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By Suzanne

Jason Lee in "Raising Hope"

Interview with Jason Lee, guest-starring in "Raising Hope" Tuesday, 11/30

Jason Lee seemed like such a nice guy on this conference call. Really down-to-earth, not at all like someone who's been in many amazing movies and starred in a few hit TV shows.

I first saw him in the movie "Dogma" with Kevin Smith. That was a very funny movie, and Lee reminded me of someone I know there. I then watched "Chasing Amy", where he played a comic book geek, and he was just great in that, too.  Two very different roles, both directed by Kevin Smith.  Then of course he became a big TV star with "My Name Is Earl" and now "Memphis Beat". I urge you to check him out on his guest-starring appearance on "Raising Hope" on FOX because it is sure to be great.

FBC PUBLICITY: Raising Hope Conference Call with Jason Lee
November 29, 2010/12:00 p.m. PST
Jennifer Sprague Ė FBC Publicity
Jason Lee Ė Smokey Floyd, Raising Hope


Moderator Welcome to the Raising Hope Conference call with Jason Lee. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. There will be an opportunity for questions, and instructions will be given at that time.
Iíd now like to turn the conference over to your host Ms. Jennifer Sprague.

J. Sprague Hi all, thank you for joining us today for the Raising Hope Conference call with guest start Jason Lee who plays rock star Smokey Floyd in the all-new episode ďBurt RocksĒ that airs tomorrow Tuesday, November 30th at 9/8 Central on Fox.
At this time, Iím going to turn the call over to Jason, and Rachel weíll begin with the first question.

Moderator The first question comes from the line of Daedrian McNaughton of Premier Guide Miami.

D. McNaughton Was Memphis Beat a preparation for this role as Smokey Floyd, and will Smokey be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?

J. Lee I think he thinks he will be but clearly he will not be.

D. McNaughton Was Memphis Beat a preparation for this role for you?

J. Lee Maybe it was. I was comfortable as Smokey on stage in the episode, so maybe all those episodes of performing in Memphis Beat prepared me. Thatís certainly two totally different characters, one likable and the other one just an idiot.

D. McNaughton So tell us, we know that you love comedy, what was it that drew you to Raising Hope for this role?

J. Lee Well certainly Memphis Beat has been a little bit more dramatic, and it was nice to kind of go from that and put a wig on and some make-up and just act kind of a mess. It was sort of a reunion because a lot of the crew on Raising Hope came from Earl. It was just amazing to kind of just be done with Memphis Beat for a bit and reunite with Greg Garcia and a lot of the writers and crew members and just go and have fun and improvise and just kind of goof off. It was like kind of going back to camp and getting to play and have fun for a few days. It was really, really, really fun.

D. McNaughton Youíre with one of the funniest casts or group of people including Cloris. What do you make of your cast mates and Cloris in particular?

J. Lee They are all extremely talented. The thing that I can say the most is just how strange it was to go to a set that felt like I was on the set of Earl because so many of the crew members were the same, Greg Garcia was there everything, but it wasnít my show. It was very strange. Iím looking around and Iím looking at the actors and it was their own well-oiled machine. It was sort of their own and to have a show that felt very much like Earl in that everybody got along. It was just good solid people, really talented actors. Everybody was very light hearted and genuinely just having a great time on set. It made me miss Earl a lot, and just really talented people and Lucas Neff, the main kid, itís his first gig and he was very humbled by it. I just got a really good vibe. Greg surrounds himself with really good people, and I think, no pun intended, but I think Raising Hope has a lot of good karma.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Danielle Turchiano of L.A. Examiner.

D. Turchiano I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about Smokey in your own words.

J. Lee Heís just one of those guys Ö but thinks heís really something special. As a result you kind of feel for him more than you hate him, but heís certainly very obnoxious and annoying and completely full of himself. But I tend to like to play characters that have some likeability even if they are just jerks. It allowed me to be really silly with him and just the way I carried myself and the wardrobe and the hair. I mean it was sort of like doing an SNL skit, but with any kind of acting you try to ground it in some degree of humanity. I like that the episode is very redeeming with this jerk who comes along and kind of screws things up. I like that like with all of Greg Garciaís work itís very redeeming.

D. Turchiano How was it for you to perform with Garret because I talked to him a few weeks ago and he was talking about how he has a background in music, and he really loves the chance to get to be up there on the stage. Was that something that was fun for you? Was that like a dream to play this rock star?

