By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist September 26, 2011 at 1:43AM
Plus Actor Reveals Details Of His Character In 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
The words "terminally undersung" and "Alan Tudyk" are almost inseparable. The actor has been a familiar presence on screen for a decade, cropping in the likes of "28 Days" and "Wonder Boys," before going on to geek stardom with a big role in "Firefly." Since then, he's developed a deeply eclectic career, mixing comedy like "Dodgeball" and "Knocked Up" with more serious performances like "3:10 to Yuma" or his surprisingly badass villain in "Dollhouse," and even playing a performance-capture android in "I, Robot." He's someone that we're always happy to see on screen, and we're delighted that he's about to be seen in theates in a rare lead role, in the surprisingly enjoyable horror-comedy "Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil" (a film that has quietly managed to get a rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes).
Tudyk's been on the press rounds for the movie of late, and revealed some information to Empire on his role in a big summer movie for next year, as well as a hint that he's collaborating with one of the most reliable names in the movies. First up is "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter," the revisionist period action-horror from "Wanted" director Timur Bekmambetov, in which the actor plays politician, and Lincoln's electoral rival Stephen A. Douglas.
Douglas famously opposed Lincoln in a number of debates over slavery, and Tudyk suggests that he'll have an antagonistic role here, saying that "I'm a historical figure so I provide a lot of historical moments, so I seem to show up whenever Abraham Lincoln is making a decision; I work as his foil, you know, the other side of the argument on slavery – which you just don’t get to hear enough of. I’m in cahoots with vampires, and Rufus Sewell plays the lead vampire, and I haven’t worked with him since 'A Knight’s Tale,' so it’s really great working with him. And we’re on the same side, pretty much. Whenever you’re working with vampires it’s like you’ve got an attack dog. And politicians are even less trustworthy so really it’s a bad pairing."
While this seems to be a nuance-free depiction of Douglas' position -- his support of slavery came more from his belief in following the will of the people than an interest in slavery, and he supported the Union in the Civil War -- this is, of course, a film where Abraham Lincoln kills vampires, so historical accuracy's not really our friend here. Tudyk and Sewell will be squaring off against Benjamin Walker as Lincoln, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as his wife, with cast rounded out by folks like Anthony Mackie, Dominic Cooper and Jimmi Simpson.
Further down the line, frequent voice artist Alan Tudyk also reveals that he's about to work at pretty much the top of the tree for animation. Not "Ice Age: Continental Drift" or "Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked" (although he does feature in both), but an upcoming Pixar project. Tudyk says "I've done Pixar. I don’t know how much I can say on that one except it’s a really cool role that I can’t wait for people to see, but I’m sure it’s at least two years out, maybe a year and a half at best. We’ve been working on it for a while though. It’s great, they really take their time."
It's almost surprising that Tudyk hasn't yet cropped up in Pixar flick -- he's the kind of character actor that the studio usually adore. As for which project he's doing, it's unclear at present. As he says that it's a few years out, "Brave" would appear to be ruled out, which makes "Monsters University," the "Monsters Inc." prequel that hits in June 2013, the best bit, given the timeframe.
However, it's entirely possible that he'll feature in one of the two recently-announced projects from the studio, each from one-half of the team behind "Up": a dinosaur-themed project from Bob Peterson, currently scheduled for November 2013, or Pete Docter and Michael Arndt's film, which is set inside the human mind, and is targeted for the summer of 2014 (although seeing as that's almost three years off, we'd be surprised if it was that one). Nevertheless, Tudyk and Pixar seem like a perfect fit, and we're excited to see where he crops up. In the meantime, "Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil" is available on demand now, and gets a limited theatrical release from Friday, while "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" hits theaters on June 22, 2012.