Alan Tudyk, known for his roles as Wash in Firefly, K-2SO in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, as well as various other TV, film, and voice-over roles, made an appearance at Phoenix Comicon on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Unlike Friday night, when we were up until 4am for the Kids Need to Read Charity Poker Tournament, we actually went to bed at a decent hour and got a good night’s sleep on Saturday night. This was a good thing since we had to get up early on Sunday to pack up our things, check out of the hotel, and make it to Alan Tudyk’s panel, which was scheduled to begin at 10:30am. We made it to the convention center around 10:00am, and found a very short line for bag check, so we were able to get through in just a couple minutes. We then found our way up to West 301BCD for Alan Tudyk’s panel, the room’s first panel of the day.
Alan Tudyk came on stage to a roaring applause, thanks primarily to Firefly, and did his obligatory photo with the crowd. He apologized for being late, and was worried he was really late (he was about 15 minutes late). Tudyk proceeded to talk about how big the con is, and how many people are in this room (it was almost to capacity). He apparently has a “bag of crap” from which he will give items to the questioners, signed by himself. He apologized for leaving his good bag of crap at home, and he says he had an extra crappy bag of crap today.
The first question asked of Alan Tudyk is if he has ever been able to plan his own death on film, and then asked what it would be. Alan talked about how he had some good ones, such as his Star Wars and Firefly deaths, among others. His idea for how he would like to die would be while something extraordinary is happening, like a tiger fight and/or shark boxing. He settles on shark fighting. The questioners’ reward for this question? A bottle of body lotion.
The next question asked how he prepared for his voice over for Moana. He joked about spending a lot of time in a chicken coup to work on it. He then talked about how the animation was pretty much done, and he came in watched it and did the voice over. The question here received a shower cap — Tudyk thinks it is a shower cap at least.
Up next was asking Tudyk about his motion capture work on Rogue One, and Tudyk said he had to wear some stilts, and some extra light ski boots. Tudyk talked about how he had to react to the film makers talking about reacting to fictional AT-ATs and other things, which was weird because there was nothing actually there. He also talked about wearing a motion capture suit, and having to wear a backpack that had a telescoping K-2 head, but the head was really cheesy — a piece of poster board apparently. He also had to wear stilts. Apparently there was a lot of footage of K-2 that was cut from the final film.
Up next, Alan Tudyk was asked what character he plays that he would like to be turned into a POP figure. Alan Tudyk answered Tucker from Tucker and Dale. He mentioned another movie which I am not familiar with. Tudyk gave this questioner some fancy soap.
Tudyk was then asked what is different about voice acting and real acting, and which he likes is better. Tudyk answered that for real-life acting they have to deal with the footage they have for the most part, while digital animation can be changed. As an aside, Alan Tudyk talked about how he voiced three characters in Wreck-It Ralph, but Alan was only credited for one. Tudyk talked more about voice overs and how lines can be recorded early on in the film, and he can be brought in months later, and re-record new lines because stuff is taken out. He also talked about how the animators can work with the noises he makes, and animate to that, despite maybe not having concrete plans to use them yet. This questioner received a sewing kit.
The next question to Tudyk was asking what he would like to see more about for his character, Wash, on Firefly. He answered that he would like to have dealt with Wash’s baby, which came about in the comics. He went into how he would try to stop Zoe from going on missions for the sake of the baby.
Up next, Alan was asked about which acting was harder, a movie where he was a racist in the movie 42 playing Benjamin Chapman, or his death scene in Firefly as Wash. Tudyk said that was the hardest part was the role in 42 as it was hard saying all of those racist words, and it really was something that hurt him when he was saying those things. This questioner gets a piece of his script from his new show called Dirk Gently, which is on BBC.
Next, Tudyk was asked if he likes acting or directing more, and Alan said acting is his first love. He says that he directed all of Con Man for Season 1, and he said it was nice because he had full control. He commented about how he could basically have anything he wanted happen on set which was fun. For season two he didn’t direct all of the episodes. He did go on to say it is tough to choose a best, though. This questioner gets a boarding ticket of Tudyk’s.
