While still getting a handle on all things Austin, I sat down with "Firefly" and "Frozen" star Alan Tudyk, who is premiering a unique new comedy Friday night at SXSW, "Premature," a "Groundhog Day"-style story about a teen trapped in the same day that keeps resetting every time he masturbates. Tudyk wants to make it very clear, though, that he doesn't play the teen in question.
How many SXSWs have you experienced as an actor?
This is the first one that I've been to when I have something here. "Tucker and Dale vs. Evil" came here, but I wasn't able to come. But I love Austin. I'm from Dallas originally, and I'd come down here a lot. It's one of the greatest towns ever. I love it because I'm from Texas and I can sense the Texas. It's a familiar feeling, Texas. It's a good feeling, immediately. Anywhere in Texas there's a feeling of home. But when you think of Texas you don't think of a bunch of hippies — not that it's only hippies. But you know, they say, "Keep Austin weird." It's just … expressive. It's not just liberal, it's generous.
I'm sure you know that people in Portland, Ore., have co-opted that saying, making it, "Keep Portland weird."
They're slogan is actually, "Keep stealing slogans from other towns." That's their slogan.
What do you recommend I do if I have any downtime while I'm here?
Do something with music involved. The music here is so good. And have a beer and meet some people. Everyone seems very friendly. It's not like L.A. Any food here that I've eaten so far has been great. Go get some Tex-Mex, get some margaritas. See what happens next. There was a store last night and there was a singer inside sitting on top of a mule, singing. A real mule. I mean, that's not something you get every night.
This movie, "Premature," is, let's say, a very original film. How was it initially pitched to you?
I guess it was "'Groundhog Day' but with premature ejaculation." That's pretty much how you explain it. And with the subject matter as it is, it's actually pretty heartwarming. And I don't know how you pull that off. It's not easy, making it not just a completely crass movie.
And then how do you explain it to friends?
Like that, really. It's about a kid who [orgasms] … real easy. Again and again and again and again, in a lot of different ways. And then I have to immediately state that I'm not the guy who orgasms — nor do I portray the orgasm or any part of that. (laughs)