Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jessica Walter Talks About Arrested Development Movie

I am not one for using an interview some other magazine or site has already done unless I am snarking on it line by line, but I am going to make an exception here. Jessica Walter did an interview with the NY Post entertainment blog and it is just too good to not use here. No snark needed. If you are an Arrested Development fan this will get your juices flowing. It seems she also knows about as much as the rest of us about whether Michael Cera will return or not. I say if he doesn't do it he will regret it for a very long time. This film is going to be huge. Not maybe in the box office, but it will sell a million DVD's and everyone who is a true fan will always be talking about it. I think he needs to stop holding out for more money on the pretense that he is somehow protesting the show shouldn't be a film and just man up and be in it. So what if he doesn't get a huge role in it. It's for the good of the project.

Here is the portion of the interview where Jessica Walter talks about the film. To read about her role on 90210, and to watch her favorite scene from Arrested Development, click here.

PW: How much have you missed working on "Arrested"?
Jessica: Now there was a show! I do miss it, I miss the people and I miss the writing. Mitch Hurwitz ["Arrested Development" creator], so brilliant!

PW: How did you get the official word?
Jessica: They called me and asked if I was on board. It was like "duh!" No question whatsoever.

PW: Is it nice to be able to give people a definitive answer when they ask about the movie now?
Jessica: You know, it's funny - the longer the show was gone, the more people would ask about it. Normally a show fades from people's memories, but this one, for some reason hasn't.

PW: I think it's because people are still discovering it to some degree after hearing about it for so long.
Jessica: Of course, the DVDs do great and the die-hard fans watch it over and over. The thing about the writing on "Arrested" is that you could watch a scene three or four times and find different things each time - the writing was so layered.

PW: And the cast seemed to gel incredibly well, like a real family.
Jessica: It was a great ensemble, wonderful chemistry - I miss them all.

PW: I know the final season was a bit all over the place in terms of whether or not the show would come back for a fourth season, looking back did you know how much support the show had in the TV community?
Jessica: You know, we did to a certain degree. We were all curious as to what would happen, but I have to hand it to Fox - they kept us on for three years even when the ratings weren't there. Plus, we won an Emmy, Jason [Bateman] got a Golden Globe and Jeffrey and myself were nominated for Emmys - not winners, but still. We were blessed.

PW: Have you given any thought to where Lucille is following the finale?
Jessica: You know, I haven't. I have no idea and I don't know what the writers are going to do, what the story is.

PW: Considering how the show ended with cops storming the boat, Lucille could be in prison now...
Jessica: Oh god, I don't want to wear an orange jumpsuit!

PW: What else would you not like to see happen?
Jessica: I don't want Lucille to die. I really don't.

PW: Is that something you're concerned about?
Jessica: I don't know - but I'm worried about it and that would be the worst thing that could ever happen. I would die if Lucille died. Keep the Bluth's together - or separate and miserable, yelling at each other.

PW: Are you looking forward to having the gang back together again?
Jessica: It is exciting - how they'll ever get everybody involved together, I have no idea. Luckily that's not my problem.

PW: What about rumors that Michael Cera won't be returning?
Jessica: I don't know about that, but how about him? It's funny, he's the nicest, quietest, most laid-back kid - and he was on the show too. You just didn't think that this guy was going to be a huge movie star. He was so quiet, so non-showbizzy. I mean, I'm not surprised because he's so talented, but it happened so fast - within a year.

PW: Have you seen any of his movies?
Jessica: I saw "Superbad" and thought he was terrific. Oh, and "Juno" was wonderful. You know, Michael is very special. And he's just like George Michael in real life. He really is so adorable. I love him.

PW: OK, so Michael's like George Michael, but you are nothing like Lucille - where did this amazing woman come from?
Jessica: You know, we all have that in us - we all have those terrible qualities. People think it's hard when I've played murders or killers, but it's not, because as actors we get to tap into that rage and we're not ostracized for it. In "Play Misty For Me," I honestly didn't find playing that killer to be too difficult.

PW: Have you been given a timetable for the "AD" movie?
Jessica: I heard that they're aiming to start in spring/summer of 2009 - they still have to finish the script.

PW: And that is the most crucial detail since the Bluth's get to say the most amazingly horrifying things to one another - I know there are a lot of gems, but does anything stand out for you as a favorite line?
Jessica: One of my favorites, because it was so delightful, was this scene in a restaurant with Portia [de Rossi] and a waitress comes over and says something about a fried or smoked sandwich, and Lucille says something like "I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it." That was just so crazy and so real - this poor little blonde trashbox waitress - that was my favorite amongst many, many brilliant pieces of dialogue.


mooshki said...

I'm sure Michael Cera will do it. He just made an offhand remark about thinking there was no need for a movie, but from what I've heard, he never said he wouldn't do it if they offered it to him. But honestly, the movie would do just fine without him. George Michael is fun, but not key to the show imho.

"The thing about the writing on "Arrested" is that you could watch a scene three or four times and find different things each time - the writing was so layered."

So true. How I do love thee, Ms. Walter.

"I would die if Lucille died."

DON'T EVEN THINK IT!!! *sniff* *sniff*

mooshki said...

Holy cow! From the other part of her interview, about 90210:

"I love the people but when you don't have good stuff to do as an actor, it's not a happy situation."

As Kelso would say, BURN!!!

maggiemei said...

I still laugh every time I think of their Lawyer "Bob Loblaw".
Best. Name. Ever.

Carte Blanche said...

I love saying the name "Tobias Funke" - extra emphasis on the Fuuunke.

The world’s first analrapist.

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

I love Bob Loblaw's Law Blog.

If you're ever so inclined, go rent Grand Prix some time. Back in the day, Jessica was a stunningly beautiful gal. (Which isn't to say that she doesn't look damn good for her age now, of course...)

littleoleme said...

Oh for this to come true. It would be so beautiful. Fingers, eyes and toes crossed.

jlb said...

Oh I cannot wait. I loved that of the few originals out there.

ItsJustMe said...

Tobias Funke as Mrs. Featherbottom ... enough said!

Unknown said...

In my humble, humble opinion, she's the best character on the show.

Can I also point out how gorgeous she is for a woman of her age? I mean, my god.

selenakyle said...

Now THIS is a movie I would pay full price to see in a theater, even alone!

Enny said...

It was "plate or platter" lucille/jessica, "plate or platter." And yes, one of the single funniest lines in the history of TV dialogue. Pure greatness. I wish Klimpy's was real!

Unknown said...

YAY! Jessica Walter! I love her! I want to be Lucille Bluth when I grow up. hahahahahaha

trashtalker said...

Watching that reminded me of one of my favorite lines. At the end, when Ron Howard is narrating: "On the next Arrested Development ... Buster moves to the kitchen." So weird!

Lian said...

Awesome news! This is definitely one I'll be pre-buying tickets for and there at the midnight showing!

I *love* Bob Loblaw and analrapist too :)


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