VIBE: Originally the voice of The Cleveland Show’s Roberta (the rebellious 16-year old stepdaughter of our favorite soft-spoken soul brother) was performed by Nia Long. Did you know you were being brought in to replace her?
Reagan Gomez: When I first heard about the audition, I thought I was reading for another part. It wasn’t until my third call back with Mike Henry (voice of Cleveland), Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy and The Cleveland Show creator) and Rich Appel (Cleveland Show executive producer) that they told me I was replacing someone. We haven’t really talked about it since. But I’m a huge fan of hers.
Did you approach the character a different way than Nia initially did?
Not really. I did what I thought the voice should sound like, which is just my voice, but a little higher pitched. I only heard the original voice because I saw the pilot at Comic-Con. You are going to hear my voice starting on episode 14 of the show. We are doing table reads for the second season right now.
You mentioned attending Comic-Con, which is heaven for science fiction, comic-book-loving fan boys and girls. Were you expecting that off-the-charts level of geekdom?
[Laughs] It was craziness! I had never been to Comic-Con before and I actually went with my husband. He was like, “Why are we going? The Cleveland Show is not even comic book.” But when we pulled up, we saw it was bigger than that. There were so many people dressed up as Spider Man, and the Joker. People take it seriously.
But I had a great time! The cast of Twilight was even there. It actually got a little bit crazy after we did a panel with the Family Guy cast. We did an autograph signing, which was only supposed to last 30 minutes and ended up lasting like an hour and a half. I couldn’t even walk around and go to the booths and see what people were selling. But I know next time I’ll bring my costume so I can walk around.
The Family Guy writers are known for their pretty raunchy, cringe-inducing gags. Have you read anything yet that made you say, “Holy shit, I can’t say that?”
No. It’s been pretty cool. There are plenty of holy shit moments [laughs], but it hasn’t gone that far to where I felt I couldn’t say something. I’m on Twitter and I tweet a lot, which is kind of embarrassing. And a lot of the people were saying that they wanted the pilot to be raunchier; more like Family Guy. And then there were people who were offended by The Cleveland Show as if we are only making fun of black people. If you have seen Family Guy then you are cool with Quagmire being a perverted rapist because that’s what he is, right?
Yeah, he’s pretty out there.
Everybody was asking why Quagmire didn’t get his own show and then you watch The Cleveland Show and you are offended? It’s like dude, what the hell are you talking about [laughs]? There hasn’t been this kind of show that has been raunchy with the main characters being black. So it’s a little sensitive, but, hey, get over it.
There was someone on Twitter who said about you, “Glad she’s not doing porn or coke” and you just remarked, “Best compliment I’ve heard a day!!…lmao!” It’s clear that you have a sense of humor about being that former child star from Parent ‘Hood. How important is it to not take yourself too seriously in this business?
I laugh at myself all the time. I’m a new mom. I have daughter and I laugh at how she doesn’t want to kiss me; I laugh at how sometimes I want to make a good meal and it turns out like shit, but my husband eats it anyway. When I watch those old episodes of Parent ‘Hood I can’t even remember saying those lines [laughs]. Life is funny. —Keith Murphy