Interview with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of "Portlandia" on IFC - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of "Portlandia"

Interview with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein of "Portlandia"on IFC  12/11/12

Final Transcript
Portlandia Conference Call
December 11, 2012/1:00 p.m. EST

Fred Armisen
Carrie Brownstein

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Portlandia conference call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. And as a reminder the conference is being recorded. I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Ms. Keri Dizney. Please go ahead.

K. Dizney Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us for this conference call in support of the new season of Portlandia. As a reminder the third season of Portlandia premieres on Friday, January 4th at 10 p.m. ET and PT with two all new back-to-back episodes on IFC. Additionally a special ďWinter in PortlandiaĒ episode is this Friday, December 14th at 10:30 ET and PT.

On the line with us now are the co-creators, co-writers, and stars of Portlandia, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. With that Iím going to turn it back over to the Moderator and we can begin with the discussion.

Moderator Our first question will come from Mike Hughes from TV America. Please go ahead.

M. Hughes Hello, hey, Iíd like to learn from both of you guys about the MTV episode. Did you guys both grow up on MTV, or were you big fans of the original version of MTV and whatís your view of the transition of MTV over the years?

F. Armisen Absolutely, I grew up on MTV. I remember even as far back as when it first started, and I was addicted to it. I watched MTV all the time and it was a huge part of my life. I remember all kinds of shows like 120 Minutes and The Cutting Edge and stuff like that. All through the years, I was really addicted.

So the transition is fine. I donít subscribe to things were better then. Itís just itís a different kind of channel, but for people who were growing up on it, Iím sure itís great for them, so the episode is not a judgment call on it at all.

M. Hughes Okay, Carrie, the same thing from you.

C. Brownstein Yes, certainly MTV was an important part of my childhood and it helped kind of nurture and augment my obsession with music as a kid and I loved watching videos. I donít begrudge or have any negative feelings towards MTV as now. I think itís kind of a different time and a different era, so itís fine.

M. Hughes Okay, now Iíll just ask one other thing about that. Kurt Loder, I actually didnít know Kurt doesnít do anything at all for MTV anymore and kind of when you suggested this to him, what was his attitude?

C. Brownstein Everyone was really on board with being on the show and it was actually one of my favorite days on the set. It had such a strange kind of nostalgic feel for me since I had watched all three of those guys when I was a kid. Yes, he was really excited to be part of it. All three of them were very gracious with their time and very game.

M. Hughes Okay, thanks.

Moderator Thank you and our next question is from Jamie Steinberg from Starry Constellation. Please go ahead.

J. Steinberg Itís such a pleasure to speak with both of you guys.

F. Armisen Hello.

C. Brownstein Hello.

J. Steinberg I was wondering what keeps challenging you about portraying these characters?

F. Armisen Trying to find, trying to do more things that are a little bit beyond the surface of what weíve been doing already. Not just repeating ourselves, but finding a new angle, trying to make it seen fresh and new to ourselves. So I would say thatís probably the biggest challenge with it.

J. Steinberg Okay.

C. Brownstein Yes, I think just finding ways of making the characters more multi-dimensional, figuring out who they are and how to write for them is a challenge. But it also becomes easier as the seasons go on because as we figure out what makes these people tick and what their essential traits are or their essential characteristics. Itís easier to put them in conflict with the environment and to create situations for them that kind of bring to the surface who they are. So itís challenging, but itís becomes more rewarding to create the world through these characters and stories for them.

J. Steinberg And what do you think it is about Portlandia that continues to make it such a fanfare program?

F. Armisen I think that maybe people are reacting to because itís a very affectionate show and warm. Itís definitely a positive, so maybe thatís something. Thereís an optimism to it that I think maybe people react to. I mean I honestly donít know. You never know why someone likes something. There might be a million different reasons, so I also, Iím not sure.

J. Steinberg We enjoy having you, Carrie, on Twitter. Iím hoping that youíll join, too.

F. Armisen Okay.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

Moderator Thank you, our next question is from Kristyn Clarke from Please go ahead.

K. Clarke Hello, thank you both so much for speaking with us today.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

K. Clarke You both have such an awesome sense for comedic timing. What do you feel - is there maybe a certain formula for good comedic TV or is that not the case?

F. Armisen Well, I think there probably is some really complicated formula that no one really knows how to find exactly. For as long as comedy on TV has existed, thereís been so many successes and failures that it probably just changes from minute to minute. So thereís some kind of complicated formula, but I donít think anyone will ever know exactly what it is.

