Interview with H. Jon Benjamin from "Archer" on FX - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

H. Jon Benjamin

Interview with H. Jon Benjamin of "Archer" on FX 3/30/15

This was a very fun call! Benjamin is always hilarious, as is everyone on the show.

Final Transcript
March 30, 2015/10:00 a.m. PDT

Rosy Baker
H. Jon Benjamin


Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Archer conference call. For the conference, all participants are in a listen-only mode. As a reminder, todayís call is being recorded.
Iíll turn the conference now to Ms. Rosy Baker. Please, go ahead.

Rosy: Hi, everyone, welcome to the Archer conference call with series star H. Jon Benjamin, who plays the role of everyoneís favorite master spy, Agent Sterling Archer. Iíd like to thank all of you for joining us today, and just remind you that this call is for print purposes only, no audio may be used. And as a reminder, Archer concludes its sixth season this Thursday, April 2nd at 10 p.m. only on FX. With that said, letís go ahead and take our first question.

Moderator: And weíll go to Suzanne Lanoue with the The TV MegaSite. Please go ahead.

Suzanne: Morning.

H. Jon: Good morning.

Suzanne: I was wondering with all the things that Archerís done, all the places heís been, is there anything that he hasnít done or anyplace he hasnít been to yet that you would like to see them do in future episodes?

H. Jon: Wow, thereís like nowhere left, right?

Suzanne: Right.

H. Jon: Now heís going inside the human body and I wouldnít have thought of that one. Heís been in space and in the ocean. I'm trying to think, back to the womb? I donít know where else he could go besides, heíd have to reverse time maybe. Time travel?

Suzanne: Yes.

H. Jon: Thatís the only dimension he hasnít covered yet.

Suzanne: Do you like the fact that Archer has gone, over the years, more and more out there and bizarre? Or do you wish it would go back to being more of a regular spy show?

H. Jon: I think actually this season, it sort of did kind of go back to a little bit more of the way it used to be until the finale. But Adam Reed is always trying to push the stories. For sure I think thereís been little elements that have gotten weirder, a little weirder, and more surreal. I think thatís good.

Suzanne: Great. Thanks a lot.

H. Jon: Got to go somewhere.

Suzanne: Thanks.

Moderator: Our next question is from Karen Moul, with SciFiVision. Please go ahead.

Karen: Hi, thanks for taking the time for us this week.

H. Jon: No problem. I got a pretty open week.

Karen: Good.

H. Jon: But I'm not suggesting we should do this for a week straight.

Karen: Oh no, I had a whole lot of questions planned.

H. Jon: I got to do stuff tomorrow.

Karen: Now that Archer is a dadóin this weekís past episode there was some suggestion that maybe he should be considering his own, the risks he takes in his mortality. And if you can be a dad, should you rein it in? Do you think Archer is thinking about that? Does he have the depth to think about that? Will that be affecting him?

H. Jon: Yes. I think itís evident in the show that heís definitely, itís a consideration for him now. I can only speak from experience, I didnít care about my kid until he was like nine, so heís got time. Thatís maybe not so good to say. But he canít read, heís twelve, so heíll never read this.

I think thereís alwaysó especially considering the way he had his child, he is slowly improving from the last child he had. Progress is slow, but life is pretty short. Archer, I think heís got to pick up the pace as far as self-examining and figuring out how to get his life on track. But I'm not sure that will ever happen in the show. But like I said, heís got some time to while his daughterís still a baby. Maybe try and speed up some actualization.

Karen: Okay, alright. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

H. Jon: Sure.

Moderator: And next we go to Al Mannarino with Please go ahead.

Al: Hi, H. Jon, thank you for doing this.

H. Jon: Of course.

Al: My question is more about friendships with the characters. If they were real life characters, could you see yourself being best friends with any of them if you had to choose?

