Interview with Fiona Gubelmann of "Wilfred" on FX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Interview with Fiona Gubelmann of "Wilfred" on FX 7/5/11.

July 5, 2011/10:30 a.m. PDT
Kristy Silvernail – FX Network, Media Relations Manager
Fiona Gubelmann – “Jenna” on FX’s Wilfred

Moderator Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Wilfred conference call. At this time, all telephone participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, there will be an opportunity for questions; the instructions will be provided at that time. As a reminder, the conference call is being recorded. I’d now like to turn the conference over to our host, Ms. Kristy Silvernail from FX. Please go ahead.

K. Silvernail Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the Wilfred conference call. Before we get started I wanted to take a brief moment and thank all of you for participating, and especially the lovely Fiona Gubelmann for sharing a piece of her vacation with us.

Because we’ve got so many people joining us, we ask that everybody asks one question and a follow up, and then gets back in queue for any other questions you may have.

As you know, Wilfred airs as the first half of FX’s Thursday night comedy lineup at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, followed by Louie at 10:30.

So with that, let’s get started.

Moderator Thank you. Our first question from the line of Amy Harrington with Pop Culture Passionistas; your line is open.

A. Harrington Hi, Fiona. Thanks so much for talking to us today.

F. Gubelmann Hi, Amy. How are you doing?

A. Harrington I’m good. I guess we’ll just start it off by asking how you got involved with the project, what the audition process was like.
F. Gubelmann I got involved through my agents. They actually sent me the audition appointment. So it was just a regular audition and the night before my audition, when I first read the script, I just absolutely fell in love with it. I thought it was so—it was just hilarious. And I didn’t quite get the whole guy in the dog suit thing so I went online and watched some of the Australian version of the show, and then I was like, “Oh my God, this is amazing!” So I went back and reread the script and then the next day went in and had my first audition, and over the period of about three and a half weeks I kept going back and auditioning and eventually did a chemistry test between me, Elijah, and Jason and then tested for the part and was extremely lucky and I booked the show.

A. Harrington Excellent. Well it’s getting great reviews so thanks so much and good luck with it.

F. Gubelmann Thank you so much.

Moderator And a question from the line of Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard. Please go ahead.

J. Ruby Hi. Thanks so much for taking the call. So how did you get started in acting?

F. Gubelmann I got started in acting when I was actually in preschool. I was really into dance and performing and so my mom had me in dance classes, and then I got involved in a local theater company. My first play was The Cabbage Patch Kids, and it was a play/ballet and I didn’t quite do much there, but I grew up doing community theater and doing drama camp in the summers and being active in the drama department at my school. And then I went to UCLA, actually as pre-med, and when I was there my freshman year I auditioned for a play and got in and I was so passionate and I just loved acting so much that I decided to switch majors and pursue acting, just kind of—I was young, not married, didn’t have kids and I was like, why not just try for something now and just see what happens while nothing’s tying me down. And I’ve been fortunate since I graduated to work in the industry and keep on working.

J. Ruby Okay, great. And as a followup, what do you find the most challenging about your role? I apologize for the dog barking.

F. Gubelmann What do I find most challenging about my role or about the industry? I would say what I find most challenging about my role is just making sure
that I’m aware of my relationship to Wilfred and that I am treating him like an actual dog. At first it was difficult because I had to tune out Jason, not hear what he was saying, and just keep focused on Elijah and our conversation. But as the season progressed we would all become such good friends that it was so hard to keep a straight face and not crack up when Jason is trying to distract me or he’s asking questions, so I would definitely say that would be the most challenging part.

Moderator Alright. Thank you. And we go next to the line of Linda Siede with Please go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hi, Linda.

L. Siede Hi, Fiona. You’ve done a lot of work in the comedy genre with stars like Paul Reiser on his show and David Duchovny on Californication. But you’ve also worked on dramas like CSI New York and The Closer. Do you prefer comedy over drama?

F. Gubelmann That’s a tough one. I definitely prefer working in comedy over drama, but at the same time when it comes to comedy I tend to prefer comedies that have a great sense of truth to them and come from an honest place. I have a dark sense of humor and I definitely like to work on stuff like that. I do enjoy working in comedies where I can create a fun and broad character, but as far as a job that I like to do over a long period of time, I tend to like it to be more of a—I tend to prefer the comedy …. One of my favorite comedies is Groundhog Day or Scrooged—I mean, I love Bill Murray and I think he’s a great example of an actor who is funny but he ….

L. Siede He is a great actor. I have to agree with you there. Tell me, are we going to see a romantic relationship develop between you and Ryan?

