Interview with Daniel McDevitt

Daniel McDevitt is the voice of Rusty in Adult Swim’s “Squidbillies”.  The show just entered its fifth season and shows no signs of slowing down.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Daniel about his role in the show and what we can expect from this season.

Mike Gencarelli: You have voiced Rusty from “Squidbillies” for 6 years now. How do you think the character has changed since you started?
Daniel McDevitt: Back when the characters were being developed Rusty was going to be this really loud wild as hell type of guy. Early has been the character that has really fallen into that mold and Rusty has been more of the timid type. When I auditioned they told me to picture the biggest redneck type bully that I could imagine. The first couple of recordings we did had Rusty with type of attitude. I don’t know if the creators decided they only wanted one super aggressive character or what but ultimately Rusty ended up as the more timid one.  He is always asking his daddy for permission before doing something.

MG: How do you prepare for the role?
DM: I don’t prepare too much. When I first started they would give me a script about a day before or so and I would read through it and try and get a grasp on which way the script was going to go. These days I just go in and get the script as I am walking in and they send me right to the recording booth. I don’t even know what the story is about usually. I may read a line 20 or 30 times because the scripts are so bizarre and I have no idea what the character is supposed to be doing. There is a lot of directing done and I almost feel like I am hardly doing any acting because I am just being told how to interpret the lines.

MG: When you are recording is it just you or are you with the rest of the cast?
DM: Generally it is just me in there by myself. Sometimes there might be someone else waiting to come in and record another character right after me but so far we have never read parts at the same time. In a way it seems like it would be better to record a few voices at a time as the directors might get something better doing it that way. Unknown Hinson who does the voice of Early actually lives in Charlotte, NC. I think he does a majority of his lines via telephone.

MG: What do think has drawn fans to the show over the years?
DM: It’s a pretty bizarre show and has a real cult following. People seem to really get into it. The show is not something I have been telling my family to watch. The target age for the show is something like 18-34. The show is for guys sitting around their college dorms looking for bizarre stuff to laugh at. I grew up with David and Jim, who are writers on the show, and they have always both had a weird sense of humor.

MG: Was being friends with the guys how you go the part on the show?
DM: That’s how I got the audition. We all grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA and I guess were all rednecks at heart. After going away and seeing how other places worked I strived to get rid of my accent and do things a little smarter. We always used to joke about being rednecks and we enjoyed doing that type of voice. David knew I could do a pretty good redneck, so he asked me to come in and audition. He gave me a lot of adult beverages prior to recording my audition in a closet at his house. When we were done he threw the CD we made in with all the other audition CD’s. They had hundreds of audition CD’s of people from NY and other cities using a standard southern accent like you would hear on “Gone with the Wind”. Everyone from the South knows those aren’t genuine. Dave was looking for something more down and dirty.

MG: What can we expect from this season?
DM: I can’t really give you too much of a sneak peek as we have about 6 more episodes recorded. I never get to see the final product before it comes out. There are a lot of episodes I have yet to even see as I only have one television in my house and I have younger children that I don’t allow to watch the show.

MG: From the ones you have seen do you have a favorite episode?
DM: “Flight of the Deep Fried Pine Booby” was pretty funny. I also liked the episode where Early and Rusty were going to what they thought was a therapist. The episode with T-Pain was pretty funny and I wish they put him on more. There was a lot that went into the musical episode which I didn’t realize until I watched the extras portion of the DVD.

MG: What other stuff do you have going on when you are not voicing Rusty?
DM: I am a pilot by profession. I fly 767 and 757 for a company in the Atlanta area. I also have a small plane of my own that I fly on the side for fun.

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