FERB Fletcher is a boy of few words.
His American stepbrother Phineas Flynn does most of the talking on the popular Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb, which follows the brothers’ summer holiday adventures and talent for annoying their older sister Candace.
Oh, and there’s their pet platypus Perry who unbeknown to the family, thwarts mad scientists on his regular, 007-style assignments as “secret agent P”.
Despite his lack of dialogue, British actor Thomas Sangster enjoys playing the green-haired Ferb.
“He’s a bit of an oddball really,” said Sangster on the phone from the US.
“He comes out with strange random lines that don’t have anything to do with what other people are talking about.”
The new, third season of Phineas and Ferb, which is a top-rating series for the Disney Channel in the US, debuts on Australian pay-TV on Saturday.
Created by the team behind Nickelodeon’s Rocko’s Modern Life, the series won a Daytime Emmy Award last year for Outstanding Writing in Animation.
Sangster says the popularity of the series which was pitched for 16 years before Disney picked it up, comes down to its appeal to parents as well as their children.
“It’s a cartoon they can sit down and watch quite easily with their kids and not get bored,” he said.
“The audience is quite a big spectrum. And it has good messages about getting kids out and encouraging kids to do things, instead of playing video games. It’s a non-offensive, sweet, funny, simple cartoon that just hits a pretty big audience.”
Sangster, best known for his role as the love-struck child in Love Actually, enjoys the flexibility the role of Ferb gives him.
The 21-year-old actor can record his lines for Phineas and Ferb from almost anywhere while he works on other projects, like the movie he is currently shooting in the US – The Baytown Disco.
Sangster has no lines in the film, which also stars Karl Urban and Michael Rapaport, because he plays a boy disabled by a severe case of cerebral palsy.
“Just to get through a film without saying a single word, and to still put in a good performance without saying anything – that’s what I look for,” he said.
“I don’t look for typical roles that most people go for. I want something completely different to the last thing I did, so it’s exciting and new. Not only was the character something I’d never even tackled before, but I liked the script.”
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