Demi Lardner on Alison & Australian Culture

ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy talks to Koala Man star Demi Lardner about Alison’s character and which Australian comedians she would like to see in season two. All eight episodes of Koala Man now streaming on Hulu.

Spencer Legacy: What drew you to the Koala Man?

Demi Lardner: Actually … okay, two things. I love Alison. He’s a bit of a psychopath. And also its Australianness – like real Australianness. We all love the Australian episode of The Simpsonsbut it’s not Australian.

You don’t play knifey-spoony?

do you know Because of how good The Simpsons so, most of that period actually made it into our lexicon. It’s very strange. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like, I say dollarydoos all the time and, actually, the, “I should have called him chazzwazzas.” The Simpsons making us more like their Australian version. But yeah, like sausage rolls and show bags and stuff… having the classic Australian dogshit staff really sucks but we love it so much for me. Things that aren’t really good, but we’re like, “Yeah, but that’s us,” makes me really happy.

You mentioned that you wanted Allison to be a character. What really struck you when you first read about him, that made you go, “That’s for me.”

The reason I think I love her so much – quick little story, I auditioned to be Alison and was like, “Oh, she’s cool. She’s a bit of a mental case. That’s great.” He’s damn. He’s terrible at everything. He loves his family, but that’s how much he gives to them. I do that and then I – not a plug – I have a podcast and I stream on Twitch and the casting people saw me and they were like, “Okay, so Alison, she’s like a little psycho who’s always screaming. Let’s just go to Demi’s Twitch stream. Oh, he’s perfect!” I think I have a relationship with Alison. I appreciate the way he operates

Until the end of this season, Alison finally found someone she really likes with Rosie, but he turns out a little different than expected. How does the expression of that more heartfelt scene at the end compare to the snarkier scenes?

I really like doing things like that because it makes me very uncomfortable. I like the right way stuff. Like, I cried when Alison cried and it freaked out the people recording me. I was in tears and they were like, “Hey dude, you can, like, pretend.” I really like it because it makes me uncomfortable. So totally going to Alison and being like, “Okay, I’m just going to pretend I’m here because if I have these feelings, that’s going to make me really sad.”

It was one of the first major premier primetime Australian adult animated series. So how does it feel to be part of such a big project?

It’s crazy! What am I doing here? This is so stupid. There are many famous people in the show. And then I look. I feel like I’m third-billed! Sarah Snook and Hugh Jackman, what are you doing? Why am I here?! Very dumb. It’s really nice though.

There are some crazy names on this show, in general.

It was… it was wild. And I got – there were pictures of me next to them in articles and things. What’s up?!

Allison was also the focus of the “Handball Dingo” episode. What was that recording like?

Oh, it’s so much fun. I said this, I got a little gift package from Disney and the producers and stuff with this electric tea mug and a bunch of tea and honey because when we did the episode of dingo, cut my throat. I couldn’t talk for like a week, but I had so much fun doing it and I knew I was going to do that too and I was like, “Let’s record this a little bit, guys. Otherwise, I’m going to ruin the episode. Alison looks like she’s smoking for the rest of the episode.

Michael Cusack has a unique sense of humor and he also does voice work, animation, and he’s more hands-on than most creators. So how was working with him on that?

It’s very nice. It’s so easy to have that live direction and have her also be really open to talking about different lines and things where we’re like, “Does that sound like Alison? “Or like, “Do we feel is that Alison?” Which is funny about a cartoon. But,

“Is he going to call his brother a cringe?”

“Will he say he’s angry? Does he like it? Fortnite?” It’s nice to have a little more freedom in things too. There are times where it’s like, “Okay, we need different lines here. Or it’s like a group setting or whatever, or we don’t know which line to go here with Alison. Why? can’t you just say 50 things in a row?” And I was like, “Yes!” Because I’m so strong and it’s good that you can unleash creativity when you’re doing this kind of work.

There is so much Australian talent in Koala Man. If there is a Season 2, which fellow Australian creatives, comedians, or actors, would you like to see on the show?

Oh, my friends will be mad if I don’t tell them! Man … so there’s a guy who has a lot of different podcasts. I’m a friend of his, but his name is Alexei Toliopoulos, and he’s the funniest person I’ve ever met in my entire life. I think he’s going to do a really good job because … I don’t know. I think Dapto might be a place with a Blockbuster or a local VHS store and I think Alexei might work there. Another person I think is great is Sam Campbell. He’s still a little weird, and he’s like, well, a rat or something. He plays very well.

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