My worst moment: 'Archer' star Aisha Tyler and the time Beyoncé beat her out for a role

By Nina Metz, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Entertainment News

Over the course of her career, Aisha Tyler has been able to shift seamlessly between acting and hosting. This fall she returns as the voice of Lana Kane on the long running FX animated series "Archer." She is also hosting the after show for the Amazon series "The Boys," called "Prime Rewind: Inside The Boys."

Moderating "The Boys" after show appealed to her "because there are these big sociocultural ideas embedded in the material," she said. "It's different from other after shows that just talk about what happened on the episode from a fan perspective; this after-show really delves into the themes and how they relate to what's happening in the larger culture. It ends up being a show about ideas and not just the narrative path of the characters."

Her work on "Archer" taps different skills. "The interesting thing about doing voice work, in some ways it's harder because you don't have all that world-building that you get when you're doing live-action when you're dressed in character and interacting on a real set. With voice work, you're standing in a padded room by yourself screaming into the void. But in some ways that makes it easier because you're able to just focus on creating an experience with your voice - and it doesn't matter what you look like when you show up; it's deeply disappointing for everybody involved, I limp in wearing whatever I slept in the night before."

One of Tyler's earliest career highlights was her long-running role on "Friends." Before that, she was host of "Talk Soup" on E!

When asked to share a worst moment in her career, it was a big pre-"Friends" audition that came to mind.

My worst moment ...


"Years and years ago when I was on 'Talk Soup,' one of the fun things that we did - we wanted to make it a more substantial comedy show, so we started doing a lot of sketches. Previously it had just been: You show a clip from an outrageous daytime talk show and joke about it. But we wanted to create some characters and do these sketches.

"So one of the characters we created was called Foxy Chocolat, who was a blaxploitation crime fighting character. It was very funny and fun and filled with the tropes and stereotypes from the '70s. It was a blast to play, especially because we had a very low budget, so we were running around L.A. and shooting a cheap version of this genre, busting jive turkeys.

"So she became this popular character and people in the business were asking for a tape of her. Like, we sent a tape to Quentin Tarantino of all the sketches because he wanted to see them.

"And then I got a call that they were looking for a very similar character for the third Austin Powers movie, called 'Goldmember' (from 2002). And I was just thrilled because I had been playing this character forever, she was so popular, everybody loved her, I loved her. And I had this inside information that I was a shoo-in for the role, which you should never believe. Never take that to heart!


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