Koala Man Showrunners On Injecting Specificity Into Their Animated Suburban Superhero Story [Exclusive Interview]

I do have to ask about the cast, and of course there’s the Hugh Jackman of it all, but there’s also Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto … can you talk a bit about finding the cast for the show?

Hernandez: I mean, we were extremely fortunate that Hugh, pretty much from the beginning, just got the show and was extremely into it. I think he was very enthusiastic about having a show set in Australia that would allow him to be himself. And Dapto is a real place in Australia, and I think that it’s a place a lot of Australians are familiar with. It’s a suburb of Sydney, but it’s near the town of Wollongong, so it’s a place that a lot of Australians are familiar with, and I think it tickled him that there was a show set in this random, real Australian town. In some ways, he was the easiest person to get on board because he just got the show immediately. And once we had Hugh, it was really … and our casting agent, Telford Casting in Australia, they know everyone in Australia.

So you start to realize that it is a small acting community. That really was to our advantage, because we would make a dream list of, “Well, it’d be amazing to get Miranda Otto, but she’ll never do it.” And they’d go, “Why not? Why wouldn’t she do it?” And all of a sudden, she’s on the show. Or, “Well, I mean, in a dream world, we’d have Hugo Weaving do this, but he would never do that.” And they’d go, “Of course he would. We know Hugo.” So we were really fortunate to get some of the absolute top talent in Australia to do this craziness. And I think what we also discovered is that a lot of these amazingly successful dramatic actors don’t always have an opportunity to do comedy.¬†

Nobody had a better time than Hugo Weaving during the recording of this. He was absolutely incredible. You see why he’s a super international star because he is such an incredible actor, and you almost feel in the moment like, “Oh, we don’t deserve this. We don’t deserve someone as good as you doing these crazy ‘Koala Man’ lines.” But they gave full commitment. And Hugh Jackman really led the charge on that. I mean, Sarah Snook, obviously, hugely successful, amazing on “Succession,” just an incredible performer. And then we also found people like Demi Lardner, who maybe isn’t as famous as some of the other people in the cast, but is such an amazing comedian in Australia and was just perfect for the part.

So we’ve also been able to get ahead of some newer Australian talent that we think are going to be superstars in the future, or on their way to being superstars. So we’ve tried to populate the ensemble of Koala Man with a mixture of really incredible, almost like Shakespearean actors and up and coming sort of alt comedians. It’s really been a nice mixture, and we’ve really been very fortunate to get the cast that we were able to assemble. It’s kind of an Australian all-star team.

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