Yeardley Smith - the voice behind The Simpsons' Lisa - visited Australia
recently, TV HITS was there faster than you can say "D'oh!"
So Yeardley, how is Australia different to the Bart VS Australia episode we'll be seing in the next few months?
Well you're a lot nicer! You dont deserve what we dished out at all! It was an episode that puzzled all of us. The point was to parody the Singapore caning of the American boy (that occurred last year), and I haven't heard a lot of stories of corporal punishment in Australia, so I don't know how the two are related! We went up to the producers and said "What are you doing? This is your largest market in the world apart from the states!" I'm glad I won't be here when it airs! (laughs)
What Australian sayings have you picked up?
I like how you guys say "Howya goin'?" Thats lovely. And "Good on you!" is a great phrase. Your country has a very musical sounding language, it sounds beautiful.
How much do you relate to Lisa's view of the world?
Very much so. Lisa hopes in vain for a compassionate world, and she's always disappointed not only by her father, but her classmates and the world at large. When I was eight, I was a misfit. I certaintly wasn't the most popular girl in school. I hated school.
Do you get a cut of Simpsons Merchandise money?
Well, supposedly! Put it this way, I sute wouldn't go out and buy a second house based on my cut of the merchandise! (laughs) It's been a bit of a mystery. We know they've made something in the area of a billion dollars and I would say I've seen about 250 bucks! Hmm, I'm not very good at Maths but I'm not that bad at maths either! (laughs...just like Lisa!)
Your voice is so similar to Lisa's!
I know. I don't have to really put it on that much. I just sort of squeeze my throat off a little bit. I sound the most like myself out of all of us on the show.
Do you and your co-stars ever put on your Simpsons voices and talk shop over dinner?
Oh no, not ever! Most times we're like, "So what movie did you see this week?" We don't really hang out together. We meet only a day and a half a week. If someones doing a play or something, we'll all go and support them and there's a tremendous amount of respect for what each person does. Everyones heart is really in this show.
Which actor looks the most like their Simpsons character?
We all have our characters' mannerisms because the animators have come to sessions and watched the way we move, and incorporate that into the animation. You know how people end up looking like their pets? We've all ended up looking like our characters!
What was Michael Jackson like when he guest-starred?
He came into the studio with us, but didn't really mingle! He's not a mingler! He's very, very shy. He was very polite and he's a huge fan of Bart, thats his fave rave. He looks exactly like his photographs, but he was wearing a hat, so a shadow was over his face.
Do you know any real people named Lisa Simpson?
I just spoken to one on the phone here on radio! She says we've ruined her life, poor soul. And once when I was doing publicity a couple of years ago for Hermans Head , I spoke to another Lisa Simpson on the phone. It's really funny because they all say "It's terrible to be me!"