F. Gubelmann Yes, you definitely will see a relationship forming between Ryan and Jenna. There’s definitely chemistry there. But I think part of Jenna’s journey throughout the series is she has everything together in her professional life, like she’s very focused on what she wants, but when it comes to her personal life she has some growing to do and she really has some decisions to make and things to figure out.

L. Siede Okay. Good, thank you very much.

F. Gubelmann You’re welcome.

Moderator And we go to Curt Wagner with RedEye. Please go ahead.

C. Wagner Hi, Fiona.

F. Gubelmann Hi, Curt.

C. Wagner It was nice chatting with you on Twitter the other day.

F. Gubelmann Oh, thank you. I’m having so much fun with Twitter.

C. Wagner Yes. First of all I wanted to say thank God Jenna does not have a ....

F. Gubelmann I know. Thank God.

C. Wagner And speaking of that, I was wondering if you could sort of talk a little bit about Jason, kind of—he’s a very unique individual. I had interviewed him and could you talk about, sort of his sense of humor and sort of meeting him for the first time and what it’s like later on in the season, how it was, like off camera?

F. Gubelmann Okay.

C. Wagner And sort of the experience of hanging out with him and everything. He fascinates me.

F. Gubelmann Jason is a very fascinating person. Jason, he’s a creative genius and a complete goofball. When I first met him we instantly hit it off. We have a lot in common and we’re both animal …, we both work with cat rescue and we both have a dark sense of humor, so we quickly became good friends and … instantly felt comfortable.

Moderator I’m sorry. This is the operator. We weren’t hearing some of your conversation. It was breaking up, I’m sorry.

F. Gubelmann Oh, okay. That’s okay. Where would you like me to go back to?

C. Wagner The last I heard was cat rescue.

F. Gubelmann Oh yes. So Jason and I, we instantly hit it off and became great friends. You know, there’s a lot of banter between us and he’s very witty. He’s constantly being silly and making jokes, but at the same time he’s a really, really good person. He’s got a great heart and he cares a lot about people, so it’s so much fun getting to work with him and just getting to hang out with him too. I mean he’s got a lot of sides to him and you know whether he likes going hiking or he’ll love to go out dancing, he’s got a lot of interests and a lot of passions and I’ve learned a lot from him in that aspect.

And it’s great too, I think our chemistry really shows in the relationship between Jenna and Wilfred. You know, he calls me his older little sister and I think we definitely have fun messing with each other on set. And between him, me, and Elijah there’s a lot of banter on set and … never had brothers growing up, but I feel like Jason and Elijah are my brothers.

C. Wagner Alright, cool. Alright, great. Well I will dial back in for another question.

F. Gubelmann Oh, great. Thanks.

Moderator Thanks. We’ll go to Jim Halterman with Please go ahead.

J. Halterman Hi, Fiona. Thanks for your time.

F. Gubelmann Oh, of course. How are you?

J. Halterman I’m good. I’m good, thanks. I wanted to know, what’s going to happen with the little love triangle we have forming since we met Drew? What can you expect to see coming up with that?

F. Gubelmann Without giving too much away I can say that there’s going to be a lot of funny interactions between Drew and Ryan. There’s definitely going to be some competition going on and some fun things that are going to happen as a result of that. And I think you’re also going to see Jenna realizing that she doesn’t quite know what she wants and she doesn’t quite have as good of a grasp on her personal life as she thought she had and she’s going to have to make some tough decisions. And whether or not she makes the right decisions is really yet to be seen.

J. Halterman The show’s premiered now and people are watching and really enjoying it, but were you concerned early on that maybe people wouldn’t get it? Because it is kind of a unique concept and definitely takes a little imagination.

F. Gubelmann Yes, I was definitely nervous—or I shouldn’t say nervous. I was very excited and anxious to see how people would react to Wilfred. Well the first time I read the script—or when I first read the script I thought it was amazing. I thought it was hilarious and brilliant, unique; unlike anything out there. And I was just drawn to it, and I just was very curious to see how people reacted to it because I love it. When I saw the pilot I couldn’t stop laughing and I knew we had created something incredible, but at the same time how that would be received was something that I definitely have had some anxiety about and just nerves. And you know, when you love something so much you want to see it do well. And sometimes the most incredible shows don’t do well because they’re ahead of their time or people just don’t get into it quickly enough. Arrested Development was one of my favorite shows and that only lasted three seasons, and so I was definitely a little nervous about that.

But it’s also been really exciting. I love seeing how people react to the show, love seeing their excitement and their curiosity and it’s so much fun relating to people on Twitter because I get to really interact with people right as they’re watching it and I get to see the lines and the moments that they find funny, and it’s also interesting when people are like, “I don’t get it. Is it like this or like that?” And my only advice to people is just don’t take it too … enjoy it and just—I hope they—

J. Halterman That’s great. Well, continued success. Thanks so much.

F. Gubelmann Thank you so much.

Moderator And we go to Lena Lamoray with Please go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hi.