J. Lee I mean look you certainly dream about playing in the produce section of a small grocery store, you know what I mean, and I finally got there. Almost Famous was just the tip of the iceberg. Now with Smokey Floyd, that just sends it right over the edge.

Moderator Next question comes from the line of Henry Hanks,

H. Hanks You talked about the good vibe you felt from going on the set Raising Hope. Do you see yourself then wanting to get more into doing these half hour comedies more in the future?

J. Lee It certainly made me miss what I had on Earl, which was a very hectic schedule. It was a lot of work. Being away from it you miss things when you donít have them anymore certainly. Iím coming back and seeing all these people, Greg Garcia, and seeing all this Earl memorabilia in his office and this new world that heís created but it feels very much like Earl its got the same kind of heart to it and it certainly made me miss it in a big, big way. I said to Greg ďIf you do this again, I want back in.Ē I would do it again yes.

H. Hanks Did you go into this having some thoughts on what kind of character you would like to play on Raising Hope or was the character given to you at the time oró?

J. Lee No. Greg Garcia just called me and said, ďIíve got this obnoxious rock star who we see in the Ď80s and we see in present day. Are you into playing him?Ē and I said ďabsolutely.Ē It was pretty simple.

H. Hanks Did you see this wanting to be this different take on a character away from My Name is Earl or wanting to Ö character different?

J. Lee You always want that. I mean I have never played an older aging hair metal rock star before, or pseudo rock star I should say, or want-to-be rock star. So you want to try different things. We both knew that he would be a hair metal guy. Would be the most colorful and fun and obnoxious if you were just an over-the-top hair metal guy, totally full of himself and what that would be like when this guy is older.

I just liked the idea of maintaining, you know those people who maintain the same style once their older, and they donít think they look any worse than they did 30 years prior but they do. He still has the teased-up hair but itís thinning. I mean we just had to go with it. It was just too funny for us that this guyó He wears I think pretty much the same clothes that he was wearing back in the Ď80s because he still thinks heís just as bad ass without really realizing that he looks like a lizard now. We tried to pull as much comedy out of that as we could.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Juana Poareo of

J. Poareo Youíve done quiet a bit of voice work especially in like The Incredibles, Monster House, and in the upcoming Noahís Ark. Is there something about voice work that appeals to you in a different way than acting in front of a camera per say?

J. Lee Iím sure. Itís very Ö itís very different because you donít have your body to work with, at least on camera, to help convey whatever your trying to express, to say, to show you just have your voice. Thatís something that was very interesting to me when I first started doing it with The Incredibles because so much was dependent upon my voice and expressing everything just with the use of my voice. It was kind of a challenge. With acting you get to use your body and facial expressions and whatnot, but with voice, again, itís like I had to be louder, I had to put more emotion to the voice and that alone and that was challenging. I like that side of acting very much.

J. Poareo Weíd also like to know how did you meet Greg Garcia exactly.

J. Lee From My Name is Earl. I had a meeting with him apparently he had wanted me for the role of Earl and I meet with him and Marc Buckland who directed the pilot episode Ö. We just made it work. We got together and we made a pretty darn good show, I think.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Kerri Lee of

K. Lee I work for a trade beauty publication. I kind of want to see if you could walk me through what your hair and makeup transformation was like, and let me know if you were channeling your inner Ronnie James Dio or Dee Snider for this.

J. Lee Well, letís just say I went from badass  to even badderass It was about three hours or so for the process of makeup and the wig. It was a lot of work. I took a photo on my phone, and I sent it to all my friends and everybody freaked out because the makeup was so good. I sort of got a glimpse of what I might look like at that age. It was kind of scary, but it was a trip because Iím certainly not use to having all that stuff on and dressing like that. So Iíd be just be hanging out on the set having a normal conversation with somebody, as I am with you right nowóforgetting the fact that I looked like an aging rock star with ridiculously big gray thinning hairóand people are just looking at me not being able to keep straight face as Iím talking to them about something like my kids. It was weird. It was definitely weird.

K. Lee For my follow up I personally have to know if you had to pick your most memorable character youíve played, would you choose Smokey Floyd? Would you go the ďJoe ColeĒ route from your Sonic Youth video, or my all-time personal fav, Brodie Bruce?

