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Interview with Elijah Wood of "Wilfred" on
FX NETWORK: Wilfred
July 10, 2014/10:00 a.m. PDT
Kristy Silvernail / Senior Manager, Media Relations, FX
Elijah Wood / “Ryan Newman,” Wilfred
Moderator: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by.
Welcome to the Wilfred conference call. At this time all
participants are in a listen-only mode. Later we will
conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be
given at that time. If you should require assistance during
the call, please press star, then zero. As a reminder, this
conference is being recorded.
I’d now like to turn the conference over to your first
speaker, Ms. Kristy Silvernail. Please go ahead.
Kristy: Good morning, everyone. And welcome to the Wilfred
conference call with series star Elijah Wood, who plays
“Ryan.” We’d like to thank everyone for joining us today and
remind you that this call is for print purposes only. No
audio may be used.
As a reminder, Wilfred airs Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m.
eastern and pacific only on FXX. With that said, let’s go
ahead and take our first question.
Moderator: Thank you. Jamie Ruby with SciFiVision.com. Please
Jamie: Hi, Elijah. Thanks for doing the call. It’s great to
talk to you again.
Elijah: You’re welcome. Hi, how are you?
Jamie: Great, you?
Elijah: Great, thanks.
Jamie: Well, last night’s episode was really, really crazy,
but in the best way. Can you kind of just talk about that
and also “Ryan’s” paranoia because what do you think, like
what is “Ryan” thinking right now? I mean he’s really
confused. And then I’m also curious when you first started
this episode, before you had read through the whole script,
what did you think was going on, just your own opinion?
Elijah: Oh, my God. Well, reading the script, it was honestly
I think my favorite script that I’ve read, maybe in the
entire show. It was so exciting. I read the season kind of
in order and I read like one through three and then I read
four and it just totally blew my mind.
And it’s honestly representative of some of my favorite
elements of the show. When the show can get as surreal and
twisted sort of psychologically as this episode gets it’s
sort of my favorite areas for exploration, especially when
it allows for a visual way to explore sort of psychological
So, it’s one of my favorite episodes and I’m so glad that we
were able to not only do it, but also one of the things, and
I don’t know if this was clear, but we ended up shooting,
once you get to really trippy we actually shot primarily all
of that with anamorphic lenses, which was a real treat for
us because typically we’re shooting on times with our DSLRs
and to be able to utilize the anamorphic wide screen was
really exciting on a nerdy level for all of us.
And it was kind of cool, actually, we got these amazing
anamorphic lenses and then apparently when we were finished
using them they ended up going off to Star Wars, which is
kind of awesome. Yeah, it’s totally awesome. But I don’t
know if I have an answer for what I think “Ryan” is
You know, the thing that kind of blew my mind about the
particular episode is that we actually delve into so many
things that I think we as viewers, and to a certain degree
“Ryan,” is concerned with, which is like seeing “Wilfred”
step out of his suit. Basically, articulating all these
things that are sort of deep in “Ryan’s” psyche, seeing them
actually play out and to be able to come back from that as
just something that he imagined in the hallucination is
And I think ultimately what it is it’s a manifestation of
his own psychological concerns and fears more than anything.
It plays to his paranoia about what “Wilfred” is in its
deepest sense really and allows us because it’s a mind trip,
it’s a hallucination that allows us the ability to really
delve into that and play with it, which was a blast.
Jamie: Great. Well, thank you so much. I really loved the
Elijah: Oh, you’re welcome. Thank you.
Moderator: And we’ll go to the line of Kyle Wilson with Nerd
Repository. Please go ahead.
Kyle: Hey, man, how’s it going?
Elijah: Good, how are you?
Kyle: I’m doing good. So, what do you think five, six years
down the road the legacy of Wilfred will be and do you think
that’s contingent on how the series finale is received?