H. Jon: Oh man, thatís rough. Maybe, I canít see myself hanging out with Archer. That would beó although I have hung with people like him in my past. But at this point I couldnít keep up, and wouldnít want to. I would have to go withó and I'm not going to hang out with Krieger. Iíll go with a safe bet and say Iíll hang out with Cyril, although it wouldnít be that much fun. I could see a movie with him, maybe grab a glass of wine.

Al: I feel like if you hung out with Krieger you might not live.

H. Jon: I donít think anybody would hang out with Krieger, I donít think, right? Youíd just be, like immediately call the cops. And be like, I met a guy whoís just going to kill people.

Al: Thank you so much.

H. Jon: Okay.

Moderator: Our next question is from Anushika Ganegoda with Mike The Fanboy. Please go ahead.

Anushika: Hi Jon, thanks for taking our questions today.

H. Jon: Of course.

Anushika: Is there any talks of them making Archer into a movie? And if so, who would you like to see playing Sterling Archer?

H. Jon: Well, definitely not me. Letís say, Paul Giamatti, he kind of looks like me. No, no, that wouldnít work. I donít know, that a tough one. There is a lot of handsome actors out there. I saw a trailer for the British spy movie thatís coming out recently that had a guy that kind of looks exactly like Archer. He seemed like he had the attitude, I just donít know what his name is. So it can, but you have to figure out who it is for me. I think it is The Man from U.N.C.L.E. That being said, the guy whoís going to be in The Man from U.N.C.L.E, the movie.

Reboot. That being said, thereís certainly been talk about making an animated movie of Archer. I know people have brought it up. I guess that would be up to a consortium of people who would give the money to do it, and I donít mean to make that sound nefarious.

Anushika: I think it would be awesome. Iíll be looking forward to it, if it happens.

H. Jon: Yes, I feel like they would strive to make an animated feature before they would make a live action one. I would think, just because the showís for the fans and the show.

Anushika: Awesome. Thank you so much.

Moderator: Our next question is from Sean Mulvihill with FanboyNation. Please go ahead.

Sean: Hey, Jon, a big fan. You have a bunch of great guest stars throughout Archerís run, is there any chance youíd get someone like Scharpling and Wurster to appear on Archer?

H. Jon: That would be great. Yes, letís see, silly boy Roy on Archer. I see those guys once in a while and itís a good recommendation. Iíd be happy to pass it on. They would be great.

Sean: Archer goes to Newbridge.

H. Jon: Right, right. But yes, Iíll try and make it happen.

Sean: Thanks, Jon. Jon Benjamin Has a Van was also a great show. Thanks, man.

H. Jon: Thank you. Thank you.

Moderator: And weíll go to Walter Witko with Please go ahead.

Walter: Alright. Thank you guys. Jon, what is your favorite season finale from any TV show?

H. Jon: Oh, from any TV show? From any TV show? I sometimes I like to say St. Elsewhere just because itís soó but I didnít really like it. But I think I ironically started to like it and then I talked aboutóand I use it as a reference all the time.

If Iím in any situation where I'm talking about a TV finale, that the whole thing was aó as I remember it, a, St. Elsewhere was a hospital building in a snow globe. And the whole thing was a dream of a boy with mental disabilities. I just thought that was pretty good. So I have to say, I'm dating myself, St. Elsewhere. But letís face it, weíre all going to die.

Walter: Okay, and letís go with the obvious question, what is your favorite Archer season finale?

H. Jon: Oh, wow. I liked the Sealab one. But I think probably my favorite would have been ďArcher ViceĒ, where it wrapped up that whole season arc. I thought that was really smart, and I didnít know what was coming until I read the script. That was cool to figure out why the whole thing was a sideways plot by Malory; which makes total sense considering her character. So I liked that a lot, so Iíll say that one.

Walter: Alright, Jon, thank you very much.

H. Jon: Okay.

Moderator: And we have a follow-up from Karen Moul. Please go ahead.