J. Lee Oh man whew.

K. Lee Yes I happened to go old school with the Sonic Youth video, so thatís one of my faves.

J. Lee Yes thatís pretty bad Ö I got to say. I mean that was like my first glimpse of the acting world.

K. Lee That was my first glimpse of you.

J. Lee Yes I mean I got to play dead and I thought I was just awesome. Clearly it was fairly easy work apparently to just lay down and play dead, but I was certainly excited from that point on about the idea of pursuing acting and what would it be like to do more than just lie down and play dead. What would it be like to say lines and things like that, so I think that sort of planted a seed for me?

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Lance Carter, Daily Actor.

L. Carter You pretty much do everything. Do you have a preference: sitcoms, films, or voiceover?

J. Lee No I donít know that I do have a preference because just when I thinkó Exploring Memphis Beat, which we still have more work to do, we have quite a bit more work to do on that show in terms of fine-tuning it and whatnot. Itís been a lot of fun. Just when I think thatís a nice approach to be that different from anything else Iíve done, playing this part on Raising Hope reminds me oh yeah comedy is absolutely the best thing. Iím always back and forth. I think thatís the fun of it. I think if you keep it mixed-up you donít get tired of doing one thing.

L. Carter Whatís your advice to actors?

J. Lee What specifically do you mean?

L. Carter Just you know somebody who moves up to L.A. and wants to give a go at it.

J. Lee I always tell people to certainly do what you feel you want to do versus what people are saying you should do. That helped me. I mean I was absolutely a nobody. I didnít know anything about acting, but I really liked the idea of being in movies and thatís what I pursued. I didnít sort of go with the standard doing commercials and then working my way up to TV, and then eventually if I was lucky working my way into the movies. I kind of just dove head first into it and took the risk. As a result I was sort of rewarded with kind of a great opportunity to work with Kevin Smith and that sort of built from there. I always say just do what you feel you want to do, and try not to listen to too many people.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Mark Stone of ScreenRant.

M. Stone Youíve played the rock star and moon lighting blues singer and now in Raising Hope youíre playing a hair metal rock star. Can you tell us how important music is in your life? Can you maybe expand on what your musical tastes are?

J. Lee Music is something, like I think most people, I listen to every day. I play guitar. Iím always fiddling about on the guitar. I listen to everything from, I guess, classic rock and roll music to John Coltrane, to Hank Williams. I kind of listen to all kinds of music. Itís just a part of how I wake up in the morning and go to bed at night.

M. Stone Is it easier for you to play a musician?

J. Lee I donít know. I think if the musician has to play guitar, it helps that I play a little. I think itís certainly difficult at first because musicians are a special breed. They just kind of let it all hang out and they just go for it. So even with something silly like Smokey Floyd being on stage in the episode, itís like you got to just be willing to just let it all hang out and just not really care because rock stars are sort of the ultimate carefree spirit. Youíve got to keep that in mind and be willing to, in the case of playing Smokey Floyd, make a complete ass out of yourself.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Suzanne Lanoue of TV MegaSite.

S. Lanoue I love Memphis Beat. I never miss an episode of it. Itís coming back, right?

J. Lee Oh yes itís coming back. I think weíre starting up again in February, beginning of March.

S. Lanoue Great, I love that show. I was disappointed, though, that you werenít doing the actual singing.

J. Lee Well what can I say. I wish. I can only do so much at one time. I wish I could sing but I canít do it.

S. Lanoue I figured it was something like that. That you didnít want to have to put all that work into the singing as well as the acting.

J. Lee Itís not easy man. You think about what Elvis did so effortlessly. You got it or you donít and the singing I donít got.

S. Lanoue Do you go out and do Karaoke and things like that or sing at home for fun?

J. Lee I sing a little bit when Iím jamming around on the guitar, but I wouldnít call myself a singer/song writer unfortunately.

S. Lanoue What can fans look forward to on this Raising Hope episode? What would you tell fans to get them to tune in?

J. Lee Well me, again, making a complete ass of myself, and actually quite proudly heavily disguised behind some pretty awesome makeup and hair. You could say its Jeff Bebe, my character from Almost Famous, in a very bizarre comedy world as seen through the eyes of somebody on acid, you might say.

S. Lanoue Thank you. Happy holidays to you.

J. Lee Thank you! You have a happy holiday, too!

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Lena Lamoray of

L. Lamoray When you first read the script, what were your thoughts about Smokey Floyd? Did they change from your gut to really bring him to life in those fancy clothes and makeup?