The next questioner asked Tudyk who he would like to have lunch with, dead or alive. Tudyk said he doesn’t really know though. Gene Wilder was a name he dropped. Jesus too, but they don’t speak the same language. Jimmy Carter was another name dropped. He also said he would like to see a Queen concert, or have lunch with John Lennon. This question gets some Con Man stickers, that apparently have nudity…?
Another question asked was about Joss Whedon, and a story about him. Alan Tudyk talked about a Christmas party they had for Firefly, which became a “Firefly is cancelled” party, and Whedon gave a speech saying that he would somehow keep the show going in some form. Alan remembered thinking how sad that was, thinking it never happened. Another funny quick story that Alan had — apparently Joss Whedon had his car towed at Alan Tudyk’s house for parking in the wrong place. This questioner receives another boarding pass of Tudyk’s.
Tudyk was then asked if there is a backstory in the works for K-2, and Alan Tudyk sayid he doesn’t know, but would like to see K-2 in the Empire, and see his reprogramming to become a part of the Rebel Alliance. This question gets an immigration receipt or something.
Alan Tudyk then was asked if there is any improv he would like to have added to any of his works. He shared a story about 3:10 to Yuma. There was a point in the movie where Peter Fonda’s character is shot, and the doctor, played by Alan Tudyk, has to remove it. Apparently Peter Fonda’s character decides to continue his travels tracking down whoever they are chasing in the film, and the only way that would happen would be if the doctor came along to tend his wounds. Tudyk remembers improvising a line saying something like “I recommend 3 to 4 weeks of bed rest” as a joking type line for his character to say to insinuate how his character would not want to go. The line didn’t make it in the film though, but Tudyk remembered Russell Crowe apparently hassling the director about getting the line in the film, but it never happened.
Next, Tudyk was asked about an episode Tudyk wanted to pitch for Firefly, and Alan Tudyk talked about one idea where he had rabid dogs chasing the group. Tudyk said that he had a lot of ideas to pitch for the show, and another he had was that the team would land on a planet, and there would be a “caper” the rest of the team would be working on, and he would be the escape driver. However, his character would be allergic to the planet, and he would feel worse and worse as the episode goes on, and become swollen at some point, which would provide a comedic beat throughout the episode. Alas, this episode did not happen either. This questioner gets more soap.
Tudyk was then asked which of his characters he has played has been his favorite, and he easily answers Wash. He said K-2SO was a fun one too, and as an aside talked about filming in the Maldives, and how there was an island which only appeared at certain times of the day. This person gets some mouthwash.
Then Tudyk was asked about what the process is for voice over work. He replied that it can be different depending on the movie or even video game. Video games apparently can be “very specific” in terms of what is required. He talked about working on Halo 3 having some really cheesy lines, while other people he knew would have the really cool lines. This question gets his hotel key — for his room in Vancouver.
Up next, Tudyk was asked how he found out he was cast for his chicken role in Moana. He talked about how it would be weird for him to be cast in a movie about the Polynesian gods given his ethnic background, but apparently people working on the movie wanted to make it happen, because Disney thinks he’s their “lucky charm.” In early concepts for characters for the movie, Tudyk said there was a rooster character that was originally a macho character, but when the main animator went out of town for a bit of time, the character “magically” transformed into a dopey type of character, which of course meant Tudyk could voice him. This questioner gets a right-eyed contact lens. Following up on playing the chicken in Moana, another questioner asked if he was paid enough to play a chicken in a Disney princess movie. He said he didn’t pay Disney, so yes.
The last question asked what was the funniest thing that happened during the filming of the movie Thunderdale Versus Evil. Tudyk says there was a fleeing scene in the movie, where apparently Tudyk was drunk during the scene. This questioner gets his left contact lens.
Next up in West 301BCD was Karen Gillian, best known for her roles as Amy Pond in Doctor Who and Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy. Stay tuned for our recap and photos of that panel!
View more photos from Alan Tudyk’s Phoenix Comicon 2017 panel below: