Published on August 31st, 2012 | by SARA2
Fan Expo Canada: Alan Tudyk Q&A
The atmosphere in the room was full of excitement as fans anticipated the wacky fun to come. When Firefly alum Alan Tudyk arrived at his panel at Fan Expo Canada he was greeted by a room full of loudly adoring fans. Fans who by the way, made a certain kind of their adoration known even more loudly after Tudyk began the panel by dropping some key pieces of info that including that he’s a Pisces, it’s first time in Toronto and oh yeah, he’s currently single.
Tudyk may be best known for his role as Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne on Firefly, the sadly short lived, but long lasting in our hearts (and on our DVDs, and Blu-Rays, and comics and fan fiction…), television series, but the room was filled with fans who also love Tudyk’s many other memorable roles including Pirate Steve from Dodgeball (2004), Alpha on Dollhouse, A Knight’s Tale (2001), Tucker & Dale Versus Evil (2010), and Suburgatory, which is currently going into it’s second season “which for someone who was on Firefly it’s crazy, not only one full season but going into a second season it’s amazing”.
Tudyk asks us if we get the Science Channel (that has been reairing Firefly) in Canada. We unfortunately must respond in the negative. Tudyk advises us to find the promos on youtube because they are fantastic, and as “Nathan [Fillion] put it, how it should have been promoted in the first place”.
This leads into Tudyk imitating Fox’s original, terrible ad campaign which begins with him singing ‘Might as well be walking on the sun this guy…what are we doing in space, a horse’. Not good.”
“We were coming up to the tenth anniversary of Firefly and .. I’m not aging but I look at Adam Baldwin and I’m like, ‘that was a really long time ago’, even Summer has blossomed into a beautiful woman…Anyway, what we did was we got together and there’s going to be a special on Science Channel which is another reason I hope you guys can get it…Anyway we all talk about the show and they’re going to be showing clips and doing things, and material that no one’s seen before and it’s not going to be on a DVD it’s just going to be on television so hopefully with the interwebs and all that you guys can see it because it was fun to get together and reminisce”.
On his upcoming film Wreck it Ralph, “It’s going to be very good, from what I’ve seen, I’ve only seen my scenes. And John C. Reilly, I got to work with him, he’s as cool as you want him to be.”
Then we get down to the shit. Alan Tudyk carries around some “cool shit ” for when he does these things and the folks who are lucky enough to ask a question get some signed shit from Tudyk. This shit included Serenity playing cards, pages from scripts, an old Comic Con badge and an old ticket to the premiere of Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Favourite Role/Most Challenging Role
The favourite role was in the English version of Death at a Funeral, because he got to live in England, play someone English “which is always fun”, was with a great cast, and was directed by the amazing Frank Oz. An enthusiastic audience member shouts “Thanks for being naked in it!”, another adds “Sweet ass!”. The cheers that follow indicate that the entire room is in agreement.
Now for the most challenging role. “Alpha was a very challenging role, because it was several roles in one and he was bad, he was mean. And…it’s not easy doing that it’s hard you gotta focus, I have to really focus to be a bad guy. If I’m just being a doofus, oddly that comes a lot easier.”
On the totally gruesome movie that ‘A Knight’s Tale 2′ could have been…
“When we were shooting A Knight’s Tale we were all having so much fun together that we talked about… ‘we absolutely gotta do a 2′. And the director, Brian Helgeland, said ‘I’ve got it, this is how it’s going to start’, because at the end of Knights Tale we have a lot of money and we actually shot an alternate end…there’s a line that isn’t in the movie, we’re all very happy and they jousted and there’s the kissing and everyone’s happy and I go “I bought a ship”, and he’s like ‘Great, we take that line and we cut to – you’re in a ship and you’re rowing and you’re in chains and it’s not going well on this ship.
We had had this ship and it had been taken over by pirates, we’re all there… we’re rowing and in front of you all you have is this guy who has his mouth sewn shut his ears sewn shut no his mouth is open but his tongue is cut out and he has this intricate tattoo on his back and that’s all you have to look at all day long. And at a certain point you’re like… if this was the islands of here.. and this was that…and it’s a treasure map. But every time he was whipped parts of the treasure map would disappear. And there’s writing that you have to decipher…and we take over the ship again and figure out who this guy is and where the treasure is’”
On a sequel for ‘Tucker and Dale vs Evil’…
“There was talk of a sequel right after we finished it and then it kind of went away. There’s still a want for it, if we jump on it in the next couple of years we can make it. There was talk of ‘Tucker and Dale Go To Yale’. Dale goes to Yale and I go along and sort of work as a groundskeeper. And then it becomes a slasher movie on a college campus, kind of a “I know what you did last summer” kind of thing…We would love to work together again”
I say we put it up to a vote. All Alan Tudyk movies get sequels? Yes, everyone, great.