K. Clarke No, probably not. So for both of you, you have other projects going on and music going on, what does work on Portlandia fulfill for each one of you on a creative level?

C. Brownstein Well, for me itís an opportunity to get to hang out with and collaborate with Fred and with our director and co-writer, Jonathan Krisel. Itís a very specific chemistry that we have, it allows a certain kind of frivolity and certain kind of performance like comparing to absurdity, but also kind of dealing with the awkward moments and I really love that. It kind of allows, with all the sort of observations that I make throughout the year, to get to write those ideas down and bring those to fruition.

Iím really just grateful actually that we only do it five months out of the year, because I think we never take it for granted. We come to it hungry and eager and with a sense of enthusiasm that I think is really important and infectious. It comes from a labor of love, which it very much is, so I think even just that it provides that for me. Itís just something that I am very appreciative of and grateful for.

K. Clarke Great. And Fred?

F. Armisen Itís almost like it allows me to just kind of keep moving forward. Like I donít like stopping for any reason, so itís a kind of like I look forward to every year. On a very immediate level, it allows me to hang out with my friends and to be in a beautiful city that I love and then I like that itís not always easy.

We make little changes just so weíre not repeating ourselves and thatís kind of hard. If we let it sit back and go like, this worked before, letís just do this again, it wouldnít be as good. But that once thereís this new, we just kind of make these little like walls, you know like okay, letís try to jump over this one and see what happens.

K. Clarke Awesome, thank you so much.

F. Armisen Thank you.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

Moderator Our next question is from Rob Owens from Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Please go ahead.

R. Owens Hello, guys, thanks for doing the call. I wanted to ask what was the inspiration for casting Kyle MacLachlan as the mayor of Portland and what does he bring to the show, and what has he brought that has caused you to write or plot certain ways for his character or stories for the show involving his character?

F. Armisen Well, we wanted the mayor character to be pleasant, but not in a sarcastic way. Itís not the kind of ignorant thing, where weíre making fun of a politician who doesnít know what heís doing. Itís more of a positive spin on it and he is very genuine in his performance and his personality is similar. Heís this happy guy and the mayor character kind of we thought would just be happy to be mayor; and he doesnít really care what the results of it are. Heís happy about doing the job, but he doesnít care if they ever get a baseball team for real. He just likes the act of putting together a baseball team, so it has nothing to do with the results. Itís more heís a person who lives to make his like every moment a happy moment.

C. Brownstein Yes, he kind of possesses an infectious optimism.

R. Owens Okay. And the other thing I wanted to ask you about was this ďWinter in PortlandiaĒ episode; I donít think weíve seen Portlandia in winter before. What was the inspiration for that, or was it a matter of, did you plot out doing a winter episode first; or did you suddenly find you had a collection of skits that worked for a winter episode? How did it come together?

C. Brownstein Well, we knew we had an 11th episode that we were going to make and that it was going to air in advance of the regular season, so that it will operate as sort of a special. And with it airing in December, we wanted it to be distinct from the rest of the season. Because with season three, we really wanted to go deeper into some character development and have some people on there toÖ, and we kind of needed it to be a standalone thing.

So as you mentioned we never really show Portland as the rainy city that I sometimes see with, clouds overhead and the dreariness, so we did deliberately write for that episode and come up with ways of having the characters kind of deal with the darkness and the kind of dreariness as winter, so all the scenes kind of in storyline surround that. Thereís some holiday stuff in there as well, but because we have never shown the rainy season in Portland, we thought that that would an interesting way of making it distinct from the rest of season.

R. Owens Great, thank you.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

Moderator Thank you, our next question is from Christiane Elin from Scifivision. Please go ahead.

C. Elin My question is that I see that Carrie is going to have a new roommate. Can you talk a little bit about how that figures into the show?

F. Armisen Well, we just wanted it to, like the characters of Fred and Carrie we didnít want it to be the same thing where theyíre just doing tasks for the mayor. So we thought letís put another person in with them, who is close enough that it can actually have an effect on their friendship in some way. So thatís kind of the idea behind that was. It wasnít just that we wanted to have a roommate. We just thought like would that be something that we can get to know the Fred and Carrie characters a little better.

C. Elin That sounds exciting to see another dimension. Now youíre on location there. What kind of ideas do you get from living there?

