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Interview with Will Arnett

By Fred Topel

Interview with Will Arnett

Dax Shepard and Will Arnett in "Let's Go to Prison."

© Universal Pictures

Page 2

Is it hard to find movies as funny as Arrested Development?
“Oh boy, well, I can’t really look at it that way. Arrested Development was its own thing. It was just this amazing, hilarious experience and we got, week in week out, we got such great scripts so it’s very difficult. It really is apples to oranges. I think that now it’s just more of trying to put yourself in a position to have a good script and be involved with great people, not really trying to recreate that experience so much. It is what it is.”

Arrested Development was almost too smart. Are you looking for something more mainstream?
“Yeah, I mean, I think I don’t really have a plan in that department. I’m just kind of whatever is funny and whatever material. This movie for sure, we never really thought this was going to get a big release like it’s getting. We just made this movie for 4 million bucks up in Illinois and kind of off the Hollywood radar. So that was fun to do, and then you go do something like Blades of Glory which is a big budget movie with a lot of big time movie stars in it who are legitimately funny folks. That’s different. And then we go make Brothers Solomon, which is a little different, maybe off the beaten path again. So it’s just always responding to funny a script and working with funny people. There’s no real plan involved.”

Would you be happy serving a niche market?
“Yeah, I’d be happy just doing [that]. I just want to do stuff that’s fun and work with people that are fun. If that means that I’m working in a niche, then that’s fine too. I don’t really care. I’m not trying to make $200 million a movie or something. If that happens, fantastic. But it’s not really a goal. The goal is to just do stuff that’s fun and funny and that hopefully people think is funny and just take it like that.”

Has being so busy this year affected your regular life?
“That is my regular life. If you think about it, any other way is difficult. That comes with the job. Being an actor means that you’re kind of at the whim of a lot of other things and a lot of other people. You have to go where the work is. When I was on Arrested, I’m based in New York so when I was on Arrested it meant that I had to spend a lot of time out in LA and travel back and forth. That was difficult. At least working in movies you work for a few months and then you have big chunks of time off.

One of the great things about doing Blades was that Amy [Poehler] and I were able to do it together so our schedules were pretty much very similar. Then, of course, this summer she was out here as well working on her own movie, Spring Breakdown. So it actually ended up, even though in the last year I’ve been working pretty much nonstop, we’ve been together this entire time.”

Do you try out material on each other?
“Well, I don't know if we try out material. I don’t come in the living room and say, ‘Hey, what do you think of this joke?’ We definitely goof around a lot and there are moments where we goof around or try to make each other laugh. I guess maybe if something is funny to us, we might end up using it in some way. But for the most part, we’re just like anybody else, just pretty boring.”

Has there been any further talk of an Arrested Development movie?
“There has not. Yeah, we spoke this summer about that. No, there hasn’t really. I don't know what exactly it would take for that movie to get made. I guess it would just be, well, first and foremost it would be Mitch [Hurwitz] feeling the desire and the inspiration to write a script. I don't know if he’s been approached further to come up with something. But I’m working with Mitch on something right now, so I feel like I’m kind of getting my Arrested Development itch scratched.”

What would Gob think of The Illusionist and The Prestige?
“I think that he’d be really into it. He’d be psyched that it was finally getting its due. I don't know if he’d be into the actual stuff that they were doing. I think that he’d probably think that I can do that better. He’d definitely think that making the yacht disappear was a far more impressive trick than anything those guys could do.”

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