This ‘Hazbin Hotel’ Character Was the Hardest One to Cast


The big picture

  • Hazbin Hotel
    creator Vivienne Medrano explains why it was necessary to change the cast between the original pilot and the series.
  • According to Medrano, Erika Henningsen embodies Charlie perfectly, bringing the right energy to the role.
  • Valentino was the most difficult character to cast, with Joel Pérez being the first actor to exceed expectations.

Hazbin Hotel has been celebrated for his music, topping multiple Billboard charts. With its cast of Broadway stars and veteran voice actors, the caliber of star power is a big factor in the show's success. But who were the easiest and hardest characters to cast? creator Vivienne Medrano sitting with Perri Nemiroff for an episode of Collider Ladies' night where he gave a behind-the-scenes look at the casting process.

“There are three amazing, perfect roles,” Medrano began, delving into the characters that are easiest to cast. “For me, Erika Henningsen it's so perfect She just embodies Charlie. I didn't know that about her before she was cast, but knowing her now, I'm like, “She literally embodies Charlie,” which is amazing. She brings that energy to the performance and is always willing to do the crazy, eccentric things that Charlie is asked to do, specifically with the singing.”

Medrano went into why it was important to recast the cast of the original pilot episode that aired on his YouTube channel. “The main reason that the cast the change from pilot to series was due to the musical element. Everything was re-auditioned. when i heard [Erika], it just clicked immediately. I said, “She's got the range.” She has the performance. She has the energy. She has it all. So, in my opinion, she's definitely perfectly cast.

Alastor and Angel Dust were also very well cast

Image via Prime Video

Henningsen wasn't the only cast member who suited the project so well. The radio demon, Alastor, also needed a new voice actor since the pilot episode Hazbin Hotelcomplete series of:

“Another was
Amir Talai.
The challenge with Alastor was that I created it for a song. When it came to the pilot, we had amazing actors, but we had two separate actors doing the singing and acting.
[for Alastor]. I was very particular about how the singing sounded. There's always a part of you that knows it's not quite there, or you say, “Maybe there's another voice.” When we came to Alastor's audition, I actually saw

a video of Amir singing the song I based Alastor on.

The song is “You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” from the musical annie, in case you're wondering. “[It was] a bootleg performance of him on stage singing it. I remember thinking, “I hope this guy is a voice actor.” Please. I want him to read, so badly, for this role.' Luckily he was, and luckily he did. And he got it because he just nailed the sound I created the character with. That one was very special.”

The third character that was perfectly cast was Angel Dust. Medrano said, “Then it's the end Blake Roman just for your hearing. Not only does it capture the incredible lows the pilot set for him, but his ability to be so vulnerable in his performance. Also, his voice is insane. His singing talent is so phenomenal. His audition blew me away. It was like, 'Oh my God! This is the Angel'”.

Who was the most difficult character to cast? Hazbin Hotel?


The most difficult character to cast was one of the great villains Hazbin Hotel. Medrano did not hold back and said: “The most difficult, for sure, was Valentino. There were many amazing auditions. I think everyone is locked into the audition sheet, which is kind of like the basic guide for auditions. They really paid attention to exactly what he was saying and he went with the most expected voice of that sheet of lead and he wasn't really amused by it. It was just the most complicated. I could say it was the hardest to nail and none of them were really clicking with me.”

It started to get serious, as Medrano explained:

“We tried to offer it to a couple of actors. It got to a point where we said, “Well, none of these auditions are right, so maybe there are actors?” Everyone said no, and I said, “Nobody's going to voice this character.” Who will voice this character? We'll have to settle for someone. I don't want to do that because that's unfair to the actor, because then there's a hope that they're not.
I was very puzzled by this.

Finally, there was a breakthrough with the casting. “I remembered this amazing actor named Joel Perez which had actually come to my other series. It was brought in by one of my songwriters in that series, because we were doing a song that had harmonies. Andrew Butler was his name, and I said to Andrew, “You know more singers than I do. Just bring in someone you know who can do those parts,” and he brought Joel.

Pérez was who they were looking for, as Medrano explains:

“I remember
I loved her energy,
because the camera—it was during the pandemic, so it was Zoom—and his camera wasn't even on! I just heard it, and it had such good energy. He was so willing to do voice acting for some incidents, so I was like, “I love him.” Maybe it will be interesting. I knew he was a Latino actor, so I said, “I think I'd probably have a good shot with this character.” I asked him to read it and he did. His was the funnest audition, hands down. It was immediate. I was like,
'Here it is. There is Valentino.
Was good.”

Hazbin Hotel is now available to stream on Prime Video. Check out the full interview with Medrano below:

Hazbin Hotel TV show poster

Hazbin Hotel

In an attempt to find a non-violent alternative to reduce Hell's overpopulation, Lucifer's daughter opens a rehabilitation hotel that offers a group of misfit demons a chance at redemption.

Publication date
October 28, 2019

Vivienne Medrano

Erika Henningsen, Christian Borle, Alex Brightman, Amir Talai


Watch on Prime Video


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