Elijah: Ooh, good question, man. Honestly, I’ve not given
much thought to that, but yeah, I think to a certain degree,
I think Wilfred is a show that in some ways was always
designed to be enjoyed as individual episodic television so
that each piece could be enjoyed into itself or unto itself,
whilst a deeper enjoyment can be gleaned from the whole, if
you will. So, I still hear from people that go back and
watch the first two or three seasons and enjoy them just in
terms of the relationship between “Wilfred” and “Ryan,”
which I think is at the core of the show.
But then there are also people that watch it because they
want answers and I think they enjoy watching the process of
ultimately the development of “Ryan’s” character, as it
pertains to “Wilfred.” So, I think, to a certain degree once
it’s fully contextualized at the end, perhaps that will have
some bearing on it as a whole.
I’m really pleased with how it ultimately comes to an end
and I think without revealing anything I think it has a
sense of being definitive whilst still plays with ambiguity,
which I think is really important. I think, to a certain
degree, answering, to me in some ways it’s not even about
It’s really interesting how that has become a focal point
for a lot of people and, obviously, it is for “Ryan,” too,
to understand what “Wilfred” is to have a better
understanding of himself. But in some ways, the answers are
sort of irrelevant. It’s about one’s own development and
also about the beauty of what that relationship is,
regardless of what the manifestation is or what “Wilfred”
I think, at the end of the day, at least I feel this way and
I’m happy with it, regardless of what “Wilfred” is, it
doesn’t really matter. What’s important is the relationship
and I think “Ryan’s” own personal journey. So, yeah, to
extrapolate, that was a long answer. But I think will it
have bearing? Maybe not, maybe not. And I think five, six
years down the road I’ve honestly not thought about it, but
I think it is a show that people seem to enjoy watching
again, episodes again.
Like I said, I feel like as much as we are concerned about
the whole in regards to a development of character and a
story that we’re trying to tell, I also think that the show
is enjoyable as individual pieces and I think, hopefully,
people will like to come back to that. I certainly love that
relationship and I would be interested in watching it again.
So, I’m curious. I don’t know, time will tell I suppose.
Kyle: Well, I’m excited to see how it all plays out, but I’ve
enjoyed the show so far and I love your work, so I
appreciate the time, man.
Moderator: Thank you. We’ll go to Greg Staffa with Your
Entertainment Corner. Please go ahead.
Greg: Thanks for taking our questions today. On paper I can
see how actors would look at the concept for Wilfred as
involving a man and guy in a dog costume and think oh, this
isn’t for me. What is it that first attracted you to the
role? And looking back, what do you think has made the show
so endearing over the seasons?
Elijah: Gosh, you guys are killing me with your questions!
Good questions. Well, I think the pilot is the first thing
that I read. There was only the pilot and it was the
strangest thing I’d ever read and also the funniest. But I’d
certainly never seen anything like it or read anything like
it. So, that in and of itself was a real appeal.
But it also reminded me of Harvey, a little bit. I’m a real
fan of Harvey and Jimmy Stewart’s performance and the sort
of notion of what that film is about that it’s sort of up
for interpretation what “Harvey” is. And I kind of felt the
same way about Wilfred. It could be about a man’s break from
reality by choice. As it pertains to “Harvey” you could say
that Jimmy Stewart’s character was an alcoholic. There are
so many different ways that you could interpret it and that
was something that really fascinated me.
And I also just on a very simple kind of level, the idea of
the absurdity of a man in a cheap dog suit talking to
another man, whilst everyone else sees a dog was just
something that really appealed to me. So, I just totally
fell in love with it and then ultimately consequently having
conversations with David Zuckerman about where he wanted the
show to go excited me even further.
And what was the other part of your question, I’m sorry?
Greg: Just what do you think has made it so endearing, that
this worked out so well, as it has over the season?
Elijah: Well, I think central to the story and to the show is
that relationship and I think that that has connected with
people. And a large part of that is what Jason [Gann] does
and what the characterization of “Wilfred” and what he
brings to that is always so extraordinary and as the actor
who works opposite him I’m constantly challenged and
surprised by what he brings to the table and I think that
that relationship is sort of core.