L. Lamoray Hi, Fiona. I love the show.

F. Gubelmann Oh, thank you so much. I’ve enjoyed seeing your tweets.

L. Lamoray Now Wilfred has tons of amazing guest stars—

F. Gubelmann I’m sorry?

L. Lamoray Wilfred has tons of amazing guest stars. Could you talk about a couple of your favorites? And I think a Matt Damon appearance is a must.

F. Gubelmann Oh, okay. First of all, we have to have Matt Damon on the show. I am a huge fan of his and I have told the writers and producers if they want to bring Matt Damon on as a love interest for Jenna, I am totally willing to take one for the team and do it. I’m just a huge fan of his and it would be incredible to have him on the show. … I’ve enjoyed watching him on 30 Rock this past year, so I definitely think Matt Damon on Wilfred is a must.

But we have been so incredibly lucky with our guest cast. We have had just a tremendous amount of talented, funny, kind people on the show and we all have been like, “We want everyone back.” But I would definitely say in terms of my favorites, or just the people that I’ve gotten to know the best, I really enjoyed working with Chris Klein, an incredible guy, very funny, very sweet, and we definitely crack each other up all the time. When we’re off … much fun. And Mary Steenburgen is—what an incredible woman. She is extremely talented, she’s got a huge heart, and she still keeps in touch with us so that’s been really fun, and I also loved meeting Rashida Jones. She is just—I was blown away by meeting her. She’s incredibly intelligent. She grew up in the industry and is so kind, and there’s just no airs about her. She’s just such a humble, beautiful person inside and out and I really admire her as an actress. So, those are probably the three that stand out in my mind.

L. Lamoray Thank you so much.

Moderator And our next question from the line of Jordan Commander with Thick Magazine. Please go ahead.

J. Commander Hi ….

F. Gubelmann Hi, Jordan.

J. Commander So I just wanted to ask what the difference you thought—the major differences, I guess, were between the North American show and the original Australian show.

F. Gubelmann You know I actually haven’t seen much of the Australian …

J. Commander Oh, sorry. You’re cutting out there.

F. Gubelmann … we’re trying to create a completely different show and we didn’t want to be influenced by the Australian version and actually put in a request …

J. Commander I think I got mostly what you said there.

K. Silvernail Hey Fiona, you’re cutting out really, really horribly. Fiona, are you still there?

Moderator This is the operator. We do show that her line is connected but she is breaking up.

K. Silvernail Okay, Fiona can you hear us? Because your line is breaking up so badly we can’t hear you.

F. Gubelmann Oh, okay. I know I’m—

K. Silvernail It’s fine right now.

F. Gubelmann Is it okay right now?

K. Silvernail It is. So if you have your arm raised in the air and a leg extended to the side, stay there.

F. Gubelmann I won’t move. I’m sorry. I’m talking on a landline, too. But I think it’s just where I’m staying. I don’t have good reception. I apologize.

K. Silvernail No, it’s okay. Can we re-answer that question? Because we didn’t hear it.

F. Gubelmann Sure, yes. I apologize. I was saying that I actually haven’t seen the Australian version of Wilfred because I wanted to wait until I finished shooting the first season to watch it because our show is very different and we knew we were creating something very different so I didn’t want to be influenced by that show. That being said, I do know that the Australian version focuses on the relationship of the Wilfred/Ryan/Jenna characters, while the American one is more of a buddy comedy between Wilfred and Ryan, so I know that’s a difference there.

J. Commander Okay. And as a followup, sort of a little bit of a different followup, if this was maybe a parallel universe and the concept was similar, except it was a cat and it was a female comedian, take a … but who would it be for you?

F. Gubelmann Who would play the cat?

J. Commander Yes.

F. Gubelmann I would love to see Sarah Silverman play a cat—

J. Commander That’s exactly what I thought.

F. Gubelmann I’m a huge fan of hers.

J. Commander Thanks, Fiona.

Moderator Thank you. We go next to Lindsey Turner with Pop Culture Madness. Please go ahead.

L. Turner Hi, Fiona. Thanks for talking to us.

F. Gubelmann Of course. How are you?

L. Turner I’m good. We know that the plot is based around Ryan and he’s a young suicidal man who is struggling in the beginning. So what do you think the life lessons and inspirational messages are that the show offers to viewers?

