American actor Jack McBrayer believes you can be both kind and funny.
The Conyers, Georgia-raised actor who plays Kenneth Parcell on 30 Rock is one of the most popular and endearing characters on that show — earnest, naive and polite amid a sea of huge egos.
McBrayer’s next role – the heroic Fix-it Felix in new Disney animated movie Wreck It Ralph – is equally nice, and McBrayer says he’s happy to continue embracing that persona.
"I don’t want to be not-great person in real life, and if that’s bleeding into my acitng life, I’m OK with that," he said in an interview with CBC’s Q cultural affairs show.
Wreck-It Ralph also stars John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, and Jane Lynch. It opens in theatres across the United States and Canada next Friday.
McBrayer spoke to Q about animated acting and how the cast members bounced humour off one another in live tapings, a dynamic that was reflected in the Fix-it Felix created by animators on screen.
As with his role in 30 Rock, where he is the contrast to a cast full of megalomaniacs and neurotics, McBrayer plays the foil in Wreck-It Ralph, this time to Ralph, the Reilly-voice character who breaks everything he touches.
McBrayer's comedy career began at Second City in Chicago, where he worked alongside 30 Rock star Tina Fey. She eventually wrote the Kenneth character into her series with McBrayer in mind.
McBrayer has also had a string of very funny turns on TV in Conan and Arrested Development as well as film roles in Talladega Nights and Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He talks to Q about what drew him to comedy and why having a southern accent is no advantage in show business.