I think it’s also, the scope of the show is beyond simply
being about focusing on the absurdity of a man in a dog suit
and this guy and I think that appeals to people, too, I
would imagine. That there’s depth to it. I think what I’m
most proud of the show and where I feel like the show is at
its best is when it’s balancing the absurd comedy with real
drama and kind of a pathos and doing that really deftly.
There are so many episodes throughout each season that I
think really achieve that in a beautiful way that doesn’t
feel that the scales are tipped too much in either direction
and I think, I would hope that people love that. It’s
certainly what I love most about the show.
Greg: Wow, thank you for your answer.
Moderator: We’ll go to Rebecca Murray with Showbiz Junkies.
Please go ahead.
Rebecca: Good morning. There’s so many interesting supporting
characters in Wilfred, I’m wondering if there was a story
line with one particular character you wish would have been
explored more throughout the seasons.
Elijah: Oh, man. I don’t know if there’s anything that we
didn’t explore enough of. I mean, I love, that’s a good
question. I think the roommate from last season played by
Kristin Schaal, that was, just because I absolutely adore
Kristin Schaal, I really wanted her to come back this
season. And I thought what she did with that character was
so brilliant and so funny and it was an absolute joy for all
of us to work with her.
She was actually an actress starting from season one I would
tell the writers and David and everyone else who would
listen that we need to get Kristin Schaal on the show just
because I think she’s wonderful. So, to finally have cast
her and get her on the show was really wonderful.
And I thought the dynamic that she brought was really
exciting. So, that just for personal reasons because I think
she’s wonderful, I kind of wanted her to come back because I
would love to have seen that character more. And as far as
the other, I mean I love the “Bruce” character, I love how,
you know, if you kind of take a step away, if you think
about the fact that all of this might be manifest in
“Ryan’s” mind, the fact that “Ryan” would manifest a sort of
villainous character that is an antagonist to “Wilfred” is
so absurd and so strange and kind of wonderful.
So, I’ve always loved the “Bruce” episodes for how truly
strange they get and, again, taking a step back and looking
at it, it’s so complex, the manifestations. Those are some
of my favorites. I always loved those episodes.
Rebecca: Great. Thank you, can’t wait to see the rest of the
episodes and see how it ends up.
Elijah: Awesome, thanks.
Moderator: And we’ll go to Michael Gallagher with
StayFamous.net. Please go ahead.
Michael: What’s it been like being a part of the FX family
over the past few years and was there anyone, in particular,
behind the scenes or as far as the network that you think
did an awesome job?
Elijah: It’s been great. It’s been really great and it’s been
a joy to watch the network really grow in the last four
years as well. I think what was really initially very much a
pleasure for us and continued to be in regards to that
relationship was that we had something that was quite
strange and a little outside of the box or a lot outside of
the box and we always had full support from them to make the
kind of creative decisions that we wanted to make, which was
an extraordinary thing.
They were never afraid of where we would go with the show
and so we always felt supported. And to make something that
is not all together common and to feel like you’ve got the
support, the genuine support of the network, was really
And it was also really wonderful to sort of see them really
expand and grow and do such great creative things and to
sort of be on the sidelines in support of them as the
network expanded with really beautiful, great, creative
So, it’s been a really wonderful relationship and I hope to
keep those relationships and maybe eventually work with them
again. But it was fantastic. I honestly don’t know that we
could have done the show anywhere else ultimately.
Michael: And when you look back on your experience over the
years with the show, what do you think you’ll remember the
most behind the scenes?
Elijah: Honestly, it would be the family that we created or
that was created as a result of making the show on set. I
think in a way the hardest thing to let go of when it all
came to an end was the crew and the family that had been
created over the years, because it was really the same group
of people for the most part for the majority of the episodes
over the course of four years.
So, when I think about the show, I really think about that.
I think about Randall Einhorn directing every episode,
except for I think two in the first season and that’s kind
of out of the norm, it’s not common, and certainly not for a
comedy for a single director to direct every single episode.
