Make no mistake about it. Actor Alan Tudyk does appear in front of the movie cameras. He, in fact, has played quite a few memorable roles on the big and small screen. But Tudyk is also known for his other talent. That would be voice work and he has made a big name for himself when it comes to voice acting.
So if you’re wondering why you haven’t seen Alan Tudyk lately, you may have heard him instead. Here’s where he’s been and where he’s going next.
Alan Tudyk has been around the block a time or two as an actor. Beginning with 35 Miles from Normal and Patch Adams, Tudyk initially started his acting career with sights solely on acting. He had a memorable role as a gay German drug addict in the Sandra Bullock-Viggo Mortensen film 28 Days. From that role, we should have known that “voices” were going to be his thing.
He appeared in The Wonder Boys, A Knight’s Tale with Heath Ledger, and Hearts in Atlantis with Sir Anthony Hopkins. If that wasn’t enough to get Hollywood excited for Alan Tudyk’s talent, Joss Whedon made sure the town would take further notice.
ALAN TUDYK ON FIREFLY
Joss Whedon presented Alan Tudyk the opportunity to star in Firefly as “Wash” back in 2002. Tudyk got his audition through a casting office finally being called in after a couple of months wait. His first audition went well enough that Whedon gave him a call back to screen test with a couple of actresses who were up for the part of Zoe (Wash’s wife). Neither of the actresses was selected for the part and when Alan Tudyk was sent home, he felt he lost the part. Fear not, Whedon liked him. He got the call and Wash was his.
Firefly is one of those strange deals. It lasted one season and also returned as a movie, Serenity, in which Alan Tudyk reprised his role as Wash. But since its one-year appearance and eventual movie, it has found a huge fan base with fans constantly clamoring for more.
Chances are slim that there will be more Firefly in the future and even if there were, Alan Tudyk’s involvement may be nil. His character, Wash, sadly got harpooned to death near the end of Serenity. Of course, Hollywood being Hollywood, you never say never to a good resurrection. Alan Tudyk wouldn’t either.
HIS MOST MEMORABLE ROLES
Firefly and Wash are not the only memorable characters Alan Tudyk has been asked to play. Remember Steve the Pirate? He was one of the looney characters from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story. He played a doctor in 3:10 to Yuma. He was in Knocked Up in a quite memorable role, albeit brief. And then how could anyone forget his comedically physical performance in Death at a Funeral.
Want more? There was Tucker the funny horror comedy Tucker & Dale vs Evil. He was in the TV series V before he reunited with Firefly creator Joss Whedon on his new series Dollhouse.
The list goes on and on as Alan Tudyk bounced back and forth from features to TV. He was seen in the series Good Vibes, The Life & Times of Tim, Justified, Chozen, Suburgatory (which lasted for three seasons for the actor), and Newsreaders. And while Tudyk was building a strong acting resume in front of the camera, it was his work behind the scenes where he was truly making his name.
ALAN TUDYK: PREMIERE VOICE ACTOR
Alan Tudyk got his first taste of voice work way back in 2002 on the animated feature Ice Age. He would lend his voice once again to the Ice Age franchise in Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. One of his more memorable voice roles early on in his career is also one he has gained a lot of recognition for and that was for Sonny in the Will Smith movie I, Robot.
It took some time, though, for Alan Tudyk to find more voice work on feature films. He voiced a few video games in the meantime, first on the Ice Age 2: The Meltdown video game, then Defense Grid: The Awakening, Halo 3: ODST, and Astro Boy: The Video Game. But then Tudyk began to find his vocal range.
He was heard in Glenn Martin, DDS, Family Guy, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Phineas and Ferb, Wreck-It Ralph, and Chozen. Alan Tudyk’s voice work was becoming well-known throughout the industry.
Some of the other popular voice work Alan Tudyk performed was on Disney’s Big Hero 6, Zootopia, TripTank, The Adventures of Puss and Boots, Moana, and Young Justice. He is also well-known for voicing another big character in another big movie.
ALAN TUDYK IN STAR WARS
Alan Tudyk got the call from director Gareth Edwards while visiting his Firefly buddy Nathan Fillion. It was for a role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Edwards was looking for a voice and actor to play K-2SO, the robot pal to Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor. Edwards was wanting the actor to also do motion capture for the role.
As Alan Tudyk says, via Wired, “I’m the go-to robot guy.” Edwards went on to explain to Tudyk what he was looking for in the performance. Alan Tudyk countered, quite brazenly, how he saw it, how motion-capture needed to be tested, then re-tested, to make sure all the movements were perfected. It was in direct contrast to what Edwards was looking for. Alan thought that would be the end of their conversation.
Surprise. Alan Tudyk was asked to go in for an audition, which he nailed. What appealed greatly to Tudyk in his role as K-2So was the fact that he had more expression then say his performance as Sonny. “You’ve got this giant that has a simplicity to him,” Alan Tudyk says. “It’s not Lennie in Of Mice and Men, but there’s something about him that’s very sweet and fun.” It is a role that if Tudyk was given a chance, he’d surely play again. Guess what?
Everyone who saw the well-received movie Rogue One knows how it ended. So how, exactly, are Alan Tudyk and Diego Luna reprising their respective roles from Rogue One when, well, their characters are no longer? Well, like the many things Disney is attempting to do and have done, they are creating a prequel to Rogue One starring both Luna and Alan Tudyk. If the series is even remotely as good as the original movie, Disney may have itself another hit.
But since Tudyk’s performance as K-2SO in 2016, Alan has gone on to more wonderful voice work. He was in Ralph Breaks the Internet, The Tick, Star vs the Forces of Evil, Big Hero 6: The Series, Rick and Morty, Harley Quinn, American Dad!, and Robot Chicken. He has also been back in front of the camera with a Fillion reunion on The Rookie, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Resident Alien, and Devil May Care.
ALAN TUDYK NOW
For the time being, it looks like Alan Tudyk is going to have his choice in working in front or behind the camera. If you want to see him in front of the camera while also doing voice work at the same time, check him out in season one of Doom Patrol on HBO Max. There he’s called on to narrate the entire season, while also popping up to perform as the show’s big bad. He’s brilliant.
When not knocking it out of the park on screen and in your ears, Alan Tudyk is at home with his wife Charissa Barton. The couple married in 2016. Chrissa is a well known choreographer. Alan, who grew up in the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas, now has residences in both Los Angeles and New York.