C. Brownstein Well, I mean I think it does help sometimes to be immersed. I live in Portland, but we do some of the writing in Los Angeles and then when the production gets going in Portland, it does help to be in this immersive environment, because it just lends itself to authenticity and also just kind of remembering the ways to keep the show kind of feeling real and textured and varied and not to become a caricature of itself.

Thereís just an unabiding fondness that we have for Portland. So I think actually to be on location, it also I think reminds us that itís not specifically Portland-based. Like we still need to focus on character and story and so itís just, it kind of just helps kind of shape and contextualize the show.

It doesnít really help in terms of material, but weíve been very deliberate about not having the show be concept-based. People want to have emotional attachment to conceptual ideas. Theyíre drawn to something because of a story or a character, so Portland just kind of functions as this lyrical backdrop for what weíre doing.

C. Elin Thank you.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

Moderator Thank you, our next question is from Neal Broverman from The Advocate. Please go ahead.

N. Broverman Hey, guys and excuse me if youíve answered this question a million times, but Iím wondering what city would you like to give the Portlandia treatment to and would that ever happen as far a special Austinland or LAville or something like that?

F. Armisen Well, weíve thought about it a little bit. I donít know that we want to necessarily go to another city. We talked about it the other day privately, but when a show goes to another city sometimes itís a little risky. Like for us, itís fun, but for the viewer, theyíre like where are we.

But with that said for some reason I feel like there might something to explore in like Pittsburgh or I donít know why. I donít know what my backup for this is, but like Detroit seems like a weird and interesting city, because I feel like it goes through so much hardship, but so much great stuff comes from there, so Iím like whatís that about? Minneapolis, for some reason might be fun.

C. Brownstein Milwaukee.

F. Armisen Milwaukee, Milwaukee is like a major city, but itís like just personally I just want to explore what that would be about.

N. Broverman And one other quick thing, if you guys can just share your favorite local Portland response to the show, if itís someone coming up to you saying oh my God, I have the best idea for skit or someone who is maybe insulted, just your favorite local response.

F. Armisen Well, my personal is that I was at the movies and this girl came to me and gave me a big loaf of French bread, so I took it to the movies with me. So that for me was like very, you know it was nice and it was strange.

N. Broverman And Carrie?

C. Brownstein Did you say weirdest thing?

N. Broverman Yes, the weirdest response or your favorite response. It might be the same.

C. Brownstein Okay, well, all of those really stem from my experiences at the grocery store, but I was in line behind this guy who had some nuts from the bulk bin and the cashier was laying them up and when he typed in the code, it came up as Brazil nuts and the guy said, ďThose arenít Brazil nuts. Those are macadamia nuts!Ē And the cashier was like, ďThatís fine. Iíll just charge you for the Brazil nutsĒ, but he was so insistent. He was actually about to save literally $20, but he was so insistent that everybody knew this wasnít the kind of nut he was getting and he wanted to pay for it. It was just strange and weird.

N. Broverman Awesome, thank you, guys.

F. Armisen Thank you.

Moderator Thank you and our next question is from Courtney Vaudreuil from the TV Addict. Please go ahead.

C. Vaudruil Hello, good morning. Thank you for talking with us. Youíve had a lot of great guests this season. Whoís the most fun for you to work with?

C. Brownstein Thatís a hard question because everybody brings something different to the table and we have been so fortunate in working with people that are very generous with their time and their energy and we were working with a small crew on a pretty small set. So I feel like itís hard to kind of pick a favorite, but this year it was a real pleasure to work with someone like Roseanne Barr, Jim Gaffigan, Patton Oswalt. But Iíll say Iím going to name this person just because theyíre totally different from anyone else I feel it seems fair, Martina Navratilova.

All the actors have been amazing, but itís just so surreal to work with basically a legend and literally one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Sheís just in the highest echelon of that sporting role and I think itís because she wasnít an actor or comedian or a musician, it just lends itself to this kind of surreality and everyone was a little bit awestruck and star struck, so Iíll just say her.

F. Armisen Iíll agree with that about Martina Navratilova. Itís definitely a different kind of being star struck.

C. Vaudruil And in the sketch you had with her, she gave a pretty deadpan delivery. Was that kind of surprising for you that she was able to hold it together, because it seems like not being an actor that might be a little harder?

F. Armisen Yes, I was surprised, and pleasantly surprised. She was really, really good.

C. Brownstein Yes, I was surprised, too, although I will say I think that she has such discipline, obviously, like I think that she took direction and basically all Jon had to say was just be natural and she did it.