And so in that we were really fortunate and he had an
incredible vision for the show.
And everything kind of descended from him. Our direct family
and the sort of atmosphere on the set really changed from
Randall. As it often does it comes from the top. And that’s
really the kind of resounding memory I have. We got to go to
work every day and have a laugh and what a gift that was, to
work with people that you love, to work with material that
was constantly hilarious. It was genuinely something I would
look forward to every year, that for three months I got to
go to work with these great people and have a laugh. And
I’ll definitely miss that.
Michael: Great, thank you very much and good luck in your
Moderator: We will go to the line of Preston Barta with North
Texas Daily. Please go ahead.
Preston: Hey, Elijah. When I spoke to Jason a couple of weeks
ago we talked about how the show, the end, reflects his life
even when he wasn’t involved in the show anymore, he talked
about how “Kristen” had a baby in the show and he had a
baby, “Wilfred” got married and then he got married. And so,
I’m kind of curious to know have you noticed any kind of
interesting parallels between the show and your own life.
Elijah: Not really, nothing directly. I haven’t developed any
kind of psychosis, thankfully. I think if there were to be
anything that would reflect on my life it would probably not
be good if it’s coming from “Ryan.” No, not necessarily, no
direct correlation. But the sort of benefit of having made
lifelong friends that resonate and will continue to resonate
as the show comes to an end.
Preston: Great. Thank you so much.
Moderator: And we’ll go to the line of Lauren Berkley with
GeeksAreSexy.net. Please to ahead.
Lauren: Hi, Elijah.
Elijah: What an amazing name for a website.
Lauren: Aw, thank you. I wish I could take credit for it.
Thanks so much for doing this this morning. Did you have an
imaginary friend growing up and if you were someone else’s
imaginary friend, what would you do or make them do?
Elijah: Oh, man. No, I didn’t have an imaginary friend. I was
always fascinated by people who did and kind of fascinated
by the notion because it is sort of a phenomena. A lot of
kids it seems between the age of three and six tend to have
a friend that they communicate with and I’ve always found
that kind of amazing. But, no, I didn’t have that
And if I were someone’s imaginary friend, I don’t know, I
would be far less manipulative than Wilfred. I would really
try and look out for the well being of the individual I
think. I would be a kinder imaginary friend.
Lauren: Great. Is there anything that would want to do, since
you were imaginary, that you could get away with?
Elijah: Oh, man. No. I mean, I suppose if you were imaginary
you could sort of do anything, right?
Elijah: I don’t know, time travel, travel through time would
be the first thing I would want to do, if there was
absolutely any possibility, time travel.
Lauren: So, the imaginary doctor. Thank you so much.
Elijah: Yeah, you’re welcome.
Moderator: And we’ll go to the line of Bruce Eisen with Here
Is TV. Please go ahead.
Bruce: Hi, Elijah. Nice to speak with you.
Elijah: Yeah, you, too.
Bruce: Thanks. So, a number of people have described where we
are with TV today as kind of a golden age, particular around
cable. And I’m wondering if you agree with that and, if so,
if there are any particular shows that you like to watch.
Elijah: Yeah, I do. I think it’s important to indicate that
that is for cable because I think there was a golden age of
network television a very long time ago, but I don’t think
that’s necessarily the case for network television. Although
I think the beautiful thing about the expansion of great
storytelling and the embracing of great storytelling on
cable has inspired network television.
And I think we’re seeing really exciting things come out on
network television as well. But I do agree. I have never
been so aware of television in my life. HBO really set the
standard for quality many, many years ago with The Sopranos
and Six Feet Under and I think that’s when I really started
paying attention to television was with those particular
And then consequently we have seen AMC and other networks
follow suite with incredible television as well. And, yeah,
it’s almost overwhelming now, there is so much good content
and so many wonderful actors and writers and directors are
coming to television that it’s actually kind of hard to keep
up at this point because there are so many good shows and
spread out over so many different networks.