J. Lee Yes I mean, it was just that I hadnít read the script and Greg Garcia said, ďHeís this hair metal guy that he comes back into his first life in present day.Ē I said, ďI read the script and I said, ĎOh great this guyís a huge jerk.íĒ The minute I put the clothes on, I just started walking around really arrogantly and just kind of being a huge jerk. It became kind of funny. I gave the guy a little bit of a swagger. I just made him just one of those completely full of himself, just ridiculously obnoxious people that you love to hate. It was fun to play.

L. Lamoray When they make a movie about your life who would you like to play you and why?

J. Lee Thatís a great question. Who would I like to play me and why? Wow, nobody has ever asked me that before. Somebody living today, my age or does it matter? I donít know you stumped me. Iím sorry that I donít have a funny or witty comeback for that.

Moderator The next question comes from the line of Jennifer Decker of Digital Airwaves.

J. Decker Raising Hope has been successful with the viewers but were you watching, were you a fan prior to filming the guest spot?

J. Lee Yes Iíve seen every episode, and I really, really like it a lot. I like that all of Gregís characters so far have a real accessibility, an identifiably, and you just liked them at the end of the day, good people Ö up and trying to do good things. I love seeing that. I love that thereís a redeeming quality to it and it allows, just like with Earl, Greg to kind of get a little silly and a little wacky and a little out there and a little obnoxious. He always brings it back around with redemption, and ultimately good people trying to do good things. I think itís a beautiful thing. I think thatís a big part of why the audience responds the way they do to it.

J. Decker Is there any chance this character might become reoccurring within the show?

J. Lee I should hope so. Letís see what my performance looks like at the end of the day and how the audience responds.

J. Decker With My Name is Earl off the air and now youíre doing Memphis Beat and of course this spot on Raising Hope, are there any other projects that youíre working on that we should be looking for in the future?

J. Lee I will be filming Alvin 3 as of January. To the delight of my two children, they are just beside themselves with enthusiasm.

Moderator The final question comes from the line of Mark Stone of ScreenRant.

M. Stone What can you tell us about the pilot your writing for Adult Swim?

J. Lee Oh it takes place in the skateboarding world. Iím starring in it and directing the pilot episode actually in December, so weíre gearing up to do that. At Adult Swim, theyíre doing an 11-minute live action episodic comedy series now, and ours, hopefully if we get picked up, will be one of them. Itís very twisted. Itís very out there being that itís Adult Swim, but Iím very proud that it takes place in the world of skateboarding because not much is done in that world. So I get to play with that, and itís pretty out there. Weíre gearing up to shoot that in literally just a few weeks, so fingers crossed.

J. Sprague Thanks everybody for joining us today. As a reminder Jasonís episode of Raising Hope will air tomorrow at 9/8 Central on Fox. At this time, Rachel will provide you with playback information. Thanks.



(ďSmokey FloydĒ on RAISING HOPE)

With a flourishing career that includes an Independent Spirit Award for his performance in writer-director Kevin Smithís ďChasing AmyĒ and memorable roles in multiple features for such directors as Smith, Cameron Crowe and Lawrence Kasdan, Jason Lee has solidly established himself among critics, directors and peers. Lee starred in and produced the half-hour comedy series ďMy Name is Earl,Ē and received two Golden Globe nominations and two SAG Award nominations for his role. Lee also plays ďDaveĒ in the ďAlvin and the ChipmunksĒ movies. Currently, he is in production on ďMemphis Beat,Ē and is co-writing a pilot for Adult Swim. Lee is a professional photographer, as well as an avid supporter and collector of the arts. He is also actively involved with his skateboard company, Stereo Sound Agency, which recently celebrated its 15-year anniversary.


 ďBurt RocksĒ airs Tuesday, Nov. 30 9:01/8:01c on FOX


Jason Lee (ďMy Name is EarlĒ) Guest-Stars

Burt gave up on his teenage dreams of being a rock star because he was a parent. Jimmy feels so guilty for ruining his fatherís dream that he gets Burt a second chance to relive his rock fantasy with his music idol, Smokey Floyd (guest star Lee), at the upcoming Grocery-Palooza concert in the all-new ďBurt RocksĒ episode of RAISING HOPE airing Tuesday, Nov. 30 (9:01-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX.

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