C. Vaudreuil Do you get flooded with requests from other actors and comics to come on to the show?

F. Armisen Not flooded, I mean I saw friends, people that we know. Itís always like okay, weíll figure something out, but maybe next season, but itís just friends of ours who just want to come and hang out.

C. Vaudreuil Who came up with the Battlestar Galactica sketch?

C. Brownstein It was Jonathan Krisel. It started out, the broader concept was thereís a couple who are kind of only getting along when they watch this show. Like their whole relationship has just become about this wonderful and deepest mode and where they just really feel connected to each other and itís probably the only time theyíve become connected to each other. And that becomes sort of like this drug. And then we kind of broaden that out to be that kind of binging on a specific show and getting obsessed. Yes, I think it was Jonís idea.

C. Vaudreuil Do you think youíll have Ron Moore on the show again?

F. Armisen Oh, thatís not a bad idea. Yes, weíd love to maybe next season. He was great. We are really friends.

C. Vaudreuil Carrie, I have a question for you. Is Portland truly a place where young people go to retire?

C. Brownstein I mean literally probably not, but in terms of the sensibility of Portland, I would say that the feeling definitely is there. I do think that people move there to work less, to improve the quality of life in terms of free time and play and sport and livelihood and creativity. If you want to call that an early retirement, thatís probably not an unfair assessment, but it definitely can feel like itís a city at play.

C. Vaudreuil And tying into one of your first episodes for this season, do you feel like you have to convince people that Portland is better than Seattle?

C. Brownstein There is a rivalry between Portland and Seattle for sure, but itís actually been reversed where Portland is the underdog. Seattle had a huge time in the Ď90s with the .com boom and grunge music and Portland always felt like the younger sibling. But I think now Portland gets so much attention nationally for its cuisine and boutiques and whatnot that Seattle kind of has an inferiority complex. We just volley that and to carry it back and forth; but thereís actually and affection between the two cities and obviously a lot of similarities.

C. Vaudreuil And I have one last question for you. How much did you love the scene where youíre buying doilies from Jeff Goldblum?

F. Armisen That shooting day was like being on some kind of a drug. Like it was so amazing, I felt kind of dizzy from like how crazy it got and how awesome he was. Heís so good. We literally donít have to tell him anything in terms of this scene. Weíve got this very talented art department who filled up this store with doilies, which is not easy because theyíre so tiny. So they made it seem like a real doily store and he was just so good with it that I remember that just Carrie and I barely had to do anything.

C. Vaudreuil Thank you both for your time. I really appreciate it.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

Moderator Our next question is from Nina Garin from UT San Diego. Please go ahead.

N. Garin Hello. My question is how do you know like what is satire and what kind of draws the line from being cute indy and so that enough people will get it? Does that make sense?

C. Brownstein Yes. I donít know. You know I think that we actually try to have space in the audience in that the more specific we get, the more nuanced we get, I find it that like adds to the richness of the show, so that you have some people that are getting every reference and maybe some people that are not getting all of them and thatís okay. Because some sort of question whether the audience is going to get it and then write from that perspective, I think can be undermining to the process and kind of makes things too broad.

So we do try to get a little esoteric without being alienating and it seems like itís working in terms of the specificity is actually whatís kind of drawing people to the show and making it, it seems making it believable, because we can just really dive into those roles hopefully.

F. Armisen And also like all the shows are like we were fans of or that Iím a fan of, like I never thought like thatís too specific, it was opposite like we watch something like The Wire, itís like so just about Baltimore and just like itís like in the second season of The Wire theyíre on these docks and thereís all this dock music and stuff. Itís such a tiny little world, but itís still works for me, so that I thought that I had a good faith that something like this could world.

N. Garin And is there anything thatís too local?

C. Brownstein I think that I mean local is an interesting concept because people are certainly interested and invested in the concept of local, but in practicality, we live in such a global economy and what is local to Portland also, thereís a version of that in Brooklyn and a version of that in Austin and a version of that in Amsterdam. So when something is too local, that just means that somebody in another city thatís also kind of invested in that world is going to relate to it, so probably not at this point.

Although there is I think if something is more specific to Portland that gives the audience something to discover and something to check out or research. People like I think having to kind of look into something to figure it out a little bit.

