(KGET) — Lizzie Molyneux-Logelin and Wendy Molyneux – part of the team behind the FOX animated series “Bob’s Burgers” – had no backup plan when they decided Alanis Morissette should be a voice on their new series, “The Great North.” That’s because the multiple Grammy-winning singer would not only voice an animated character, but she would be talking for herself.

They hoped Morissette would like the idea because she was always the person they wanted to be part of the animated offering.

Wendy Molyneux says, “You can’t really have a backup.  You can’t be, like, ‘Oh, now let’s send it to Jeremy Irons to play Alanis Morissette.’  You have to get the real deal.”

And, they did.

She’s part of the series that follows the Alaskan adventures of the Tobin family. Single dad, Beef (Nick Offerman), does his best to keep his weird bunch of kids close – especially his only daughter, Judy (Jenny Slate). That’s not easy as Judy’s artistic dreams lead her away from the family fishing boat and into the glamorous world of the local mall.

Judy’s mother is not around so she looks for guidance from her new boss, Alyson (Megan Mullally), and her imaginary friend, Alanis Morissette, who appears to her in the Northern Lights.

The rest of the family includes Judy’s older brother, Wolf, (Will Forte) and his fiancé, Honeybee (Dulcé Sloan), middle brother Ham (Paul Rust) and 10-year-old-going-on-50 little brother, Moon (Aparna Nancherla).

The reason the executive producers were not certain their dream casting was going to happen was based on the limited amount of acting jobs Morissette has had if you discount music videos. Her credits include voice work for “Fraggle Rock,” a guest spot on “Weeds” and portraying God in “Dogma.”

Morissette initially jokes that Fiona Apple was the first choice by the producers. She then explains that the team behind “The Great North” had Johanna Stein to thank for her decision to be part of the show. Stein is a writer and actor who Morissette believes is one of the funniest people on the planet. The fact she was vouching for the executive producers was all the push Morissette needed.

“So once I stepped in with the yes, having been set up to love Lizzie and Wendy, then it just went to a whole other level of being happy to be part of something,” Morissette says. “And I didn’t know at first whether it was going to be a quick cameo or whether it was going to be an invitation into the circus of it all.

“So I’m happy to be beyond a quick in and out and actually be part of this with everybody.”
 

The limited number of acting credits for Morissette comes out of how busy she has been since exploding on the music scene in 1995. The singer-songwriter-musicians has earned vast critical praise and seven Grammy Awards.

Morissette’s 1995 debut, “Jagged Little Pill,” was followed by nine more acclaimed albums plus she’s contributed musically to theatrical releases. On Dec. 5, 2019, “Jagged Little Pill” the musical made its Broadway debut at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City, and was nominated for 15 Tony Awards.

Outside of entertainment, she is an avid supporter of female empowerment, as well as spiritual, psychological and physical wellness. She launched “Conversation with Alanis Morissette” in 2016, a monthly podcast that features conversations with a variety of revered authors, doctors, educators and therapists, covering a wide range of psycho-social topics, extending from spirituality to developmentalism to art.

Along with her work as a voice talent, Morissette has had the sing a tune or two on “The Great North.” The series is just part of the changes Morissette has gone through over the last year.

“I think the last year has been – it depends on when you catch me – but if I’m being really honest, it’s been really, really challenging in so many ways and just having people be unwell and not feeling safe,” Morissette says. “It’s been a huge social, relational, spiritual, cultural, economic, political fart storm over the last while. There’s so many silver linings.  It almost feels sacrilegious to bring them up while we are still in the middle of this, but so many themes of expression are available.

“And typically, as an artist, in the past, it’s been cycles of writing records, touring it, losing one’s mind, re‑collecting one’s self, and then writing again and starting the whole cycle over.  So what’s been great about the last few years and specifically with us being in lockdown and at home and I’ve been breastfeeding my son and just really close to everybody, the best part is that all of these other ideas that I’d tabled until later.”

Being a voice actor comes out of a secret obsession Morissette has with animated series and the kind of humor and the kind of collective experience of everyone collaborating together. Being part of the Broadway musical was another example of that kind of creative outlet for her.

The work on “The Great North” and the Broadway show have given Morissette a different perspective on the creative process.

“I’ll never want to not collaborate again.  Can I write alone?  Yeah.  It’s just way less fun, way less fun than doing things in a group like this,” Morissette says. 

“The Great North” airs at 8:30 p.m. Sundays on FOX.