I watch a lot. Again, I’ve never watched so much TV in my
life, between Game of Thrones, obviously I was a huge
Breaking Bad fan, the True Detective I thought was
extraordinary. I watched all of Fargo as well. I’m excited
about The Killing coming back, yeah, there’s a lot that I
The only thing that I fear is ultimately that there are so
many platforms now between Hulu doing original content and
Netflix doing original content and now Amazon, in addition
to actual cable networks, I feel like it has to reach a
breaking point in terms of how anyone can digest that much
television. There are so many channels now, so it’s really
hard to keep up. But it’s certainly never been more exciting
and I think in some ways it’s also kind of an answer to
what’s happening with the film industry.
I feel like there’s, the major studios to a certain degree
aren’t really making movies per se as much as they’re
making, kind of taking pre-existing kind of [indiscernible]
that people already have a connection to or they’re making
remakes or they’re doing sequels. So, I think what’s
happening with television to a large degree is an answer to
that where it’s either the actors and the directors and the
writers are moving to television because that’s where
they’re being allowed to tell the kind of story they want to
I think it’s fascinating, it’s sort of a sea change and I’m
curious to see where it’s going to go and I’ll remain an
avid watcher for sure.
Bruce: Cool, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
Elijah: Yeah, totally.
Moderator: Our next question comes from the line of Jamie
Ruby with SciFiVision.com.
Jamie: Hi, again. So, I’m curious. Now that the show is
ending is there anything that either you were given or you
asked for to take from the set?
Elijah: Yes. I have “Bear” in my possession. And I have the
Gatorade bong. There’s one of two, I think Jason has the
other one. And actually a good friend of mine has a good
portion of the basement. I was most sad to see the basement
go. I think all of us felt a really strong connection to the
We spent, obviously, a lot of time over the years in that
set and I kind of was trying to advocate that someone
literally take the whole set and build it on their property.
But no one did. I was trying to get Randall to do it because
he’s got a bit of land.
But a friend of mine actually took a lot of the furniture
and it’s a replicate in the basement in his house, which is
pretty awesome. So, I can actually go to my friend’s house
and sit in the basement. But I think that’s it. I don’t
think I have anything else.
But “Bear,” I was actually really scared to take “Bear”
home. I was primarily worried about where “Bear” was going
to go and I didn’t want it to fall in the wrong hands or to
be sold or anything, so I felt like I had to save it. And I
drove “Bear” home and put him in my house and sat him in a
chair and it just felt so right. I was sitting there on my
couch looking over at “Bear.”
Jamie: That’s funny. And then I’m curious. Do you have
anything else planned, like any new roles coming up that you
want to talk a bit about?
Elijah: Sure. There’s a film that I did earlier this year
that just played the Edinburgh Film Festival called Set Fire
to the Stars, which is a movie about Dylan Thomas’s first
trip to the U.S. and the poet professor that brought him
over to the U.S. That should be coming out sometime before
the end of the year.
And then there’s a film called Cooties my production company
produced that played at Sundance. That should be coming out
also, hopefully, before the end of the year that Lionsgate
is going to distribute. That’s pretty much it. There’s also
something we produced called A Girl Walks Home Alone At
Night, which I’m extremely proud of. It’s written and
directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, who is an extraordinary
filmmaker. It’s her directorial debut as a feature film.
It’s an Iranian Vampire Western in black and white that
comes out in October. And I’m really excited about people
getting a chance to see that.
Jamie: Awesome. Well, thank you so much.
Elijah: You’re welcome.
Moderator: We’ll go to Sabienna Bowman with TV Equals. Please
Sabienna: Hi, Elijah. It’s so nice to speak with you today.
Elijah: Hi. Nice to speak to you, too.
Sabienna: I just want to start out before I ask my question
for giving you a virtual high five for mentioning The
Killing a minute ago. It’s one of my favorite shows and it’s
Elijah: It really is.
Sabienna: I know. But my question is when I think of all of
my favorite TV characters, “Ryan” is pretty high up there
because I think he’s been on a real journey of discovery
these past four seasons and I would love to know how you
feel about the “Ryan” we met in the premiere versus the
“Ryan” we’re seeing now as his journey is coming to a close?