F. Gubelmann Well I think what’s really incredible about the show is that at first glance you see, oh it’s a silly comedy. There is a guy in a dog suit with witty lines being thrown about, but what’s really neat is every lesson—or every episode has its own lesson. And I love how at the beginning of each episode there is the quote, and then it fades away and then there’s one word that that episode kind of focuses on. And I think the overall lesson or, I guess, thing that can be learned from the show is just about pursuing what you love in life, pursuing your dreams and really living life to the fullest, and that’s something that I strongly live my life by. I was raised to pursue my passions and pursue the things that I love and to just live life to the fullest, and I think that that is a very prominent message throughout the show and throughout the season.

L. Turner Great. And what have you learned from working with Elijah? Do you think that he has any qualities as an actor that you admire?

F. Gubelmann Elijah is a brilliant and radiant human being. I have learned countless lessons from him, not only as an actor, but as a human being and just as a leader on set. He has so much grace, and he handles tough situations beautifully. He has patience with people. He’s so funny. He always brings this great sense of life and energy and excitement to set and I just—on a professional level he has worked a ton so I see him—when we rehearse, he fully commits to the rehearsal and is in there and is taking it as an opportunity to try out things so that way when we’re ready to shoot, he’s ready to go. So I learned a lot from him in that aspect and it’s great. When you’re on a show and you have—everyone is working long hours and they’re tired and you have the lead actor who is just as exhausted if not more, being positive all the time; taking the time to learn everyone’s name, you know, he really set this incredible tone on set and every day was just a joy working with him.

L. Turner Okay. Thank you so much. Good luck with the show.

F. Gubelmann Oh, thank you.

Moderator And we go next to Sean Guard with Please go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Sean.

S. Guard Hey, Fiona. What’s going on?

F. Gubelmann Ah, not much.

S. Guard During the second episode of the season ,“Trust,” your character acted very much like a man. How much fun was it to take on the tendencies of a guy for those scenes?

F. Gubelmann It was a lot of fun taking on the tendencies of a guy in the episode “Trust.” I had so much fun coming up with all sorts of different ideas and you know, every take we would do something different. So it was so much fun getting to play a guy because I’m very girly naturally, so those are definitely not things that come second nature to me. So I definitely had fun playing around with that and yes, it was a lot of fun.

S. Guard Well you did a pretty good job and it was a lot of fun watching it.

F. Gubelmann Oh thank you so much. I really appreciate that.

S. Guard Well, thanks for your time. Appreciate it.

Moderator And we go to Amy Curtis with Please go ahead.

A. Curtis Hi.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Amy.

A. Curtis Since Jason Gann starred in the original Australian version of Wilfred, and I know you said that there were differences in the shows, but does he ever try to give you pointers on your characters, Jenna and Ryan, or do you go to him for any kind of consultation?

F. Gubelmann You know, I wouldn’t say that he tries to give me pointers in the sense that he’s like, “Well this is how we did it before” on the other show because he really is trying to create something different here, but I definitely—I feel like we collaborate, all of us, on set. I definitely feel—like I grew up doing theater so I’m used to working with people where you can definitely ask another person a question or advice or, “Hey, let’s try it this way” or “What do you think if I did it this way?” and so I definitely feel that we have that collaboration there and I can run things by him or—we’ll run stuff by each other and I really look up to him. I think he’s an incredible artist. He’s so funny, and so I definitely will ask him stuff in terms of, “Oh, how do you think this plays?” or if I’m having—if I’m struggling with something I’ll definitely feel like I can turn to him but he never is like bossing me around or telling me what to do. I mean, it’s definitely—he’s there when I need him for that kind of stuff so it’s great.

A. Curtis And my followup is: Were you given a lot of freedom shaping who Jenna is or was she pretty much fleshed out in the script?

F. Gubelmann No, I definitely feel like I was given a lot of freedom in creating Jenna. Originally I think they wanted—I feel like—well my take on Jenna was I think different than what they originally wanted, and throughout the audition process they ended up changing certain lines and phrasing for me in particular, so I know that like I was—they ended up changing where my character was from. They still kind of brought the Midwest tendencies to my character so they—in the audition process I was saying different things than some of the other girls even. And it was great because I had the show runner and the director, I was working with them, and they really liked my take on her. And I know when it came down to the final testing between me and Dorian for the part of Jenna we were very, very different. We had two completely different takes, so I was definitely given a lot of freedom in creating Jenna.

A. Curtis Great. Well thanks for your time.

F. Gubelmann Thank you.

Moderator We’ll go to Charles Webb with MTV Geek. Please go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Charles.

C. Webb Hi, Fiona. Thanks so much for taking our calls.

F. Gubelmann Of course.

C. Webb You know, the show goes to a lot of dark places, ... and of its absurdity. Can you kind of talk a little bit about that, maintaining that fine balance between humor and darkness.

