Nancy Cartwright - the voice of Bart Simpson - says she was regularly mistaken for a boy.
The US voice artist, 52, has no qualms about portraying a teenage boy on screen and says that as a young girl her strange voice would make people laugh.
"I was about seven when people started making comments about my voice, and being seven and having short hair I had an androgynous quality, so people didn't know whether I was a boy or a girl," she said.
"But I just used my voice to make people laugh, and because it made people laugh, it made me happy."
Nancy auditioned for the part of Bart because she was drawn to his devil-may-care attitude.
"They were looking for an eight-year-old child, who was a girl, the famous Lisa Simpson, but I saw the description of Lisa there and her little monologue and next to that was a picture of Bart, and for Bart it said, 'Ten-year-old school-hating underachiever and proud of it'," she recalled.
"Now, between that eight-year-old child and what I just said, what would you rather do? So I read for the part and that was it, they hired me on the spot."
:: The 21st season of The Simpsons launches on Thursday January 14 on Sky1.