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Why Resident Alien's Main Character Looks So Familiar

In the case of "Resident Alien," it helps to hide in plain sight, particularly if you're Harry Vanderspeigle. The Syfy series began as one of the best sci-fi shows of 2021 and follows Harry, who is appointed as the new doctor of a small town that has just lost its former physician. The only issue is that Harry is not from around here or even this planet. He's an alien invader who's been tasked with touching down on our planet and wiping out humanity. Of course, taking on such a role demands a wild dose of talent to play a duplicitous doctor with otherworldly tendencies, which is why Alan Tudyk is such a perfect fit for the role. 

To look at his past credits is to see more voice work than live action, with Disney borrowing his vocal cords for massive projects like "Moana," "Encanto," and "Wish," to name a few. In front of the camera, though, Tudyk will mostly be remembered for taking on the roles of an unhinged pirate and a hillbilly that had a case of murderous mistaken identity. In 2002, though, he joined a crew who became cult TV heroes and eventually got their well-deserved big-screen shot.

Alan Tudyk won hearts as Wash in Firefly and Serenity

In 2002, audiences were thrown into the 'Verse by way of "Firefly," the shortlived series from Joss Whedon that starred the likes of Nathan Fillion and Morena Baccarin as well as Alan Tudyk as the pilot of the spaceship Serenity, Hoban "Wash" Washburne. The show was unfortunately canceled after one season, but its crew and the world they were a part of returned in 2005 in a feature film, "Serenity." Tudyk reprised his role as Wash, and audiences saw him be a leaf on the wind one last time before his character sadly died in the film's final act. 

Nevertheless, he and the rest of the cast left behind a legacy that stuck, and after speaking with Esquire about the show and its last big-screen hurrah, Tudyk theorized that "Firefly" might not have gone down so quickly had it been released just a few years later. Speaking about when "Firefly" was released, Tudyk said, "The Internet wasn't the same. And I don't think that studio heads really saw the power of the Internet yet, and they definitely didn't see the power of sci-fi fans at the same time. ... They weren't listening to the fans as much back at that time." 

Regardless of how much attention the show and film got, though, they certainly seemed enough to send the star's career toward more fabulous and equally beloved roles.

Tudyk turned to piracy in Dodgeball as Steve the Pirate

"Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" is a classic for many reasons — Ben Stiller's White Goodman, Justin Long being pummelled by dodgeballs, and everyone being cool with Alan Tudyk pretending he's a pirate. While he might not have been that big a presence in the film, Tudyk's side-splitting turn as Steve the Pirate in Ben Stiller's bonkers sports movie is a gift that keeps on giving and continues to be so even an incredible 20 years after it was released. Speaking to IGN, Tudyk revealed that, incredibly, all it took was a single gag to win him the part and not as much piracy as some of the competition was aiming for.

Tudyk recalled getting a little nervous that he was unprepared during the audition: "I wore kind of a colorful shirt and that was about it. But there were all these guys with like gold teeth and deep, dark eyeliner and a patch and scarves and s**t. I was like, 'Aw, I didn't do this right. I don't even know what this is.'" Thankfully, Tudyk's improv skills kicked in during his audition at the perfect time. He explained, "There was some line thing where Vince had to say, 'Does anybody have any other ideas?' But he has a pause there, and I stood up and said, 'We can harvest whales for oil.'" Arrr! That be how you win an audition.

Alan Tudyk fought the good fight in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

In 2010, "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" stumbled into slasher territory and got plenty of laughs because of it. Directed by Eli Craig, the film sees Alan Tudyk star as Tucker alongside Tyler Labine as Dale, two heartwarming hillbillies who have their vacation plans ruined when they're mistaken for a pair of bloodthirsty killers out to get a group of college students. The film found an audience thanks to its humorous spin on the horror genre, and even though Craig revealed plans for a sequel, they have yet to come to pass. It's a shame not just for the audience but also its star because, of all the films Tudyk has been a part of, it's "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" that he wishes got more attention. 

When asked by Above the Line which one of his cult favorites he thought deserved more time in the spotlight, Tudyk had a clear-cut answer — "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil." He explained, "It was one of those movies that we went to Sundance, and it won the Audience Award, but then the economy crashed, and that's when everything changed in Hollywood as far as the way that they financed movies and the way they promoted movies and all of that. Anyway, it fell through the cracks."

Alan Tudyk hid behind a hillbilly opposite Matt Damon in Deadpool 2

While Tucker might be one of Alan Tudyk's notable stints as a hillbilly, there was a very brief but hilarious one in the hit comic book movie "Deadpool 2," which saw him talking tissue paper with Oscar winner Matt Damon in a pretty out-there scene. While two heavyset pals put the world to rights, Cable (Josh Brolin) turns up to tase them both and steal their ride. It's an incredibly brief scene that has stood the test of time, given how audiences were clueless about the stars they were watching. They weren't the only ones, either. Tudyk told Collider that during his first encounter with Damon, he was in full hillbilly mode and unrecognizable and that it was his last outing as a hillbilly that got him the gig. 

"When I met Matt Damon, I didn't know it was him; I couldn't believe it was him," recalled Tudyk. "This guy came in, this heavyset guy. But his voice gave him away. I was like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe that's you.'" As brief as it was, though, Tudyk believed that it was his big stint as Tucker in "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" that got him the part. He said of his "Deadpool 2" role, "The character that I play has some echoes of Tucker, so great. However that happened, it was fantastic."