F. Gubelmann Well I think maintaining a line between dark humor and—I’m sorry, can you repeat that?

C. Webb Sure thing. Just talking about you know that border between the sort of darkness that the character of Ryan goes through and the humor and absurdity of the rest of the show. You know, how do you maintain that fine line? You know, your character’s bright and sunny versus the dark stories going on with Elijah Wood’s character.

F. Gubelmann Well I think it was –you know if you look at a really well written drama, I mean if you get a play by Chekhov I think when it’s done right, three-quarters of it is funny because then when you have the dark moments and you have the hard times they’re even more powerful. And if you look at, like Jenna is a perfect foil to Ryan. She’s pursuing her passions, she’s excited, she’s effervescent, she’s full of life. And in terms of certain aspects she really knows what she wants. And I think that that really helps add a lightness to the show because otherwise it just—it would be too dark. And I think the darkness in the show – there’s darkness in the humor but there’s also darkness in the depths of what people are going through and I think that the balance between the humor and the darkness is just brilliantly crafted by our writers. We are so lucky to have such talented and brilliant writers on staff.

C. Webb Well it really shows. Thank you so much.

F. Gubelmann Of course. Thank you.

Moderator And we go to Ernie Estrella with Please go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Ernie.

E. Estrella Hey, Jenna. No, Hi Fiona.

F. Gubelmann That’s okay.

E. Estrella Talking about balance with the comedy and the darkness, there’s also a balance between the men on the show and you kind of counterbalance, being kind of the main woman on the show. Can you talk a little bit about that?

F. Gubelmann Yes, I think it’s—it’s funny, as I mentioned before there’s definitely a camaraderie and a lot of banter between the three of us. And Jenna is definitely a very feminine quality to their raunchy male kind of adventures, and I definitely feel like I’m the sister on set with the guys. We have a lot of fun playing together, and Jenna is, yes, she definitely brings a softer—God, I’m trying to—it’s a good question. I’m totally drawing a blank here on how to answer this. Yes, I guess she’s like—it’s like the yin and the yang. You have the guys and you have her and the balance between the two creates—oh God, I’m dying here. ....

E. Estrella Will we ever see Jenna kind of go towards that dark and vulgar side? Is that possible?

F. Gubelmann You know, I definitely have a dark sense of humor so I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but how—I don’t think that’s her tendencies. I think she could have moments where, you know, Jenna can get easily frazzled sometimes by situations, and she can get frustrated, so I think in a moment of possibly where she’s just feeling completely trapped or frustrated I think you can see little glimpses or moments of it, but I don’t think that’s her tendency as a character. I think her humor comes from her lightness, her excitement, her—you know, just the way she is with Wilfred. I think the relationship between her and her dog and just the freedom she has with talking to him and being silly, I think that’s where a lot of her humor comes from.

You know, I love just playing and finding different unique ways to relate to Wilfred as Jenna because I personally am like that with my animals, and I enjoy watching the way that people react to the show, in that aspect, when they’re like, “Oh my God, that’s how I am with my dog” or “That’s how I am with my cat.” That’s, I think, where a lot of her humor comes from.

E. Estrella Okay, great. And then as a quick followup, you’re heading back to Delmar, or you’re heading back to San Diego in a couple of weeks for Comic-Con, what’s it going to be like for you and the crew to kind of meet the fans and interact with them?

F. Gubelmann I am so excited to be going to Comic-Con in a few weeks. I cannot wait to meet the fans of the show. It was so neat getting to meet a few of the fans at the premiere of … actually came and … it was really exciting. I love … Twitter and Facebook.

Moderator I’m sorry. This is the operator. You’re breaking up again.

F. Gubelmann Oh, am I? Okay.

Moderator I’m sorry.

F. Gubelmann How’s this? Can you hear me now?

Moderator Yes.

F. Gubelmann Okay, I’m sorry. Where did you hear me up to?

E. Estrella About interacting with social networking and interacting on Twitter.

F. Gubelmann Oh, okay. Yes, I love interacting with fans and followers of Facebook and Twitter because it’s so exciting to see what they love about the show, the moments, the lines. It’s fun to see when people are like, “I just watched this for the third time and I just caught this moment” or “I just saw that” and I love seeing the lines that people are tweeting from the show when—you know, it’s so great. And so I’ve, so far, had such a great time interacting with people and I can’t wait to meet people down at Comic-Con and just see their excitement, because it’s exciting to me to meet people that are as passionate about the show as I am.

E. Estrella Thank you, Fiona.

F. Gubelmann Oh, thanks.

Moderator And we’ll take a question from the line of Lance Carter with Daily Actor. Please, go ahead.