And all the Firefly stuff that makes us all weepy because it was so good and there was too little of it…
Favourite episode: After this rewatching ‘Objects in Space’.
If Wash was the captain: “I think we would probably get into some farming if I was the captain… there definitely wouldn’t be so much killing and all of that. I was always very much against that, I was always the one going ‘why the shooting people?’ I was the only voice of reason on that ship in that sense. So I imagine parking it somewhere nice, maybe with a coast. And we could all start some kind of farming…”
Zoe after Wash…: “The Captain swore… Nathan said he was going to hook up with her but I guess he would be Captain Mal at that point. But she decided to be celibate after I died so…pretty great wife, that’s how she is. She’s like ‘I will never have sex with anybody else for the rest of my life. I love you so much, no one can match you’.”
On “Float Out”, the Firefly comic written by Patton Oswalt: “It was bad ass and …it made me want to do more of Firefly.”
On Wash’s death in Serenity: “I thought it did wonders for the movie and it does. That’s the hope. If it didn’t work it would have been really lame. It raises the stakes, it makes the movie better, after that when everybody’s getting shot it’s like everybody’s going to die. There’s a moment where you’re like ‘they’re going to kill everybody’, ‘if you can kill him might as well kill everybody’. Then I rewatch the series and I’m like aww and remember what was lost he was a really cool character.”
Going back and rewatching after Wash’s death (and all the other things) is just one of the reasons rewatches are so heartbreaking for us too! So many feelings!
On improving on Joss Whedon’s set…
“People have asked me if we improved a lot on [Firefly], we did not. Back when we did Firefly it was very word for word, the script supervisor who was part of that would be like, ‘no you’re saying you’re instead of you are’…there’s a cadence to it and there is, there’s an argument to be made but in his words ‘I’ve relaxed’.
“When I did Alpha [on Dollhouse] there’s a line where I say something about ‘Did you just call me a troglodyte’ or something… a luddite. That was something that I just said in rehearsal and he’s like yeah do that and I’m like NO WAY, I get to put my own words in and he seriously seemed shocked like ‘what, you don’t think you can?’”
Favourite person to have worked with…
“Nathan Fillion is a good guy. He was a leader on [Firefly] and really made us, he really brought everybody together and made sure we stayed together, still to this day. He’ll be like come over tonight and we’re just hanging out I’m going to have a couple people over and you show up and it’s like the cast! We’re having a cast reunion!”
“I worked with John Turturro on Transformers and that guy, that guys impressive. There are a lot of people I’ve worked with that are really impressive. He was one I couldn’t, his energy was just so specific and I can mimic people I cannot mimic him he’s just very funny, very interesting guy.”
A few other things from the Q&A:
In the Serenity deck of cards he’s a ten, “not quite a face card but right by it…I’m worth just as much as a face card, like royalty but without all the hassle.”
Next to all the Firefly fans he gets the most “garrs” and “yarrs” from fans of Pirate Steve (Dodgeball)
On Joss Whedon’s Shakespeare sessions, “I got to play Bottom, I love that role I thought it was so much fun. I got to play Antony in Cleopatra when Morena played Cleopatra that was awesome. Bottom was the best.”
In the next Whedon Shakespeare film we would LOVE to see Alan Tudyk as Bottom! Start the letter writing!
We’ll close it out with Alan Tudyk on Toronto, just in case we thought we couldn’t love him more…
“Well Toronto is great, this is amazing, I’ve never been here before, I’ve never been to Toronto before I’ve never been to this Con before. This is great, this is like Comic Con but better. Oh is that going to come and bite me in the ass. No offense to San Diego Comic Con with is a really good time but this is more focus you know. That’s become very large and all encompassing even and it’s a different kind of party and this seems more personal and just, I don’t know, focused, exactly and specific and, specifically fun and a specific kind of fun and everybody’s really nice because it’s Canada and … [big cheers]. And everyone’s sweeter.”
That was an amazing panel from the hilarious Alan Tudyk. Look out for him in “Wreck it Ralph” and season 2 of “Suburgatory”.
(Images courtesy of LP Photogrraphy. For more images add LP Photography on facebook.)