Tony Hale feels very connected to his beloved character in Archibald's Next Big Thing — even though he's a chicken.
On Tuesday's episode of the new PEOPLE Every Day podcast, hosted by Janine Rubenstein, the Veep actor opened up about his role as Archibald the chicken in the hit animated series, which moved from Netflix to Peacock for season 3 under the new name Archibald's Next Big Thing Is Here.
"He's pretty much become my role model because, especially after the year we've had, people are not seeing the best in everyone," says Hale, 50. "It's hard to see the best in this situation. And Archibald just is a constant reminder of me for that. So I have really gleaned a lot from him. A lot."
Hale, who created the hit series based on a book he wrote, explained to Rubenstein what he's learned from voicing such the ever-positive Archibald.
"I just feel in today's media, it is so much negativity and so much critique," he says. "What if we did a 180 on that, and really made the effort, like Archibald does, to say .— rather than go to my default, which typically is sometimes anxiety or fear or whatever — let's see what else we can pull out, and that's what Archibald does. … I'm like, 'Well, I am a 50-year-old man and I haven't learned that lesson.' So I'm still learning."
And Hale isn't the only member of his family to be a big fan of the series: the actor's 15-year-old daughter, Loy Ann, also has a lot of love for the story surrounding an optimistic chicken.
"She loves it," says Hale. "So Loy, when I did the book, she was probably like six or seven. So Archibald's sister's name is Loy, and so it was really fun when I was doing the book that she was able to help design her outfit, and she wanted Argyle socks and she wanted her to have pigtails."
"And now she's 15, so everything I do embarrasses her, so she doesn't like to talk about that stuff," he adds. "I cannot do anything right."
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Outside of Archibald's Next Big Thing Is Here, Hale has some experience in the animation world thanks to his fan-favorite role as Forky in Toy Story 4. He also reprised the role in Disney+'s Forky Asks a Question.
But according to Hale, not everyone realizes that he's the real-life voice behind Forky.
"The thing is, it's happened before where someone will come up and be like, 'Oh, this is Forky.' And the kid's like, 'That's not Forky,' " he tells Rubenstein.
But there is definitely no mistaking him from his memorable role on HBO's critically acclaimed comedy Veep, where he played Gary Walsh for all seven seasons from 2012 to 2019.
Back in November, Hale and his former costars Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Anna Chlumsky, Reid Scott, Sam Richardson, Timothy Simons, Clea DuVall, Matt Walsh, Gary Cole and Sarah Sutherland all reunited virtually to help get out the vote for the Georgia runoff elections in January.
"I absolutely loved Veep," Hale tells Rubenstein. "And during that time there was a big need, as we all knew. And to be able to not only use the platform that we have to help bring change, just to gather together."
"We really miss each other," Hale says of the HBO cast. "And not only the separation of COVID, but just the show ending. We really liked each other a little too much. We really, really liked each other and we made each other laugh."
He adds, "Just to see their faces, it was a real joy. It's always a joy. We hung out right before everything was shut down last spring. So just to be able to hug their necks again. I think we all miss hugging, so I'm looking forward to that."
Check out more from Hale's interview on PEOPLE Every Day, airing now on iHeartMedia, Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
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