Some of the hardest-working actors in Hollywood never get the recognition they deserve. We all have at least one actor that pops up in almost everything, yet never gets to be a household name. Alan Tudyk has long been one of those actors for me. You ask people if they know who you are talking about, and most often get a blank stare. But once I start listing off his substantial body of work, people are bound to have seen (or heard) him in something.
Alan Tudyk has been a voice in almost every animated Disney movie since Wreck-It Ralph, and he is not getting the attention he deserves. As great as his voice acting is, Tudyk’s live-action performances are hard to beat. His facial expressions are always hilariously on point. In hopes of educating the masses, we created a list of Tudyk’s best roles.
No Disney movie is complete without the cute animal friend. In Moana, we have the dimwitted chicken named Heihei voiced by Alan Tudyk. Yes, Tudyk has done the voice of multiple Disney characters, but the hilarity of him voicing a chicken is perfect. Please do yourself a favor and watch this behind-the-scenes footage of him making chicken sounds in a recording booth.
12. Arrested Development
In Arrested Development, Alan Tudyk played a pretty small part. He was the father of George Michael’s deeply religious (and deeply forgettable) girlfriend, Ann Veal (Mae Whitman). As Pastor Veal, he was an earnest weirdo who delivered his lines with deadpan seriousness. Even though he was a man of God, he was still ready to throw down for his wife’s affection and to keep her away from Michael Bluth’s secular ways.
11. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil
Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a different take on the horror trope where teens go to the woods and get terrorized by two hillbillies. Except Tucker and Dale are normal dudes just trying to renovate their vacation property in the woods. Tudyk as Tucker was the more serious of the pair. One of the movie’s best scenes was Tucker trying to fend off bees with a chainsaw, while the idiotic teens thought he was coming after them.
10. I, Robot
Alongside Will Smith, Alan Tudyk starred in I, Robot as the android Sonny. Tudyk provided the motion capture and the voice for the human-like robot. Sonny was the only robot with emotions in the not-so-distant future setting. Tudyk’s performance made Sonny different from all the other robots who looked just like him.
9. Doom Patrol
In Doom Patrol, Tudyk got to play the totally unhinged villain, Mr. Nobody/Eric Morden. After undergoing experiments by Heinrich Von Fuchs (and an accident by Dr. Niles Caulder), Morden turned into the meta-human known as Mr. Nobody. The omniscient villain can create vortexes, warp reality, and break the fourth wall. He’s over the top and the ultimate villain for the outlandish Doom Patrol.
8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Everyone loves the droids in Star Wars films. Rogue One continued that trend with K-2SO, the sarcastic best friend of Cassian Andor. Voiced by Tudyk, K-2SO became the humor of the movie that we all knew would end in tears.
7. Con Man
As a crowd-funded YouTube series, many people have missed out on Con Man. Tudyk wrote, produced, and starred in the show that took a comedic look at the life of an actor on the convention circuit. As Wray Nerely, Tudyk played a kind of fictional/mirror-world version of himself. Nerely’s hatred of the sci-fi genre and his attempts to become a “serious actor” provide plenty of humor. Plus. there are some great cameos for any nerdy convention fans watching.
6. Death at a Funeral
Death at a Funeral (the original British version) has many hilarious moments. But Simon (Alan Tudyk) stole the show. The funeral is Simon’s chance to make a good impression on his fiancee Martha’s dad. He’s understandably anxious, so Martha gives him something to calm his nerves. What she thought was Valium turned out to be a hallucinogen that sends Simon on a very interesting (i.e. naked) journey.
5. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
After Dodgeball‘s great quotable lines (“No one makes me bleed my own blood”), the best part of the movie was Alan Tudyk. The early 2000s comedy had Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and more stars, but no one was as memorable as Steve the Pirate. He lives his truth as a landlocked pirate looking for booty. Steve also gives us one of the most heartfelt “gar”s in history.
4. A Knight’s Tale
The first movie I saw Alan Tudyk in was A Knight’s Tale. And I’m sure I’m not alone. As Wat, he stole our hearts with his fiery rage and passion. Staring alongside heavy hitters like Heath Ledger and Paul Bettany, Tudyk still made his impact in the movie.
3. Harley Quinn
The animated Harley Quinn show is one of the best things DC Entertainment has produced. As Clayface and the Joker, Alan Tudyk voices not one, but two of the iconic villains on the show. Although Clayface gets more airtime and dramatic storylines, I would say that Tudyk’s Joker is almost as good as Mark Hamill’s performace. During the Valentine’s Day special, Clayface falls in love with his own sentient butt (yes, you read that correctly) and it is pure Tudyk magic.
2. Resident Alien
Resident Alien may be a strange show, but it is worth the weird journey. Tudyk plays the main character, Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle, who is actually an alien in disguise. After his ship crashed in the mountains of Colorado, he had to hide amongst humans until he could find his device … that will kill all humans. Harry awkwardly tries to emulate human behavior. His “casual laugh” is the best. You become so charmed by his struggles to fit in that you forget he is supposed to be eliminating our species.
Serenity pilot Hoban “Wash” Washburne is THE Alan Tudyk role. Anyone who watched Firefly immediately thinks of this character whenever we see Tudyk in anything new. Yes, he has done many things since Firefly sadly went off the air (I’m not counting Serenity as being real), but Wash was so wonderful and perfect. I still see bumper stickers and shirts devoted to this character. I don’t think Wash would have been Wash if any other actor had played him. “Like a leaf on the wind” in Tudyk’s voice will forever live rent-free in my head.
(featured image: Scott Barbour/Getty Images for Disney)
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