Elijah: Well, I think the “Ryan” we met initially was kind
of, in general, he had really kind of hit an impasse in his
life where he didn’t know where to go and he was sort of
ready to end it and the character that he is now I think has
developed a sense of strength and an understanding of what
he needs to be happy and in some ways that it’s not about
being happy, which I think is probably the greatest thing
that he can learn.
He also, in the earlier seasons, the way that he interacts
with “Wilfred” is really to be easily manipulated and the
sort of wool being pulled over his eyes quite simply. And
now I think he’s far wiser to “Wilfred’s” methods. And I
think, ultimately, when you see the resolution of the show I
think he really comes to an understanding of his place in
the world and who he is and, more importantly, I think to be
okay with not knowing.
I think that’s probably one of the greatest lessons of the
show and for him in his life is that you can’t necessarily
have all the answers. The sort of seeking for happiness and
the pursuit of that and the pursuit of sort of clarity is
ultimately futile. That is, it’s kind of about progressing
through life and not knowing and the unknown being really
And I think that’s ultimately where he will come to and I
think that’s important.
Sabienna: Sounds amazing. Thank you so much, Elijah, and
you’ve done amazing work.
Elijah: Oh, thank you.
Moderator: And we’ll go to the line of Greg Staffa with Your
Entertainment Corner. Please go ahead.
Greg: Hi, again. When I think of the name Elijah Wood the
first thing that pops up in my mind is “Frodo.” And you have
now “Ryan” with Wilfred. You’re an actor, you’re a DJ, you
do voiceover work, the recording label, the charity work
that you do is amazing. Who is Elijah Wood to you?
Elijah: Wow, that’s intense.
Greg: So, often we place that name like “Frodo” onto you and
we project that that’s who you are to us. And so, I’m just
curious what is it to you?
Elijah: Thank you. Well, yeah, I don’t behoove people from
drawing those very easy, quick, kind of comparisons of
labels because those elements, particularly something like
Frodo is very predominant in people’s minds. So, to a
certain degree I will always be that character, even that
character will always be linked to me.
But what am I? Well, look, I’m a human being who has a lot
of interests. In some ways the expressions that I get when I
DJ is as much a major definition of who I am as any of the
roles I’ve played because it’s an extension of something I’m
deeply passionate about and something that I love and in
some ways is almost more personal because it’s what I do
when I go home.
I listen to music. Or I go to record stores and I buy
records. So, if anything, DJing is almost a more direct,
clear expression of who I am. But I don’t know, I believe
that life is a multi-faceted experience and I’ve always been
fascinated by so many different vocations and so many
different arts and I’ve always believed that it’s important
to pursue kind of all of those things.
I don’t know that I could simply be satisfied or happy as
just an actor. I think that’s why I’ve done the production
company because I love filmmaking and I particularly love
genre filmmaking and I wanted to be a part of producing
films that I really believe in and supporting filmmakers
that I really believe in.
So, that’s also a huge extension of who I am. So, it’s so
weird to self-define. I don’t know how to encapsulate that,
but I suppose I’m just a human being who loves to try a lot
of different things. And I want to constantly grow as a
person and as an artist and constantly be challenged and
sort of have new experiences.
So, if that defines me, then I guess that’s what it is. But
I don’t know. I think it’s easier to look back and sort of
define yourself after a period of time. I don’t know if that
answers your question.
Greg: No, I just wanted to get a, because we place so much
onto you, I was just curious, turning it back on to you, so
that was a great answer.
Elijah: Oh, cool, thanks. I appreciate it.
Moderator: We’ll go to the line of Angela Dawson with Front
Row Features. Please go ahead.
Angela Hi, Elijah. How are you today?
Elijah: Hi, I’m great. How are you?
Angela: All right. You know, I wanted to ask you, since you
guys have already divvied up the props and everything I
assume that you’ve completed production on all 10 episodes
for the season, correct?
