Aisha Tyler Interview: ‘Archer’

Aisha Tyler has so many reasons why she loves voicing Lana Kane on “Archer,” but her top reason may come as a bit of a surprise. “If I’m being really honest, other than the fact that the scripts are relentlessly hilarious and therefore a joy to say out loud, I don’t have to get dressed up to play Lana Kane. I just go into the booth, in my sweatpants,” she tells us in our recent webchat (watch the video above). But Tyler does have a deep love for Lana and the traits that make up here character. “I love her as a character and she’s a blast to play because she’s obviously tough and funny and flawed and a bad-ass.”

Tyler’s career has spanned all over the map of entertainment. After working for years as a stand-up and an actress, Tyler broke through when she became the host of E!’s hit show, “Talk Soup” for the final year that it aired. She guested on several hit shows including “Friends,” “24” and “Ghost Whisperer” before landing the role of tough but stubborn secret agent Lana Kane on FXX’s “Archer” in 2009. Since then she became one of the permanent co-hosts of “The Talk” from 2011-17 (winning a Daytime Emmy for Best Entertainment Talk Show Host in 2017), the current host of the revived “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and a regular cast member on “Criminal Minds.”

Tyler also pointed out that another reason she loves working on “Archer” is that no matter how crazy the plot lines and character arcs may get, she has an incredibly high amount of confidence in the show’s staff. “I was not apprehensive, but just wondering how it was going to work for Lana to stay as a spy and have a baby, which wasn’t as extreme as her becoming a coke dealer so my apprehension quickly dissolved,” she explains referencing the season known as “Archer: Vice.” As insane as the show has gotten though, Tyler recognizes that the real through line has always been the characters. “Why people love the show is the interaction between the characters and not particularly where they were and that’s why the show stayed so interesting and strong because whether we’re in an underground sea lab, running a banana republic or on Whore Island, the dynamic between the characters is what really makes the show.”

In recent weeks, Tyler has taken on another project in the form of virtual happy hours that she’s been hosting since the start of the coronavirus pandemic (every Tuesday and Friday), where she makes a classic cocktail, engages with fans online through her Facebook and YouTube accounts and raises money for charity. “I thought that a lot of people were feeling disconnected. I just thought it would be nice to find a way to give people that feeling that we all have of going to meet your friends after work for a drink,” she says. But Tyler also felt that the privilege she enjoys in her career obligated her to give something back to people. “I’m lucky that I’m in a job that provides all these kinds of perks and this abundance but I don’t take it for granted and I don’t think that I’m owed anything. I think, if anything, the good fortune I’ve had requires me to give back.”

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UPLOADED May 5, 2020 7:04 pm