Plano native Alan Tudyk is making it up as he goes along. Literally: The guy’s an improv genius. Sometimes best known for the short-lived but much, much loved space-western show Firefly and sometimes stopped on the street by amateur storm troopers who know he was the deadpan voice of K-2S0 in the recent Star Wars: Rogue One, Tudyk is a great riffer.
“Seventy percent of what you hear me say in Rogue One were my lines,” the 46-year-old says. (Here’s one: “Congratulations. You are being rescued.”) “You know, I was in an improv group in Dallas, called the Rubber Chicken, with a guy named Shawn Patrello. We were down at the Pocket Sandwich Theatre. That guy helped me get into Juilliard.”
After Juilliard, Tudyk bounced from one rabid subculture of superfans to the next. There was Firefly, created by Joss Whedon (who went on to direct The Avengers), and voicing Duke in Frozen, and then Star Wars (he even voiced Sonny in I, Robot), and now he’s starring—as in, you see his face—on the new show Powerless. The NBC series takes place in, well, if not in the world of DC Comics’ Batman, then just to the left.
“I play Bruce Wayne’s cousin,” Tudyk says, explaining the conceit of the show, in which his character works at an insurance company that protects defenseless bystanders from the collateral damage of caped crusaders. “I live in the lesser town, Charm City. My character wishes he worked at Wayne. And he wishes he lived in Gotham.” I asked if he felt that way, looking to the skyline of downtown Dallas while at Plano Senior High. “No, no,” he says, laughing. “It’s not like I lived in Richardson. I’m joking!”
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