Voice actor Brian Froud has been heard in beloved cartoons including Total Drama, Jimmy Two-Shoes and Detentionaire. Here is Brian’s Exclusive Interview with Courageous Nerd.
Brian Froud’s face may not be familiar but you’ll almost certainly recognise his voice.
In case you didn’t know, Brian Froud has played memorable characters including Harold and Sam in Total Drama, Beezy J. Heinous on Jimmy Two-Shoes and Lynch Webber on Detentionaire.
Brian has also provided assorted voices on numerous other cartoons, such as Camp Lakebottom, Skatoony, Looped, Sidekick and Bakugan Battle Brawlers: Guardian Invaders.
Thank you Brian for taking the time to chat with Courageous Nerd.
How did you get started in voice acting? What made you realise you could pursue it as a career?
Brian Froud (BF): When I was younger, I watched a lot of film and television. Not much has changed, I would mimic what I liked. I did impressions of characters from Monty Python and Transformers, then later Kids In The Hall and The Simpsons. I never thought of voice acting specifically, but I liked entertaining people and hearing them laugh. I gravitated towards drama in high school and my teacher was very encouraging and nurtured my talent. She was awesome. I decided to go to university for theatre and the pursuit began shortly after I graduated when I was cast in a touring production of Charlotte’s Web.
You’re known for playing Harold on Total Drama Island. Was he the only character you auditioned for?
BF: Total Drama was so much fun. I felt very grateful to be a part of something so special and working with such incredible people. I also auditioned for Chef and maybe Trent? I’m not sure, but my Chef audition was just an Al Pacino impression. Somewhere in the multiverse on another timeline, Chef sounds like Tony Montana.
Recently, you recreated Harold’s classic beat boxing scene in a YouTube video. How did revisiting that character feel?
BF: It was bittersweet, but it was fun. I enjoy editing too. The idea came to me and I had to do it, because I knew the fans would get a kick out of it.
Since Total Drama Island and later seasons have an elimination format, did the cast know beforehand where their characters would place? Or was it more episode by episode?
BF: I’m pretty sure none of us were ever aware of our character’s fate before we read the scripts. I would get mine three or four days before recording and immediately scroll to the end to see if I was still employed.
You also voiced Sam in later seasons of Total Drama. How similar/different was it to be voicing a new character in the same universe?
BF: Voicing Sam was fun because he and I are both gamers. It was different because it wasn’t Harold. It was similar in that Total Drama Revenge still had the same style, humour and direction. There was a comfort of familiarity, like playing on an old console with a new controller. See what I did there?
Total Drama became a huge worldwide success with numerous fanfictions and art works of the characters. As someone who was involved, how did it feel to see the show’s popularity grow and grow?
BF: It was super flattering to be appreciated by so many people. I started doing comic conventions, which I love because I’m also into comics, collectables, etc. I often go to conventions just as a fan. I had the pleasure of meeting fans of the shows I worked and doing voices for them in person. It was so fun seeing their reactions and hearing about their favourite moments. I still have all the fan art I’ve been given over the years. It means a lot to be recognized for my work and knowing that I’ve brought a little joy to some people.
You also voiced the character ‘Beezy’ in Jimmy Two-Shoes. What was the most fun aspect of that part?
BF: Voicing Beezy was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in a studio. We were given a lot of creative freedom on that show, thanks to creator Sean Scott and our directors Mark Evestaff and Merle Anne Ridley. Cory Doran and I recorded in a very small space together. We would improvise bits in character and a lot of that ended up in the show. There’s even an improvised moment in the theme song for season 2 where I say “Oh I came in too soon.” I was just trying to match my singing to the tempo and I literally came in too soon. Good times.
Although sharing a voiceover booth is rare, have there been any fellow voice actors that you enjoyed recording with?
BF: I guess I answered this, but yeah. I had a blast recording with Cory Doran. Some of Total Drama World Tour was recorded together, which was fun. ToonMarty was almost always an ensemble record and too much fun. So. Many. Laughs. I also recorded Zafari with Holly Gauthier Frankel (Holly in ToonMarty.) We had a ridiculous amount of fun on that show. She does an amazing Ralph Wiggum and Milhouse and I do Homer, so I’m sure you can imagine.
You voiced ‘Lynch Webber’ on Detentionaire. How was voicing an antagonistic character compared to nicer roles such as Harold or Sam?
BF: My pleasure. When I was cast as Lynch, I had no idea what his arc would be or even how many episodes he was in. I was so used to getting voted off shows. It was very organic for me. He started out innocent enough, then gradually became more and more unhinged, which was really fun to play. There was a real sense of purpose there. Credit that to Daniel Bryan Franklin and Charles Johnston. They created some really complex characters with compelling stories. It was a joy to be a part of it. Sam and Harold are nicer than Lynch, but I think Harold is just as smart. Maybe he would have been a good adversary for Lynch.
Who would you say has been your biggest influence as a voice actor?
BF: My biggest influence in general is Monty Python. As a voice actor, there are so many, but I’d have to say Tara Strong. She is such a kind and generous person with a wonderful heart and one of the most hard working and talented people I’ve ever met.
Which character that you’ve played would you say you get asked about/to do the most?
BF: Probably Harold. People love to hear “GOSH!” I also get asked if Detentionaire will ever get another season. I hope so!
If you could say anything to fans of Total Drama, Jimmy Two-Shoes or other cartoons during the ongoing pandemic, what would that sentiment be?
BF: We may not agree on everything, but we’re all going through this together. Go easy on one another. Wear a mask. Be patient. Be kind. I hope you and your family are all healthy and happy. Thanks for all the love over the years!
Total Drama’s first three seasons are available to stream on Netflix UK.