By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
HOLLYWOOD—Fans of Judy Greer are in for a treat this year. Not only does the comedic actress star in three big Hollywood films, “Ant-Man,” “Jurassic World” and “Tomorrowland,” but she also continues to work on two FX TV series, the live-action “Married” and the adult animated series, “Archer.”
Greer, 39, recently spoke by phone about voicing Cheryl and saying goodbye to Cherlene on the spy-spoof series “Archer,” which is in its sixth season. The show airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.[private]
Q: Does it feel like you’ve done six seasons and do you ever wonder what can they come up with next?
Greer: I did wonder that, I guess, after the fourth season and then there was (the fifth season called) “Archer Vice,” and I was like, “Oh, yes.” That’s what they’re going to do, make it totally different. It was really fun. I can’t really believe it’s been so long and I think all of the cast members would answer the same that none of us ever thought it was even going to get picked up in the first place, so we’re always just thrilled every year when we get our pickup.
Q: What do you like about doing the show?
Greer: It just feels fresh. I still laugh out loud every time I read a new script, and that’s really rare. It doesn’t seem like they’re losing energy or steam at all when they’re writing. It feels just as fresh as it did in the beginning to me, honestly.
Q: You’ve been so busy with other projects. How do you balance that with the schedule of doing the voice-over for the series?
Greer: the guys at “Archer” make it really easy for all of us. I can record it anywhere I am if there’s a recording studio and that’s pretty cool. Wherever I am on location, I can usually—even in the weirdest little places—find a recording studio. So we just work it out like that. One of the things that they liked about casting all of us is that we all work a lot and we all are very busy. They just make it really easy for us. On some animated TV shows, the cast all record together, which seems like it’d be really fun but I’m really glad “Archer” doesn’t do that. That would make it a lot harder.
Q: Season 6 is bringing “Archer” back to basics after last season’s “Archer Vice.” You had to say goodbye to Cherlene. How much are you going to miss her and are the producers making it up to you with something juicy for this season?
Greer: This season has been crazy. I miss Cherlene, but all good things must come to an end. They have definitely made it up to me this season. This season has just been really fun because now we work for the CIA so that changes everything. We have a boss. We never really had a boss before, you know. We had Malory but not a boss-boss. I loved “Archer Vice” so much but I’ve been really into this season because it’s just fun to kind of go back to what we were doing in the beginning.
Q: Do the scripts still catch you off guard, or are you just kind of used to the absurdity after six seasons?
Greer: There was one major thing that happened this season that blew me away. When I was reading it I couldn’t believe it happened. It was because it was the opposite of a terrible thing. I don’t want to be a spoiler but it was a nice cool thing. That’s what blows me away when I read the scripts. This one particular thing that happened towards the end of the season, I was like, “What?” because it was kind of awesome.
Q: Everybody on “Archer” says some pretty wild things, and it seems like you get almost the majority of it. Could you do this if it were live action? Is it easier for you to say that stuff because the show is animated?
Greer: I don’t think I would do this stuff live action that my character does animated. I feel like that would make me really uncomfortable. It’s also really freeing to be able to do it the way we do. It’s pretty cool to be able to be in something that’s so raunchy and so disgusting but be able to get away with it and not be raunchy and disgusting. I like it because I enjoy this kind of humor.
Q: Have you ever cringed about what they writers have your characters say?
Greer: I would have to say a lot less lately, not because they’re making it any less cringe-worthy but because I’m building up immunity to all the sex and violence. There was a line in an episode I recorded last week, which is like a part one of a two-part season finale. There was something that my character said that I was like, “Really, guys? That’s really dark.” But still, it’s always still a pleasure to say. I’m like, “Oh, yes, I’ll go there,” but that’s really a dark place.
Q: Have you ever had a crush on an animated character?
Greer: I can’t think of one that I have, but if I was going to have a crush on a character, I might have to say it would be (“Archer’s”) Malory. She’s so funny to me but also I just love Jessica Walter (who voices the character) so much so maybe that’s why. She’s just the best. She’s so funny. At this point, I feel like Malory is predictable, but never disappointing. She’s so fabulous.
Q: Do you have a different attitude whenever you’re voicing one of your Cheryl/Cherlene personas?
Greer: I probably should lie about this but I really don’t do much. A lot of us just go in and say the words. I don’t have to do much because they really write the characters so well and when I go in it’s already right there. I felt like Cherlene was a mess. The way that they wrote her she was enough different that it’s made it fun for me to do something a little different, but I still thought Cheryl was in there.
Q: How much input do you give in coming up with the crazy stuff for Cheryl to say?
Greer: They will let me say whatever I want. That doesn’t always mean they keep it in but they’re so cool about it. They’re like, “Yes, say it.” Sometimes I’ll just try a million different things and when they laugh out loud is when I know I’ve got it. Sometimes I’ll just keep saying the line over and over in a different way until I get that laugh. Then when I get the laugh I’ll say it again exactly the same way so they have it twice.
They’re also cool about it if I want to ad-lib, change lines, add sounds, or not say part of a line because it’s funnier to just say half of it. They’re open to anything. I don’t know if it’s because they’re in Atlanta and that’s the south or what but, oh my gosh, anything goes.
Q: How much fun do you have on the “Archer Live!” dates and are there more scheduled?
Greer: I was only able to do one, unfortunately, but I had one of the best nights ever doing it. If they ever ask me to do it again I will in a heartbeat. It’s so fun. The audience is so great.
Q: What do you think keeps viewers coming back to the show?
Greer: Adam Reed writes every episode. It’s pretty amazing. I feel like there’s a real sense of continuity within the show, even with “Archer Vice.” They really stayed the same. There’s a ton of continuity and tone, character and character arc. It’s just extremely rare to see any kind of TV show that is completely written by one person. This is actually really that and I think that’s kind of what keeps people coming back and what keeps it so fresh and so funny.
Q: Are there any surprises that you can share without spoiling the finale? Also, where do you see your character going next season? Do you have any ideas for Cheryl?
Greer: I would love for her to maybe get to go on some missions. She does get to help with one mission this season. I probably can’t really spoil anything for the season finale or the guys will fly to L.A. from Atlanta and beat me up. So I can’t share anything about that but it really blew my mind when I read it. I’ve only read the first part. I haven’t read the second one yet. I haven’t recorded it but it’s pretty amazing.
I’m really happy with where Cheryl is. I like when Cheryl and Pam are up to no good. It makes me really happy when the two of them get an idea and then it’s so bad and it ruins everything.
Q: With work and raising a family, you probably don’t have much time to sleep, do you?
Greer: I think I have some sort of weird oxygen deficiency. Last night, we had some of my stepson’s friends over. They don’t have school today so they would not leave. I’m always bugging (my kids) to have their friends over and then they do and I’m like, “I’m too old for this.”[/private]