L. Carter Hey, nice talking to you.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Lance. Nice talking to you.

L. Carter So from the time you got the very first call to audition to the time you got the part, how many times did you have to go in to read?

F. Gubelmann I had about six or seven auditions.

L. Carter Wow.

F. Gubelmann Between my first and last, yes. And it was—it was a marathon of auditions, I must say.

L. Carter How long did it take? I mean like weeks or--?

F. Gubelmann It took about three and a half, four weeks to actually—from my first audition to when I finally booked it. And it felt, in that four weeks, like a year had passed.

L. Carter And what is that phone call like, that tells you you got the part?

F. Gubelmann Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Receiving the news that I had booked the part was just overwhelming and exciting and surreal. I had my final audition on Friday and I was told that I wouldn’t know until the following Friday. So over the weekend I was very anxious and stressed out, and Monday morning I was at the gym and I fell off a treadmill and just cut up my leg and I was bleeding and all embarrassed and I was like, “Oh, that’s the universe. It’s telling me I’m not going to get the part.” And I was really, really upset. And I got home and it was 11:30 on Monday and I – and keep in mind I wasn’t supposed to hear anything until Friday – and my agents and managers call and they were totally pretending to be upset and down and they were totally messing with me and they’re like, “You got the part.” And I just fell on the floor. I fell on the floor and I was speechless and I was crying and laughing and I was just—it was one of the most incredible moments in my life. Just utter surprise and excitement.

L. Carter Well, that’s a great story. Thank you so much. I love the show, too.

F. Gubelmann Oh, thank you so much.

Moderator And let’s go back to Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard. Please, go ahead.

J. Ruby Hi, again.

F. Gubelmann Hey.

J. Ruby So you talked—you know obviously working with Elijah and Jason, but what was kind of like the first scenes you filmed together? Like, were you really nervous going into that or did you find it easy?

F. Gubelmann Well you know the first time I actually interacted with Jason and Elijah was in a chemistry read where we worked for an hour, during the audition process, and rehearsed the scenes with the director and the show runner and kind of blocked it out for the final network test. And I was really nervous before I got there, but Jason and Elijah were so kind and so helpful that my nerves just went away and there was such a great sense of play and fun. And we were instantly like—it felt like little kids on the first day of school. We were just like asking each other questions and just having so much fun and politely teasing each other, and it was great.

So the first day of shooting I was terrified. I still couldn’t believe that I had booked the show and that it was all really happening, but at the same time it was so much fun. And the scene we shot was one of my audition scenes that I had worked on for a month, and then we rehearsed it in rehearsals before shooting the pilot, so we’d worked on it a bazillion times but it was still just so—it was so fun.

And during the shoot, you know we were so excited and Jason and I kept missing our marks. And it was so funny because, you know, we both had nerves and we were both excited and they kept having to reshoot this one take because we wouldn’t hit our lines and then we would just start cracking each other up. After we finished that scene I just had this overwhelming wave of excitement and I was like, “This is real. This is really happening” and that was probably my favorite scene to shoot, and it was my favorite day of shooting because everything felt real and like this was really happening, so—

J. Ruby Great. And as a followup, what have you learned about yourself since you starting filming the series?

F. Gubelmann What I’ve learned about myself is just how much I love acting. I mean, I thought I loved it before but I am so happy each and every day that I come to set, and I’ll be there some days, you know 12 hours, and it feels like five minutes have gone by.

And I’ve also learned the importance of speaking up for myself and voicing my opinions and my ideas. I’m definitely a shy person and working with Elijah, who has years and years and years of experience and is an actor that I’ve always admired, and you have Jason who also has years of experience, created the show, created the character in Australia and has been working on it for 10 years, I would sometimes be nervous to voice an idea for a joke or for a way we should do a scene and I just—I definitely, through watching the way they interacted and their support and encouragement, I have learned to be more vocal when it comes to my ideas and my choices as an artist.

J. Ruby Okay. Thank you so much.

F. Gubelmann Thanks.

Moderator And we have a question from the line of Sheldon Wiebe with Please, go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Sheldon.

S. Wiebe Hey, Fiona. How’s it going?

F. Gubelmann I’m good, thanks. How are you?

S. Wiebe Well I finally got through and nobody asked this question so I have one.

F. Gubelmann Yay!

S. Wiebe Each episode of the show focuses on a single aspect of the human condition, like happiness or trust, and opens with a quote, like the Mark Twain quote on the premiere, “Happiness and sanity are not compatible conditions” or something to that effect.

