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Amy Sedaris on 'BoJack Horseman' and still loving 'The Simpsons'

The performer gets over her distaste for hearing herself speak to watch the Netflix hit show about a depressed sentient horse.
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    The second season of "BoJack Horseman," which gets dumped on Netflix on June 17, r|Netflix

Amy Sedaris isn’t crazy about watching herself or even listening to herself. “I hate all of it,” she tells us. One exception is “BoJack Horseman.” On the Netflix show — whose second season launches on Friday — she plays Princess Carolyn, the manager and the on-again-off-again friend-with-benefits of its titular character, a former cheesy ’80s sitcom star turned self-hating alcoholic fumbling through attempted comebacks, voiced by Will Arnett. He’s also an anthropomorphic horse, and she’s a cat, but that’s how it rolls in the animated show’s world, where people and sentient animals cohabitate and often hook up.

“A character like Princess Carolyn I don’t mind listening to at all. It all depends on the project. But I like to watch this,” Sedaris admits. She admits to feeling panicky with other projects, “because you can’t change it. It’s the same with the cookbook I did [“I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence”]. It’s hard to go back and read it because I can’t change anything. It drives me crazy.”

Sedaris admits she hasn’t yet watched the second season, but then she didn’t watch the first till after it was out, just like everyone else. She even learned new things about how to do Princess Carolyn’s voice after actually seeing it. “Once the first season came out I saw that she moved more,” she explains. “It’s something you have to have in the back of your head. Maybe she doesn’t talk too fast because she’s moving really slow — little things like that.”

The detachment from knowing what’s exactly going on in the background of scenes — along with recording without the other actors — can be disorienting. “It’s like, ‘Oh, I wish I had known there was a tree behind her because I would have made a comment about that. It’s strange not knowing what’s going on around you. If it was live-action you can take it all in. Here it’s just your voice. But they’re good at directing you.”

It extends to the table reads too. Most of the cast meets up in person in Los Angeles, but Sedaris phones in from New York. “It’s weird to do it over the phone while they’re all in L.A.,” she admits. “It’s just so funny to be alone in my apartment listening to them. It’s like sitting back and observing it without really seeing it.”

Still, the detachment isn’t as intense as it is for the animated films she’s done, including “Shrek the Third” and “Puss in Boots,” where there are sometimes huge gaps in between when you record, even a year. “You always forget what you did,” she says. “You go in so many times. With this you just go in once and record it. I like this process a lot.”

Sedaris’ distinctive bray has gotten her her share of animation work, including stints on “Bob’s Burgers,” “American Dad” and “Doc MacStuffins,” in addition to live action appearances on “Broad City” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” She’s never yet appeared on one of her longtime favorites: “‘The Simpsons, of course, is the best. I’m so glad it’s still around. It’s never going to die. I hope it never dies.”

We don’t have time to bug her about the topics that most people bug her about — her cult show “Strangers with Candy” and, speaking of which, her “Candy” co-conspirator Stephen Colbert and his forthcoming late night show — but do ask that, considering how “BoJack” is recorded, if she met a certain super-famous, for now super-secret guest voice star, about whom we’ll keep stum.

“Oh, I know him very well,” she says laughing. “I’d almost rather meet him this way. You don’t want to meet them in person. It’s too intimidating and scary. It’s like, let’s just do this on opposite coasts. Perfect.”

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 

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