If you aren’t already keeping up with teen actor and comedian Albert Tsai as Fred in Disney’s Coop & Cami Ask the World, then you’re going to be obsessed with his passion for making people laugh when his character Peng hits the big screen in September in DreamWorks’ Abominable. We got to talk with Albert about his passion for acting, bringing Peng to life, and being a teen comedian.
When teenage Yi (Chloe Bennet, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai, she and her mischievous friends, Jin (Tenzing Norgay Trainor) and Peng (Albert Tsai), name him “Everest” and embark on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth. But the trio of friends will have to stay one step ahead of Burnish (Eddie Izzard), a wealthy man intent on capturing a Yeti, and zoologist Dr. Zara (Sarah Paulson) to help Everest get home. – DreamWorks
Abominable is the fall adventure that you’re not going to want to miss. While the weather cools down, we’ll be chilling with Peng and his friends as they go on a journey to save their new, strange friend, Everest. “Peng is a fun-loving, energetic kid,” Albert said about his character. “Peng is really brave, and he throws himself into the adventure right at the start of the movie.”
Albert shared with us that he can relate a lot with his character’s confident and happy nature (and they’re both foodies!). In fact, much of Peng’s personality is based on Albert. “Peng was actually based on my appearance and my personality,” Albert told us. “When they started animating, I had already started recording.” It’d be hard for us to imagine anyone else playing Peng and the same goes for the rest of the people behind this movie. He’s been voice acting as Peng since 2016, and he was actually the first actor cast on the film. When screenings of the Abominable were done for DreamWorks executives using scratch voices, they realized that no one could quite capture Peng like Albert. “They said [my voice] was very unique…kind of kid-like but also could be mature at times,” Albert said.
Peng isn’t the only character that Albert brings to life in a way that is all his own. In Disney Channel’s Coop & Cami Ask the World, Albert plays Coop’s best friend Fred. Albert describes his character as an integral part of the livestream antics that the characters get into. “I get to do a lot of fun stunts,” Albert said. “[Fred] is just a funny, quirky guy.” Among those stunts are fond memories of getting covered in paint and even dressing up in hippo and egg costumes. Albert is looking forward to even more stunts as Fred with Season 2 of the show coming later this year.
There weren’t any physical stunts for Albert to perform in Abominable, but he did have to be flexible to the differences between live-action acting and voice acting. “In voiceover, you have to rely on your voice and all the tonal differences,” Albert said about his new-found passion. “You have to focus on what your character is thinking and doing in the moment and portray it all using your voice… You basically have to imagine it all in your mind.” The differences only seemed to make Albert like voice acting more, and he’s excited to try out for more voice acting roles in the future.
Speaking of going forward, Albert talked to us about his goals as an entertainer. “As an actor, I would love to branch out to do more feature films,” he said. “I’ve always loved action and adventure movies, so I’d love to do one of those.” Who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing Albert join Asher Angel in the lineup of kid superheroes. He would also like to someday produce movies or tv, driven by his passion for all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. “Since I started to work on sets, I loved observing how each department of a crew comes together to make a movie or a TV Show.” He said he was especially inspired by Ken Jeong’s work as lead actor, writer, and executive producer in his show Dr. Ken.
While we gear up for an exciting fall with Albert Tsai, he is filming Season 2 of Coop & Cami and preparing for the Abominable press tour. You can see DreamWorks’ Abominable in theaters starting September 27, 2019, and Coop & Cami Ask the World will be returning to Disney Channel this fall.