ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with Koala man star Demi Lardner about character Alison and which Aussie comedians she’d like to see in a second season. All eight episodes of Koala man now streaming on Hulu.
Spencer Legacy: What drew you to Koala Man?
Demi Lardner: Honestly… okay, so two things. I’m in love with Alison. She’s a little psychopath. And also the Australian – like true Australianness. We all love the Australian episode of The Simpsonsbut it’s not Australian at all.
You guys don’t play knife and spoon?
You know what? Because of how well The Simpsons is, so much of that episode really entered our lexicon. It’s so strange. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like I tell dollarydoos all the time and sincerely, “I would have called him chazzwazzaer.” The Simpsons made us more like their version of Australia. But yeah, like sausage rolls and display bags and stuff … having that classic crap Aussie staff that’s really ugly but we really love is really cool to me. The stuff that’s not good at all, but we’re like, “Yeah, but it’s us,” makes me really happy.
You mentioned that you really like Allison as a character. What was it that really stood out to you when you first read about her that made you say, “That’s for me.”
The reason I think I love her so much — quick little story, I auditioned to be Alison and was like, “Oh, she sounds cool. She’s a little mental case. It’s great.” She’s ugly. She’s horrible to everyone. She grudgingly loves her family, but that’s as much as she’ll give them. I did it, and then I have – not a plug – I have a podcast and I stream on Twitch and the casting people saw me and they were like, “Okay, so Alison, she’s like an evil little psycho who’s always screaming. Let’s just go on Demi’s Twitch stream. Oh, she’s perfect!” I think I have an affinity with Alison. I appreciate the way she works
Towards the end of this season, Alison finally finds someone she actually likes with Rosie, but she turns out to be a bit different than expected. How was voicing the more heartfelt scene at the end compared to the more snarky scenes?
I really like doing stuff like this because it makes me super insanely uncomfortable. I like the right method. Like, I cried when Alison cried and it kind of freaked out the people recording me. I had tears running down my face and they said, “Hey dude, you can just pretend.” I really liked it because it makes me insanely uncomfortable. So just go all the way into Alison and say, “Okay, I’m just going to pretend to be here because if I have these feelings, it’s going to be very upsetting to me.”
This is truly one of the first major primetime Australian animated series for adults. So what is it like to be a part of such a monumental project?
It’s insane! What am I doing here? This is so stupid. There are so many famous people in the show. And then look at me. I’m like third-picture! Sarah Snook and Hugh Jackman, what are you doing? Why am I here?! So stupid. It’s really cool though.
There are some crazy names on this show, just in general.
It’s so… it’s crazy. And I get – there are pictures of me next to them on articles and stuff. What is it?!
Allison is really also very central in the “Handball Dingo” episode. What was it like recording it?
Oh, that was so much fun. I’ve said this, I got a little gift pack from Disney and the producers and stuff with this electric tea mug and a lot of tea and honey because when we did the dingo episode I shredded my throat. I couldn’t talk for a week, but I had so much fun doing it, and I knew I wanted to do it too, and I was like, “Let’s shoot the last one, guys. Otherwise, I’m going to ruin the episode. Alison is going to sound like a smoker for the rest of the episode.”
Michael Cusack has such a unique type of humor, and he also does voice work, animation, and he’s more hands-on than most creators might be. So what’s it like working with him in that regard?
It is well. It’s so much easier to have that direct direction and have him also be really good at being open to talking about different lines and things where we’d be like, “Does that sound like Alison?” Or like: “Do we think it’s Alison?” Which is fun to be about a comic book. But,
“Would she call her brother a creep?”
“Would she say shrink?” Does she like it? Fortnite?” It was nice to have a little bit of freedom with those things too. There were times where it would be like, “Okay, we need a few different lines here. Or it’s like a group setting or whatever, or we don’t really know what line is going to go here with Alison. Why Aren’t you just saying 50 things in a row?” And I thought, “Yes!” Because I get very energetic, and it’s good to be able to express some creativity when you do a job like this.
There is so much brilliant Australian talent in Koala Man. If there was a season 2, what other Australian creatives, comedians or actors would you like to see on the show?
Oh, my friends will be so mad if I don’t tell them! Man… so there’s a guy who has a bunch of different podcasts. He’s my friend, but his name is Alexei Toliopoulos, and he’s the funniest man I’ve ever met in my entire life. I think he would do a really good job because… I don’t know. I figure Dapto is probably somewhere that still has Blockbuster or a local VHS store, and I think Alexei could work there. Another one that I think would be great is Sam Campbell. He’s another little weird freak and he’d be good as a rat or something. He would play a really good rat.