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
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
Iíd now like to turn the conference over to your host Ms. Jennifer
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
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
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
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
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, CNN.com.
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
UPCOMING EPISODE INFORMATION:
RocksĒ airs Tuesday, Nov. 30 9:01/8:01c on FOX
LIVES OUT HIS ROCK-STAR DREAMS ON AN ALL-NEW ďRAISING HOPEĒ TUESDAY,
NOVEMBER 30, ON FOX
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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