It’s not hard for actor and comedian Eric Andre to get into the right mindset for his role of demon Luci on the new animated series “Disenchantment.”
“I’m already there,” says Andre, 35. “It was the role I was born to play. No rehearsal required.”
“Disenchantment,” premiering on Netflix Friday, is the latest series from Matt Groening, creator of “The Simpsons” and “Futurama.”
Luci is the personal demon of Princess Bean (voiced by “Broad City” star Abbi Jacobson), a strong-willed royal who has no interest in following the old traditions of her medieval home or of her father, King Zøg (John DiMaggio). She sets out on her own adventure with Luci and a well-meaning elf named Elfo (Nat Faxon).
The voice cast also features some veterans from Groening’s previous shows, including Billy West, Maurice LaMarche, David Herman and Tress MacNeille.
amNewYork spoke with Andre, who also stars in the parody talk show, “The Eric Andre Show,” on Adult Swim.
What’s your take on Luci?
You know what, I think Luci actually has a lot of heart. And, yes, he’s an instigator and a troublemaker and he’s a smartass. But also, deep down inside, I think means well. So I relate to him.
Can you tell me how you landed this role?
Yeah, I just auditioned. I got an email — it’s really a boring story. I got an email with a script — with not even a script, just a few pages. I almost didn’t bother because I never book auditions. I’m really bad at it. So I just keep staring at Matt Groening’s name in the email and I was like, “Ah, it’s Matt. I’m a ‘Simpsons’ fan. I got to at least try.” I did a last-minute attempt.
What does it mean to you to work with a guy like Matt Groening?
“The Simpsons” shaped my worldview and they shaped the way I think about comedy. . . . It is such an honor to get to work with Matt and [executive producer] Josh [Weinstein]. Yeah. It’s like a dream come true, for sure.
Did Matt offer you any advice?
Not really, besides just showering me with praise and being very supportive and nurturing and just giving me a boost in my confidence, because I never book auditions for voice-over — I never book auditions really period, I’m not good at it. I don’t know who is good at it. They’re like a nightmare. I have low self-esteem as a result and he gave me a boost of confidence.
What is your take on “Disenchantment”?
It has elements of “The Simpsons” and “Futurama,” but also Monty Python, which I’m a huge fan of, and “Game of Thrones.” . . . This is like the next level of Groening-created animated series. And it’s serialized, which he’s never done before. So it’s really like complex on this cool level. Whereas “Simpsons” started out very kind of traditional and family sitcom . . . it’s cool to see how Matt’s artwork has evolved over the last 30 years. And now it’s like this cool, complex serialized world with this whole cast of characters already mapped out. It’s really inspiring and educating to see how Matt and Josh developed this idea, put it on its feet.
Any inspiration in the creation of Luci’s voice?
I wanted to make him me. And at first, I was trying all these wacky voices and I was like, “Uh, I already kind of sound like a cartoon. I’m already like a walking cartoon.” So I was like, “I don’t need to do much, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I was like, “Why don’t I just do a heightened version of myself and start with that and see where that gets me?”
Do you get to do scenes with Abbi and Nat?
I’ve done scenes with the whole squad and I’ve done scenes isolated. I’ve done a combination — I’ve done a little of everything.
Is there one you particularly enjoy?
I think there are pros and cons to both. I think the pro to doing it alone is I don’t feel like I’m taking away from anybody else’s time or trying to showboat. I can just improvise into the sunset and go as crazy as I want. But what’s nice about doing it with a big group, especially the veteran “Futurama”/“Simpsons” voice actors, is it’s an education. They’re so talented and they’ve been doing it for so long. They’re just so inspiring and amazing. To work with them, they informed my choices too because like I said, it’s an education. I’m like, “Oh, OK. I see what you did there. Let me try that too.” Because it’s like Billy West and John DiMaggio, Tress and Maurice and David Herman. They’ve all done so much voice-over that they’re like my professors. So, they’re really fascinating to watch and learn from.
“The Simpsons” has been on forever. Would you be interested in a decade’s long run here?
I love working with Matt, Josh and all the writers, and all the voice-over actors. I would love to rock it until the wheels fall off. Yes. Absolutely. It’s like a dream gig and it’s such a sweet, nurturing, creative environment. . . . I don’t take a good gig for granted. I definitely have had bad gigs and toxic working environments. So I really appreciate this one for sure.
What other projects do you have?
None that I am allowed to talk about. You will find out soon, but I will get in trouble if I spill the beans now. What did my publicist tell me to say? “I have some funny things coming at ya.” That is my pre-written line that I’m allowed to say. Sorry. I have to be vague and ambiguous.
“Disenchantment” starts streaming on Netflix on Friday.