just gonna be a lot of decrees. It's gonna be benevolent, it'll be good. [laughs]

Wish is in theatres November 22nd.

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