N. Garin All right, so those are my questions. It was nice to talk to you.

F. Armisen It was nice to talk to you, Nina.

C. Brownstein Yes, you, too.

F. Armisen Thank you.

N. Garin Thanks.

C. Brownstein Take care.

Moderator Our next question is from Caitlin Malcuit from Backstage Beat. Please go ahead.

C. Malcuit Hello, Carrie, hello, Fred. How are you?

C. Brownstein Hello.

F. Armisen Hello.

C. Malcuit Great, so how do you plan out story arcs for all your characters and decide about what wraparound should go on and that?

F. Armisen Itís kind of a very traditional thing. We have a writers room and a bulletin board and we have the big cards. We really do sit there all day and just keep proposing things: what if this happened, what if Nina wanted a wedding, okay, no, letís change it to a birthday party. Itís like then we look at the whole board of the season and weíre like, okay, well, how can we have the characters of Fred and Carrie expand a little bit, so itís not just the same thing. What can we do with the mayor?

So that is the part that is most kind of work heavy, where we really do have to like try to come up with a storyline that is interesting to other people and us. Thatís the part that where we just sit there all day saying you know thatís not a bad idea or thatís great or like you know, thatís how we do it.

C. Malcuit So what have you both found has changed from the first season to now in terms of creating sketches and your work flow?

C. Brownstein We definitely, I mean to Fredís point that character and you did say production of work flow where we spend a lot more time writing for sure. We spend a lot of more time being deliberate about endings and really making sure that there is a story. What we learned from season to season is that the characters have to have a relationship within the setting. We canít just be a situation or a concept. There has to be stakes. There has to be something that brings tension to the scene.

Those are all the basic tenets of good story or good writing, but I think sometimes when youíre doing a sketch and you can kind of forget that that fully exists, so we really have worked on having arcs in place and endings in place and really building this infrastructure in which we can improvise because the dialog is mostly improvised. Weíve really worked on that scaffolding within the scenes and within the story, so that we know where to go as we improvise.

I think that that helps make the show richer and itís becoming less and less like a sketch to me. Like the first season seemed a little bit more like that, but still some hybrid and now itís seems even less like that and more like the lives of these people moving forward.

C. Malcuit So Fred, the bike messengerís ears, what makes that skin around the gauges, how is that achieved? How is that achieved?

F. Armisen Thatís all prosthetics. It just that we have this really talented makeup artist who kind of pulls back my lobe and my lower lobe and then kind of pulls back behind my ear and then a fake one is attached underneath it, so thatís how she does it. Sheís really good at it. Sheís really great at it.

C. Malcuit Yes, itís like terrifically real, especially with the door lock caught in his lobe that first season.

F. Armisen Oh, yes.

C. Malcuit Yes, all right, great, thanks so much for taking the time to talk and good luck with everything, both of you. Thank you.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

F. Armisen Thank you.

Moderator Our next question is from Doug Barry from Xfinity TV. Please go ahead.

D. Barry Hello, guys, thanks so much for answering our questions today.

F. Armisen Thank you.

D. Barry I was just wondering what are some of your favorite characters in sort of recurring settings to do and which of those we can expect more of in the third season.

C. Brownstein This season Peter and Neil, who go to the cult farm. Theyíre just kind of that un-chic, boring couple who are very much in love with each other, a little bit syrupy.

F. Armisen Itís like the best life ever, everything is just too fine.

C. Brownstein Yes, comfy and cozy, but we really explore their relationship a lot this year. Thereís multiple storylines. Thereís one major storyline with Peter and Neil this year, but I really like those characters a lot.

D. Barry Thank you. My other question is what are your some of your favorite holiday movies and can we expect some references in the Winter episode?

F. Armisen We didnít really reference any movies unless Jon, our director, he might have done something, but I canít remember. But as far as movies, the holiday movies that I like I think The Nightmare Before Christmas I think is really cool. I like watching that.

C. Brownstein I think my favorite holiday movie is Meet Me in St. Louis. I love that. Itís so cheesy, but Judy Garland is so great in it and I love the four seasons in that film and especially the Christmas, the winter and theyíre at the dance and I just love it so much.

D. Barry All right, thank you so much.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

Moderator Our next question is from Matt Saincome from SF Weekly. Please go ahead.

M. Saincome Hello, thanks for your time, guys. Some of the jokes that you make about underground music or the hipster community are so on point and specific that it seems that only people who would be involved in those communities would be able to make those jokes. How do you guys come about with stuff like that?