Karen: Hi. I was wondering if you could give us any little clues or hints about what to expect? This season final is clearly inspired by the movie Fantastic Voyage. And that movie takes some little twists, including a traitor being on board in the original film. I know you canít reveal that, but can you help?

H. Jon: Yes. I'm going to toe the line and say, I canít say whatís going to happen. But mainly because I have no recollection. But letís go with, I canít say.

Karen: Okay.

H. Jon: But I think theyíd both apply.

Karen: So, maybe you can talk about, itís not common for Archer to venture into really pure science fiction. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about what inspired that move and how much fun it was maybe, or not, to work on this episode?

H. Jon: Well no, itís great. I had him read his, sort of ventured into this territory before with the Sealab finale and when they go to space. A lot of some of that stuff comes from allusions to shows and scenarios from fiction that heís liked. Animation allows you to do that.

For Archer, it seems to work. I guess some of the crazy, and he certainly has a science fiction bent. And so whenever he can let that creep in, he does. Certainly not in the first four seasons, but I think now that Archer is getting on in years, itís like heís letting that loose a little bit. I think itís fun. I always like it.

Karen: Great. Thank you very much.

H. Jon: Sure.

Moderator: We have a question from Erin Qualey with Hidden Remote. Please go ahead.

Erin: Oh, hi. Thanks so much for doing this. I've been a huge fan since Dr. Katz. I was just wondering, Sterling Archer has frequently been compared to Buster Bluth from Arrested Development, and there are definitely some differences. But how do you think Archer might react to Buster?

H. Jon: I regrettably have never watched Arrested Development, and I keep meaning to watch it. I had friends who were on it. I know Judy, and my friend David Cross was on it. The only time I watched it was with David Cross and his girlfriend at his house, one episode. I remember being too drunk to recollect what I saw.

But I keep meaning to go back and watch the whole thing, so now I look forward to that. Someday I will watch all the Arrested Developments. So, I know who that is, but I canít speak to the question because I donít know all whatís on. Iíve got to wait to find out who Buster Bluth is.

Erin: Youíre definitely not totally like Archer, but they definitely have, like you mentioned before, going back into the womb. They have a lot of the same mommy issues. So thatíll definitelyó

H. Jon: Who is Buster Bluth? Is it Will Arnettís character, or whoís?

Erin: Heís Tony Hale.

H. Jon: Okay.

Erin: Yes. The youngest Bluth son. Jessica Walter.

H. Jon: Heís a lot more awkward, I assume.

Erin: Oh, yes. Although he does have Army training.

H. Jon: Oh, okay. Well, if thereís just off the top of my head, I would be like, ďArchers so much more arrogant, self-confident, and.Ē Iíll answer your question next year.

Erin: Maybe. Maybe someday. Thank you.

Moderator: We have a follow-up from Anushika Ganegoda. Please go ahead.

Anushika: Hello again. So after learning about all these characters throughout the season, if he gets to switch with one of them for a day, who would it be? Who would you want to voice besides Archer?

H. Jon: From the cast?

Anushika: Yes. If you get to voice anybody else, who would you pick?

H. Jon: Out of the cast, probably Pam. I like Pam. Pam says the craziest sh**, and I'm a big Pam fan. Then Iíd get to do my famous southern accent.

Anushika: Speaking of Pam, do you like Season 5 Pam compared to, back to normal Pam? How do you like that switch from Season 5 to the coke addict Pam?

H. Jon: I like regular Pam the best. I like Pam the way she is. I like office Pam more than crazy coke adult Pam.

Anushika: Cool, thank you so much.

Moderator: We have a question from Catrina Dennis with Moviepilot. Please go ahead.

Catrina: Hi there. I'm going to chime in with that line of people whoíve been fans of yours forever. I've been a fan since before my parents should have known. Iím really excited to be talking to you.

H. Jon: I hope I didnít influence [indiscernible].

Catrina: Following up on all the movie questions, if you could see an animated movie for Archer, what kind of shenanigans and plot would you ideally love the characters to get into? If you could go a one minute pitch.

