'Rugrats' Actors Talk About the "Multi-Generational" Power of the Nickelodeon Babies
The babies are back – and so are their parents! As if we needed further proof that everything old is new again, the Rugrats – who made their debut in 1991 on Nickelodeon — are getting the reboot treatment. And like so many reboots, Rugrats will seek that elusive alchemy of blending the past and the present. That’s to say that the babies are still babies, many of the familiar voice actors are on board, and the stories will once again tap such sweet longtime Rugrats themes as forging friendships, stimulating the imagination, embarking on adventures and fostering teamwork, but that the animation is state-of-the-art 3D CGI, new actors voice all of the adult characters, and those characters must contend with millennial parenting, current technology and very modern distractions.
Rugrats, in the works since 2018, premiered May 27 on Paramount+, with an hour-long first episode, “Second Time Around.” Episodes will also air later this summer on Nickelodeon. Fatherly recently chatted much of the voice cast, including E.G. Daily, Cheryl Chase, Cree Summer, Kath Soucie, and Nancy Cartwright (who is actually even more famous as the voice of Bart Simpson since day one of The Simpsons), who reprise their respective roles as Tommy Pickles, Angelica Pickles, Susie Carmichael, Phil and Lil DeVille, and Chuckie Finster, as well as newcomers Ashley Rae Spillers (so great as the uber-shy secretary on Vice Principals), Omar Miller (Sol in 8 Mile and Charles Greane on Ballers), Timothy Simons (Jonah Ryan on Veep) and Tommy Dewey (best known as Alex on Casual), who do the talking for Didi Pickles, Randy Carmichael, Drew Pickles and Stu Pickles. We asked all of the performers to answer several questions, and here are their replies to our second query…Who in your family or in your life is the most excited that you’re doing Rugrats — or doing Rugrats again?E.G. Daily: My kids. My daughters grew up on Rugrats. I was in labor during a Rugrats episode. And now my daughters are young adults. Plus, all their friends are wearing Rugrats apparel every time I turn around, and they don’t even necessarily know that I’m the Tommy mom, but they’re all wearing sweatshirts and hoodies and different things with Rugrats. And now my daughters are starting to tell them, “Oh, that’s my mom!” That’s pretty cool.Cheryl Chase: Yeah, you see, I don’t have any kids, so it’s my friends that are really, really happy for me, because they kind of felt, “Hey, maybe (a reboot) might happen one day.’ I went, ‘Well, I don’t know.” My friends, they call themselves my “Rah-Rah,” so they’re really happy.Cree Summer: My daughter, Hero Peregrine.Nancy Cartwright: I think my son is. I have a four-year-old granddaughter. She’s actually four and a half. And there’s a new baby on the way in another month or so. So, my son and his wife, they’re happy we can share this together, like a family bonding kind of thing. It’s multi-generational; amazing.Kath Soucie: I would say my god kids, Jenna and Nicole and Dylan, and Dylan’s son, Owen, who is also one of my god kids. He’s a little wee Rugrat. They are all very excited about it.Timothy Simons: My kids are really excited that I’m doing this show because most everything else I do, there’s a lot of swearing, and they can’t watch it. So, this is something that they’ll actually be able to watch. Omar Miller: All of my nieces and nephews. They grew up watching the original. So, hopefully I don’t disappoint anyone with my take on this.Tommy Dewey: No question, my nephew Forrester, in Birmingham, Alabama. So, shout-out to Forrester. His head nearly exploded when I told him I was doing this. Ashley Rae Spillers: I think all my friends, because we’re all in the same age group. We are all in our early, mid-30s, and we all watched (Rugrats) as kids. So, all my friends are like, “Are you kidding me!?” Rugrats will kick off May 27 on Paramount+.
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