Elijah: Yes, we finished about a month ago.
Angela: Okay. So, I was just wondering for the finale do you
have any special plans or are you guys going to get back
together for a big party or how do you plan to celebrate the
Elijah: I don’t know. That’s a good question. We haven’t
actually talked about it, but it would be kind of nice to
have a little gathering. I don’t know. I had some friends
that went to a friend of mine’s house, the owner of the new
basement, if you will, and then a bunch of them watched the
premiere sitting on the couch from the basement, which was
kind of amazing.
And I was actually abroad so I couldn’t join them. I don’t
know, I think it would be nice to have a small gathering to
watch the final episode. I think it’ll be kind of emotional,
but maybe we’ll sort of need each other because it’s an
emotional ending and I haven’t seen the episode yet, but it
definitely was, it’s an emotional evolution.
So, yeah, I don’t know. We don’t have any specific plans,
but I think that would be great. Maybe your question will
have sparked something.
Angela: There you go. I was just going to ask you, do you
have any special connection with animals, like your pets or
your neighbor’s pets or anything in real life?
Elijah: I’ve always loved animals, yes, always. My family
have always had dogs and cats, so I grew up with animals my
whole life. And I have many friends who have dogs and cats
really connected to their lives and their animals. So, yeah,
it’s been kind of a major timeline through my life is love
of, certainly domestic animals, but also I’ve always loved
animals, in general.
Moderator: And we’ll go to the line of Lauren Berkley with
GeeksAreSexy.net. Please go ahead.
Lauren: Hi, again. My question is this, how much, especially
now with the final season, even though it’s now over, how
much of the show was scripted versus improve and were there
any scenes that ended up on the cutting room floor every
Elijah: Oh, good question. Well, almost all of it, I would
say 99% of the show is scripted probably for a couple of
reasons. One of them is that we kind of didn’t have enough
time to play around too much. Everything is relatively
specific, so yeah, there wasn’t a lot of improve. I can’t
even really think about specific lines that may have been
We were doing six to eight pages of dialogue a day so it was
tough, it was tough to actually find the time to sort of
play around because we were moving at such a pace. But,
yeah, every episode has a number of things that ended up on
the cutting room floor.
A lot of what ends up going because we only have 20 some odd
minutes of actual show time, a lot of what ends up going are
actually jokes most of the time because the story is, each
episode is encapsulating some kind of dramatic or story
element and so each episode has to be in the service of that
first before the jokes can work or exist.
So, a lot of what ends up going are jokes and in a way it
would be kind of amazing to see all of that because there
were some really great ideas and some great moments that
ultimately didn’t make it because of having to have, just
sort of the screen time for the story. So, there’s plenty. I
feel like every episode has a few moments here and there
that are really funny that just didn’t work for the story.
Lauren: Okay, thank you.
Elijah: You’re welcome. For everyone to know, there’s like I
think maybe 20 scripts for Couch Beats that we never filmed,
which kind of breaks my heart a little bit, because we loved
shooting those Couch Beats and they’re some of my favorite
moments in the show where you kind of just sit with “Ryan”
and “Wilfred” and it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do
or pertain to anything in regards to the story of each
They’re just sort of these stand-alone “Ryan” and “Wilfred”
getting high moments that are sort of some of my favorite.
And I was told this season that there were up to 15 to 20
scripts that had been written for these kind of moments that
we just couldn’t get to, which is kind of a shame.
Moderator: And we’ll go to the line of Ernie Estrella with
BuzzFocus.com. Please go ahead.
Ernie: Hi, Elijah. Thanks for taking the time today.
Elijah: You’re welcome.
Ernie: I wanted to ask live tweeting and being able to get
that reaction from the fans has been kind of a part of
Wilfred. Looking back, which episodes or maybe which season
did you have kind of the most fun, either hearing incorrect
theories or maybe amusing reactions? What were kind of your
most memorable moments watching live with fans?
