Still trying to catch those pesky, smurfin’ Smurfs

“The Smurfs” hits Times Square — and theaters — July 29.

Hank Azaria has a talent for making strange sounds. That’s obvious, considering he’s about to record his 500th episode of “The Simpsons,” for which he has voiced 17 regular characters, including Moe Syzslak and Chief Wiggum. That kind of output is not without its consequences.

“For the first 10 years of ‘The Simpsons,’ I would develop a bunch of voices. And then about 10 years ago, I hit a point when I was tapped out,” Azaria explains. “Every noise I can make, I have made. Even characters like Gargamel, I’ve done. Even if it was only two or three lines, at some point I’ve done something similar on ‘The Simpsons,’ at least somewhere along the line.”

Azaria will be appearing as that famed curmudgeonly henchmen, Gargamel, in a remake of the classic 1980s cartoon, “The Smurfs,” which hits theaters this July. While Azaria was hoping to add a new dynamic to the crabby old man with the cat, there were some things about Gargamel that had to remain.

“I wanted him to be more sarcastic and not laid back, but more observational, if you will,” he explains. “He is that a lot, but I discovered that there’s no way to play Gargamel without screaming your head off at certain points — ramping him up and getting him very upset over Smurfs.”

As with any actor, Azaria had to dig into his character’s motivations and understand Gargamel’s untamed wrath for the little blue creatures. He found some rich material.

“The main thing is that he’s very lonely,” Azaria says. “His relationship with the cat is very odd. I wanted to make them a married couple. You can imagine how profoundly lonely it could be if your only companion was this cat. He hates the Smurfs because they’re such a happy family. He wants in really badly. I think he wants to be embraced as a Smurf.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Jasper Johns aide admits stealing, selling artwork for…

By Joseph AxNEW YORK (Reuters) - A former assistant to renowned American contemporary artist Jasper Johns pleaded guilty on Wednesday to selling nearly two dozen…

National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Fantasy football: What to take away from preseason

The third set of exhibition games, which went down last weekend, is the dress rehearsal week.

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…