A legend in R&B music once auditioned to play two beloved characters in The Boondocks. In a new DJ Vlad interview, Boondocks executive producer and animator Carl Jones revealed that Ms. Lauryn Hill once auditioned to voice both Huey and Riley Freeman.
Carl Jones on The Boondocks Break Up, Black Dynamite, Dating Erykah Badu (Full Interview)www.youtube.com
At the 21-minute mark, Jones shared with Vlad that having an adult female voice actor play a male animated character is “typical” in cartoons. He added that since boys experience a growth spurt in puberty, their voices change, causing an issue for shows.
Explaining that The Boondocks production team got a “pretty wide net” during the audition process, Jones revealed that Hill auditioned for the voices of Huey and Riley, but was also up for the role of Caesar, who ultimately didn’t make the show. For those who were fans of the original Boondocks comic strip, Michael Luis Caesar was a close friend of Huey’s and the only other Black kid living in Woodcrest.
Jones also shared that another Grammy-winning R&B vocalist auditioned for Huey — Alicia Keys. “Alicia Keys at one time was very close to being Huey,” he said. “I can’t remember exactly how it all happened, but I remember Regina [King] was like, ‘I want to do both of them [Huey and Riley]. I can do both of them, I know I can.’”
Jones recalled that the Oscar-winning actress studied the Peanuts animated television specials, focusing on the cast’s breath control, as all were children. “At one time, when we were recording, we’d have to do all of Huey’s lines first, and we’d go back through the script and do all of Riley’s lines,” Jones said. “But then she [Regina] got to the point where she was bouncing back and forth between Huey and Riley on the same page.”
The Boondocks, which began in 2005 on Adult Swim, lasted for four seasons and ended its run in 2014. The show had a planned reboot, which was canceled following the death of John Witherspoon, who played Robert Jebediah “Granddad” Freeman.
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