Alright, it’s about that time again—to sit on the couch, relax, and have a refreshing drink. Maybe a Mai Tai because the hit animated show Archer is back in full-swing for its ninth season, subtitled Danger Island, on FXX. Starting with the first episode, “Strange Pilot,” we witness a twist from the very beginning—not only altering the genre of the characters—but also their appearances, like with Pam Poovey. We chatted with the voice behind Pam, Amber Nash, about her experience working on the show.
Cliché: What’s the experience been like working on Archer?
Amber Nash: It has been incredible. In the beginning, I didn’t have any idea that it was going to be as much of a hit show or as well-received as it has been, and I had no idea that Archer was going to go on for so long. So it has been amazing. I have learned a lot and I have gotten to work with some amazing people in the cast. It changed my life. It is still pretty cool that I get to live in the city where I am from and work on a hit show on FXX. It is pretty wonderful.
How has it changed over the course of nine seasons?
It changed a lot. One of the first things that kind of shook things up was that we were a regular show that was progressing season-to-season and then in season 5, Adam Reed, the creator, was like, “OK, let’s really mess with things.” He started Archer by it being in a completely different world. It was set in Miami, it was very much in the ’80s, and it was crazy. A lot of fans didn’t know what to think of it. Some hated it and a lot of others loved it. After that, we went back to the regular world that we were used to for seasons 6 and 7. Then, at the end of season 7, Archer goes into a coma. Season 8 is set in his coma dream. Every season we are kind of rebooting and starting a completely different show with all the same characters. They all know each other in a different way, so it has been really fun for the actors to get to reimagine their characters that they have been playing for so long.
How does it feel being a part of a show that’s lasted this long?
It’s amazing. And it’s funny because I used to always say to people, “Oh yeah, I am on this show called Archer,” and now if I would say that, they respond, “Yeah, we know what Archer is. You don’t have to say the show called Archer.” It’s funny how it’s such an institution now, everybody knows it, it’s been around for a long time. It’s syndicated, and they run repeats on Comedy Central, so it’s a dream come true. It’s absolutely wonderful. It’s fun that we get to keep it fresh by changing things around too.
What was your reaction to the new direction this season was taking and Pam’s new role?
I was really excited about it because last season it was kind of dark and it was really serious. Now this season it is just over-the-top and just silly. It’s back to just crazy Archer stuff, and I love it. I read the first episode and, I was like, “Man, I need a Mai Tai.” It just blows the world. The cool thing is Pam is kind of Archer’s sidekick this season, which we have never seen before. We thought of it a little bit in season 5. It’s really cool that those two are like a duo and Pam is gigantic this season. She is being played as Archer’s Chewbacca; she’s like 7-feet tall, so it’s been so much fun.
What are you most excited for people to see in season 9?
The thing that I am most excited for people to see in season 9 is that people will get to see a lot of Pam’s body. It’s not surprising, that’s been the case for a lot of the seasons. But particularly in this season, I can’t spoil it, but you are going to see a lot of her body.
Should fans be on the lookout for any big surprises?
Yes. There is a big surprise in the very last episode. We have been seeing what has really been going on in this world. In the end of a season, people will say, “OK, this is what is really going on.” In this season, you will get a little bit of a glimpse into Archer’s brain, which is really fun. So that is something to look out for.
There’s speculation about the tenth season being the last. Have you thought at all about the show coming to an end?
Yeah, we thought a lot about it. Actually, we are not sure if season 10 will be the last, we are hoping we can get more seasons after that. But I have prepared myself in case the show does wrap up…I will be really sad if it does. I really hope that we go past season 10, I think FXX will be cool with it. But I think even if season 10 is the last one, it will be pretty spectacular. I think Adam has some really good plans but we don’t know them yet.
How did you get involved in voice acting?
I was a theater actor first. I was also a improviser and I still do that when I am at home. I worked at an improv theater at Dad’s Garage and I met the guys that make Archer now, who at the time were making a show for Adult Swim called Sealab. Then, they went on to make a show called Frisky Dingo and they knew me from doing stage work at Dad’s Garage. They asked me to audition for something but I wasn’t right for it. I ended up working for them later on another project, they kept on hiring me to do stuff, and then they hired me to do Pam. That’s how I got into animation.
How has that experience been different than your work in improv?
It’s a different muscle. When I am on stage, I am the writer, director and the actor all at the same time, so it’s all my stories and my creativity. With this, I am so lucky that Adam is such a brilliant writer and we get to bring these stories to life. Also I don’t have my whole body, I just have my voice. So it’s been kind of fun to bring life to a character in a different way.
Did that help at all being an improviser?
Yeah. I think so. Because you have a lot of character voices, you don’t always have costumes when you do improv, so you really have to distinguish your characters by their voice and mannerisms. I am used to playing a lot of characters so that definitely helped me kind of create the character Pam.
Do you have any projects coming up next?
Actually, yes. My husband and I shot a pilot for a travel show called Weird City that we are very excited about, so we will be shopping that around. And we have a short film called That Was Awesome that we shot.
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“Archer” Star Amber Nash Kicks-Off Her Ninth Season. Image Credits: Seth Olenick