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SYFY WIRE Resident Alien

Resident Alien's Alan Tudyk on Why He Almost Quit Acting – And What Kept Him in the Game

Patience, Colorado, might not have an alien doctor had two people in Alan Tudyk's life not encouraged him to pursue acting. 

By James Grebey

Before he was an extra-terrestrial acting like a small-town human doctor on Resident Alien, Alan Tudyk was a teenager who wasn’t committed to acting at all. In a new interview, the star of the SYFY series reveals that he almost quit acting before he’d barely started, but there were two people who convinced him to follow his dreams. 

How to Watch

Watch Resident Alien on SYFY and Peacock.

In a video interview with Variety, Tudyk is challenged to see if he can correctly identify which of the characters he’s played said what line. The exercise has Tudyk going back to a galaxy far, far away to voice Star Wars: Rogue One’s K-2SO and Wreck-It-Ralph’s King Candy, to name a few. (Naturally, there’s a Harry Vanderspeigle quote in there. Yes, it includes the word “taint” and no, Tudyk does not have confirmation about a fourth season yet.)

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At the end of the video, though, Tudyk reflects on how he got his start acting. 

“I was always extra and I really liked mimicking things I saw on television, and cartoons, probably, as well. I was a class clown and my mom put me in the Plano Community Theater’s production of Fabulous Fable Factory at the mall. We performed at the mall — two performances only,” Tudyk, who grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, Texas, said. 

Despite this debut on the mall stage, Tudyk says that he’d decided by his senior year of high school that he wasn’t going to continue being an actor because he “didn’t want to be poor.” However, a teacher gave him the encouragement he needed.

Harry Vanderspeigle and Joseph Raini laugh together on Resident Alien Episode 308.

“And my teacher said, ‘No, you will make it.’ [She] convinced me to be an actor, like one afternoon,” Tudyk said, adding that a friend of his, Jimmy, helped give him a push, too. 

“I remember we went out for coffee one morning before school — we smoked cigarettes, drank coffee,” Tuydk said, with an exaggerated laugh. “And he said. ‘I’m not going to be a psychologist. I’m going to be a dancer.’ And it was right there with my teacher telling me ‘You can do it.’ And that was it. I never looked back.”

It’s thanks to Tudyk’s teacher and his buddy Jimmy that we have more than two decades of Tudyk performances to enjoy — and that Patience, Colorado, has an alien doctor. 

Catch up on all episodes of Resident Alien on SYFY and Peacock.

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