H. Jon: Wow, thatís a tall task.

Catrina: I have an easier question.

H. Jon: Yes, thatís a tough one, to pitch an Archer movie. I would have to, I feel like I would let Adam Reed do that for me. Iíd go to the meeting and Iíd bring the full cutout version of Archer and stand behind it and talkó

Catrina: That sounds like a good idea.

H. Jon: óto help sell it. But as far as a plot goes, I donít know. Thatís a tough movie to make. I feel like youíd have to really go crazy with like a serious, youíd have to go think really crazy about what mission youíd want to focus on for them.

Catrina: Judy Greer. Oh, sorry, go on.

H. Jon: You have to give me a little time on this.

Catrina: Sorry.

H. Jon: Thatís a big ask. Plus I donít want to ruin it. I donít want to say some dumb idea, and then theyíll never be able to sell the movie because I said that.

Catrina: Fair enough. For a follow-up to that, Judy Greer is going to be in Ant-Man pretty soon. Is there any dream comic book or superhero movie that youíd want to be a part of?

H. Jon: I donít know. I always like Sub-Mariner. Thatís the one movie they never made. Maybe thatís for a reason because nobody likes Sub-Mariner except for me. But I feel like maybe theyíll never make Sub-Mariner. But I would love to be Sub-Mariner, especially with my real body. That would be so weird, be a real Jewish, middle-aged Sub-Mariner.

Catrina: I like it. Iíd pay for that. Thank you so much for your time.

H. Jon: Thanks.

Moderator: And weíll go to Anushika Ganegoda. Please go ahead.

Anushika: Hi, again. Playing Archer, how much of your own personality do you bring into the character?

H. Jon: Well, I donít know. I really donít know. I'm not totally like Archer in real life, although I think I have my moments. I clearly possess some of his qualities. We have the same voice. I can get pretty loud, and mean to people at times. So, sure, I'm definitely a little bit like him. I'm a little more demure in real life. I donít want to get hit. I canít get into a fight, that wouldnít be good for me.

Anushika: Okay, thank you so much.

Rosy: We have time for one last question.

H. Jon: Sure.

Moderator: And weíll go to the line of Sheldon Wiebe with the Please go ahead.

Sheldon: Hi, Jon.

H. Jon: Whatís up Eclipse?

Sheldon: I was just wondering, because no oneó

H. Jon: Thatís a good name for a barber. Eclipse. Sorry; thatís an online barber site.

Sheldon: Sounds good to me. The biggest impact of any single character on the show this season, I think would have been made by the one that hasnít been mentioned at all so far, and thatís Abbiejean. I was just wondering what your thoughts were on how she affected Archer personally.

H. Jon: Yes, I think the underlying plot element in this story, or certainly the underlying emotional element in the story is Abbiejeanís existence. And how it affects Archerís relationship with Lana, which I think is the principal relationship in his life, and the one I think he needs to keep going. I think they did a really good job with it because itís complicated for Archer to change so radically, even when you have a kid.

I think a lot of people think that change is easy, just by the sake of having a kid, but in actuality itís not. Like I said before earlier to somebody, heís making [indiscernible] progress. Hopefully it will catch up, but sheís going to be a mess.

I think if I were to tack on a real life trajectory for Abbiejean, sheíll be a mess. Lana is, compared to Archer, is pretty stable. Sheís probably the most stable character in the whole show.

Sheldon: Thatís true.

H. Jon: And I donít think sheís anything like Malory, so thatís good [audio disruption].

Sheldon: Thanks so much, Jon.

Rosy: Alright guys, thank you all for joining us and participating. And thank you, Jon, we appreciate it.

H. Jon: No problem.

Rosy: Great. And as a reminder, Archerís sixth season concludes this Thursday at 10 p.m. only on FX. You may now all disconnect.

H. Jon: Alright you all.

Rosy: Thanks, everyone.

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