F. Gubelmann I love that, yes.

S. Wiebe What do you think of that device, and is there a quote and/or episode that has become your favorite?

F. Gubelmann I love the device of using a quote at the beginning of each episode, and how one word remains as the quote fades away and that’s what the episode is about. I love that. I think it’s brilliant.

And, oh God, my favorite episode, I’m trying to think of which one. You know, I don’t know if I have a favorite episode, to be honest. Each week I would read the scripts with such excitement and I really love each and every episode for different reasons. I mean, even the episodes that I’m not in I read with just as much excitement and enthusiasm and the writing is so genius and unexpected and during each episode that I would read there’d at least be one thing that would surprise me, and so I honestly, I don’t believe I have a favorite episode. I just know that as the season continues to grow I think they just get better and better.

S. Wiebe Well, I’ve seen the first three episodes on the screener that was provided and I thought they were all quite brilliant, so I think I agree with that whole statement--

F. Gubelmann Oh, thank you. Yes, I mean, we’re so lucky we have such an incredible group of people working together. You know, David Zuckerman, our show runner, Randall Einhorn, the director, we have just incredible writers, the cast, and everyone brings so much and I just feel so blessed to be working with such a great group of people.

S. Wiebe Well thank you for your time and continued success with the show.

F. Gubelmann Thank you so much.

Moderator And a question from Jordan Commander with Thick Magazine. Please, go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Jordan.

J. Commander Hey. It made me think of it with somebody asking about the Comic-Con there, you know you’ve done a lot of different TV, a lot of range, so would you be interested in doing a superhero show, say, after Wilfred?

F. Gubelmann I would definitely be interested in doing a superhero show or movie. My favorite types of genre, and the ones I hope to really make a career out of, are—I love comedy, I like dark comedy, and I also love fantasy, science fiction. You know, some of my favorite directors are Guillermo del Toro, J.J. Abrams, Tim Burton, and I just—I love projects that are just out there and unique and where unexpected things happen, so I definitely, I love superhero stuff. I just saw X-Men, the new one, and it was amazing, so much fun.

J. Commander Okay. As a little follow up, if you had the option to just play absolutely any superheroine that you wanted, who would it be?

F. Gubelmann If I could play any superhero—I’m trying to think. I’d probably want to play Wonder Woman. She’s pretty awesome.

J. Commander Okay. Thank you.

F. Gubelmann Thanks.

Moderator And we go to Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard; your line is open.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Jamie.

J. Ruby Hi. You just talked about, obviously the kind of different shows and that that you like to play. Is there any specific type of role, besides superheroes, that you’d love to play or maybe somebody specifically that you’d like to work with?

F. Gubelmann Well, I would love to work with Guillermo del Toro and J.J. Abrams. I think they are creative geniuses that are constantly producing great work and they’re two people that I would just love to work with. In terms of a character, I would love to play a fairy. I think that would be really fun. I got to play a woodland fairy for a brief second in Blades of Glory and I just—I had so much fun getting in hair and makeup, getting the costume on. I just thought it was so much fun. So I definitely would like to play a fairy again. And you know just roles where I get to wear cool costumes, things like that I’m definitely excited about. And I love Game of Thrones, you know, something like that.

J. Ruby Awesome. So, would--

F. Gubelmann I’m totally a dork.

J. Ruby No, it sounds like fun, though. Would you ever be interested in doing something behind the scenes, like writing or directing, or are you just sticking with acting?

F. Gubelmann You know, acting is where my heart is. I love acting. You know, maybe down the road I can see myself being part of the creative process, but acting is definitely my first and true love.

J. Ruby Alright. Got it. Well, thank you.

F. Gubelmann Thank you.

Moderator And another question from Jordan Commander with Thick Magazine. Please, go ahead.

J. Commander Oh, sorry. That was quick. I was also just wanting to ask about when you’re dealing with the dog, is there anything that you do to sort of really imagine him as the dog and sort of bypass the human being?

F. Gubelmann Well when working with Jason sometimes I really have to avoid looking him in the eyes because we’ve become such good friends that sometimes I’ll look at him and I’ll start cracking up or I’ll start relating to him like my friend. So whenever I get the script and I have interactions with Wilfred what I do is I think, “Okay, in this situation, what’s going to work best? Do I hear Wilfred? Is he barking? Is he panting? Is he whining? What is he doing when he’s speaking?” Because I have to know what I see in the reality first and foremost, and what’s going to help with the scene that’s not going to kill the timing. And whenever I’m not sure I can easily ask Randall, our director, or sometimes I’ll talk to Jason about it and we’ll kind of play around.