F. Armisen We come from those communities.

C. Brownstein Yes, I think one thing that keeps this show from being cynical and mean spirited is that weíre inside these worlds, weíre not on the outside looking in and targeting people. Like we are these people, weíre kind of like itís a world we love, but also one that that we know the parts of it that can seem kind of ridiculous or precious, but only because weíre part of it. So yes, I mean the music thing, I mean really every annotation that I was getting for a while, it just seemed like every one of my friends was DJ-ing. Even in my mind I was like I could DJ. It seems like such a possibility, a desirable thing to do.

But yes, we also know the ways the world can seem like sort of overly precious or obnoxious, but itís also like weíre very fond of them.

M. Saincome Okay, great. How often are some of your characters based directly off of one person? Like the guy in the new season, the recording studio guy, he seems almost like he existed. Is that based off of one person, or is that like a combination of people?

F. Armisen Itís like every guy Iíve ever known. I spent some time in Chicago and Chicago has a lot of recording studios, a lot of people just run recording studios successfully still. And I just feel like every time Iím around them, and Iím included in this even though I donít have a studio, I engage in conversations. Itís always conversations about microphones. Itís like it always, always comes up and itís some German microphone and how expensive it was and having to have it shipped.

I remember one guy talking about how he had to dismantle one at customs at the airport, so I donít know. I just think itís a little bit like the equivalent of guys who are really into the cars maybe in the Ď70s or something like muscle cars, itís like a version of that, like the guys who talk about recording studios. I like those conversations, but I think the people who arenít into studios, Iím like what must this sound like, this must be the most inane conversation ever.

C. Brownstein Thank you.

F. Armisen Thank you.

Moderator Thank you and our next question is from Rob Owens from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. Please go ahead.

R. Owens I just wanted to ask you guys about working with Chloe Sevigny and what she brings to the show and her character as Fred and Carrieís roommate.

C. Brownstein Chloe is a very confident actress. Sheís very dedicated to the craft. Sheís very funny and humble and sheís bright and we really got along with her. I maybe met her many years ago, but we have this really greatówe became friends and she just knows a lot about music and we ended up really sharing the sensibility that we did not know we would have. We felt like we had a lot of mutual friends and we came from the same world, so there was just this really innate chemistry that we really looked forward to being on set with her and hanging out. We went to shows in Portland and just hung out. So it was a real pleasure to work with her and get to know her.

In terms of the story, we canít say much, but basically we go up to Seattle on a mission from the mayor and we bring her back as our roommate and like Fred said earlier, we wanted a way of developing the characters of Fred and Carrie a little bit more. And we thought that having a roommate, a third person to insert themselves in that dynamic would be a way of just kind of showcasing and adding a little tension to me and Fredís dynamic, putting something that might get in the way of our friendship and Ö, so she kind of plays that role.

F. Armisen I was going to say also sheís very charismatic and that was important for the story and so the episodes that she, thereís a quality to her thatís very like just charismatic and attractive.

R. Owens And in terms of the characters of Fred and Carrie are they the characters closest to you guys in your life presumably, and if so, how are they different from the real Fred and Carrie?

F. Armisen I guess. Who knows? I mean it depends on our mood, you know? I think theyíre a little more dumb than we are.

C. Brownstein Yes, theyíre definitely more gullible I hope than me or Fred. Yes, theyíre a little I think to allow for that kind of like sometimes naivetť is okay as an attractive trait in a character, because if the characters are too smart sometimes itís just like that kind of like wide-eyed openness and wonder, like I think our characters conduct that a little bit more than me and Fred, so it allows the audience to explore a situation along with us.

I mean certainly there are a lot of similarities as well, but I feel that way about a lot of characters. Thereís even characters that seem more outlandish that I would say that is such a specific very distinct part of my personality that I donít act on all the time, but that anybody that knows me would say like I can see that, I see you in that character. So interesting enough, I wouldnít say that the character of Carrie is any more like me than some of the other characters.

R. Owens Okay.

F. Armisen As a side note, Pittsburgh is a really beautiful city. I mean itís a really interesting place.

C. Brownstein Yes.

Moderator Iíll turn the conference back over to Keri Dizney. Please go ahead.

K. Dizney Thank you everyone for joining us for todayís call. As a reminder Season Three of Portlandia premieres on Friday, January 4th on IFC. Additional information on the show can be found on Thank you all.

Moderator Thank you and ladies and gentlemen, this conference will be made available for replay after 2:30 today through December 16th.

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Page updated 12/15/12

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