Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
SYFY WIRE Transformers

'Resident Alien' star Alan Tudyk still can't believe he gets to play Optimus Prime

They're both technically still aliens, though, right?

By Matthew Jackson
RESIDENT ALIEN Season 2 Episode 16

You know Alan Tudyk for his live-action roles in things like Firefly and the SYFY Original Series Resident Alien, but many genre fans will also recognize Tudyk's work as an accomplished and versatile voice actor, with credits in everything from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to Disney's Frozen and many, many other projects in between. Tudyk's got a lot of voice work under his belt at this point, but even he was shocked when he realized he'd get to play the most famous Transformer ever to grace that particular franchise.

RELATED: SYFY's 'Resident Alien' renewed for Season 3

Late last year, Paramount+ debuted the new animated series Transformers: EarthSpark, set in the aftermath of the war between Autobots and Decepticons and co-starring Tudyk as the Autobots' legendary leader, Optimus Prime. Speaking to SFX magazine in their latest issue about the series and his role in it, Tudyk explained that when he was offered the part, he originally misunderstood the assignment, and thought he'd be basically cameoing in the series as one of the other "Prime" Transformer characters. 

"I got an email asking if I wanted to do it. I read it and my brain rejected the idea that I would even be asked to play Optimus Prime," Tudyk explained. "I read it as Prime. I saw Prime and I was like 'Oh, right. There are other Primes.' Because I did [2011 live action film] Transformers: Dark of The Moon, and there was another Prime [Sentinel]. There was Optimus and then this other guy showed."

So, Tudyk originally settled into the idea that he'd be playing a minor character in a fun animated series, and get to be a bigger part of the Transformers universe he'd loved since he was a kid. Then he got the scripts, and saw his lines.

"It wasn't until just a few days before I ever had to record that I started working on it and saw that all the lines in the script that were highlighted were Optimus, and I freaked out," Tudyk said.

He continued, "Like, there's no way! [Laughs] What are you talking about? I'm more like Uncomfortable Prime, I shouldn't be... That's usually my characters that I play: Indecision Prime, left or right? We really had a blast, I came in and worked on it, and we had a really good time. The first time I got to say 'Autobots, roll out,' I got chills, literally chills."

So, Tudyk got to add a legendary character to his long roster of voices thanks to one of the most pleasant surprises of his professional life, and we get to keep watching him work when Transformers: EarthSpark returns to Paramount+ March 3. 

As for Resident Alien, it's already been renewed for Season 3, so we'll get to see more of Harry Vanderspiegle and his friends very soon. Catch up on Seasons 1-2 of Resident Alien streaming on Peacock.