And then the other thing I do is I look at each situation and I think about how do I really interact with my own pets? How am I with my cats, my family’s dogs, in those situations? And I just try to find truth in those moments and then bring that to how I interact with Wilfred. And yes, I really do sing to my animals and talk to them and have conversations with them, so—

J. Commander Well thanks again for the time and sorry to keep asking questions here. It seems like maybe I’m one of the last ones on.

F. Gubelmann Oh, no worries.

J. Commander Okay, bye.

Moderator And we go to Ernie Estrella with Please, go ahead.

E. Estrella Hi, Fiona.

F. Gubelmann Hey.

E. Estrella One more. I’ve got a question about, if you could get inside Jenna’s head for a little bit, and even though she can’t hear Wilfred talk – if she could hear, do you think that she would kind of buy his—I guess his act or his lines? Or do you think that—like Ryan has a very openness to whatever it is that Wilfred is saying. Do you think Jenna would react the same way?

F. Gubelmann I think Jenna would react differently than Ryan to Wilfred if she could actually hear what Wilfred’s saying. Jenna was raised with a bunch of brothers, so Jenna definitely has a no-nonsense attitude, and when Wilfred’s acting like a baby or is being a little bit of a snot I think she would whip him into shape. And she definitely worries about him and she definitely—he is her baby, but she definitely has some no-nonsense sensibilities to her, so I think she would put Wilfred in his place.

E. Estrella Now do you think—if she could hear what he would say, would she keep Wilfred? Even, you know how vulgar and how raunchy he is?

F. Gubelmann If Jenna could hear Wilfred’s thoughts she’d probably wash out his mouth with some soap. And she’d probably laugh at some of it, too.

E. Estrella Great. Thank you very much.

F. Gubelmann You’re welcome.

Moderator We go to Curt Wagner with RedEye. Please, go ahead.

F. Gubelmann Hey, Curt.

C. Wagner Hey. Although Wilfred is totally loyal and in love with Jenna, so—

F. Gubelmann Yes, exactly.

C. Wagner So, when I was talking to Jason he mentioned—we were going off one of, sort of, Wilfred’s little bits of wisdom from last week’s episode, and I won’t say what it is but he said that he basically told me that of all of his cast mates you’re kind of fun to follow behind.

F. Gubelmann Oh, I read that article.

C. Wagner And I was just wondering, what is your sort of favorite Wilfred wisdom or which one resonates the most with you?

F. Gubelmann The Wilfred pearls of wisdom? Carne diem. You know, you’ve got to seize the day, you really do. That’s something I really believe. You only have today, and you really have to live it to your fullest and you can’t hold back. So that’s something I try to remember each and every day.

C. Wagner Alright.

F. Gubelmann But I’m a vegetarian so I don’t know if it would be carne diem.

C. Wagner Yes, we’d have to come up with something else for you—

F. Gubelmann Maybe carrot diem?

C. Wagner Alright, cool. Thank you.

Moderator A question or comment from Jamie Ruby with Media Boulevard. Please, go ahead.

J. Ruby I was just going to say you obviously have so much fun working on the show and everything. Is there a particularly funny moment you can think of, maybe a prank that somebody pulled or just something really funny that happened while you were working?

F. Gubelmann I’d say there’s two particularly funny moments. One was when—and they’re kind of related, on April Fool’s Day I brought this plastic dog poo to set and taped it to the back of Jason because I thought that was really funny, and we were all laughing. But the second funny moment in relation to that, and Jason says this is my karma, is that when I was getting the top stick tape from wardrobe, I actually fell off the wardrobe stairs and ended up bruising the entire left side of my bum and it turned black, like it was really badly bruised, and a few days later I had to shoot a scene in a bikini and makeup couldn’t even cover it, it was that bad. And everyone on set just thought it was hilarious, so it was kind of my karma, according to Jason, for trying to put dog poo on his suit.

J. Ruby He should just be glad it was plastic.

F. Gubelmann Yes, exactly.

J. Ruby So do you have any advice for actors, or people who want to be an actor?

F. Gubelmann Any advice? I have so much advice. If you want to pursue acting I think one of the most important things to remember is to just be yourself and to stay honest to yourself and your ideas and your creativity and just remember who you are, and to bring that to your work. Because it’s so easy to not do that.

J. Ruby Alright, great. Thank you so much.

Moderator And we have no further questions. I’ll turn it back for any closing remarks.

K. Silvernail Alright. Thanks, everybody, for joining us today and you too, Fiona, you’re awesome.

F. Gubelmann Of course.

K. Silvernail As a reminder, Wilfred airs Thursday nights at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific and I can be reached at 310-369-3699 should any of you have any lingering questions. And with that I think we’re good, so you may all now disconnect.

F. Gubelmann Thank you so much.

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