Elijah: A lot of the live tweeting I’ve not been able to take
part in because it’s just so happens that almost every
season that there have been those kind, that there has been
live tweeting with cast I’ve been traveling or couldn’t
watch the episode at the time, so I don’t have many memories
I certainly have enjoyed reading Twitter responses and
sometimes, I real all of The Onion A.V. review because I
think they’re really astute. I’ve always really appreciated
the writing and their perspective on the show I think has
been pretty spot on. And I think the people who read The
Onion also have really interesting ideas and I think are
So, I oftentimes will read their comments and I find that
really entertaining in terms of people’s perspective of the
show and also how in depth people really think about it. I
think more than anything, I suppose, that’s what’s been
gratifying and surprising over the years is that people
really invest time and thought into what we’re doing.
When you work on a show or when you make anything, a film or
a television show you exist and create within a bubble. It’s
with your creative team and your creative world and to a
certain degree you can only sort of imagine or barely
imagine how people will then take that on or how they will
think about it and what their perspective is going to be.
So, that’s been really gratifying to see that the sort weird
show that we’re making not only do people enjoy it, but it
sort of resonates with them and they really think about what
“Wilfred” is to “Ryan” and what’s going on with “Ryan” in
his various relationships in his life. So, that has been
really fascinating and gratifying.
Ernie: That’s great. And then how has the four years of
Wilfred, like what artistically do you kind of take from it,
whether it be considering your next TV role or maybe putting
your own TV show or next production together of your own,
whether it’s behind the scenes or maybe some of the elements
that you think were standouts within Wilfred?
Elijah: Man, right. I don’t know if doing the show, if I
immediately; look, it’s been really gratifying and prior to
doing Wilfred I had never done television and so it was a
completely new experience for me and it was filled with new
challenges, the pace, working within the context of comedy
was very new to me and challenging and exciting.
And I will certainly take all of those experiences with me
and I think I’ve certainly grown as a human being and,
hopefully, as an actor as a result of the experience because
it’s so different from anything I’ve done before. I don’t
know that it’s my immediate response to having the four year
is to siphon it into another television show right away.
If anything, I think I have this feeling of wanting to
create a sense of a little bit of distance just because
we’ve sort of accomplished this thing and I think it’s
something that we’re all really proud of and I’m keen to
sort of have the horizon be a little bit open from now on
and excited about what that will bring.
But I definitely would be open to doing television again. It
was an experience that I loved and I think that we were all
very lucky to have the group of people that we have working
with us. So, yeah, I think there are definitely ideas I have
for television, probably more in the non-fiction rather than
the fiction. And I’m curious about exploring some of those
ideas. But I think for now my feeling is to sort of step
away from television to a certain degree and leave the
future and that horizon a little bit open. And I’m sort of
open to anything I suppose.
Ernie: Thanks, and it’s been a great four years.
Elijah: Oh, thanks, man. Thank you.
Moderator: We’ll go to the line of Greg Staffa with Your
Entertainment Corner. Please go ahead.
Greg: Hi, again. You have an amazing body of work and I’m
wondering if there is a specific type of role or a genre
that you’ve wanted to play, but haven’t had the chance to
yet? And can you explain a little bit of your process for
Elijah: Yeah, it’s pretty organic. I don’t have ideas in my
head about specifically what I want to do, nor do I look
ahead and think about what I want to fill the next five
years with. It really is far more organic than that. It’s as
simple in some ways as reading things that I respond to on a
gut level and jump at the chance to participate and that can
There are genres that I love, but there’s sort of no genre
that I love more than any other for the most part. And I
think in some ways what attracts me most to projects, more
often than not, are filmmakers and their vision for the
given film and wanting to be a part of that, wanting to be a
part of that creative process.
And that can be with a significant role or even sometimes
something really small just so I can be a part of something
that I really believe in and am excited by. So, more often
than not I think I don’t necessarily always think from an
acting perspective or from a character perspective. Examples
of that would be like, you know, Grand Piano, for instance,
was something that came into my life. That happened to be
that I knew the filmmaker and I was really excited about the
kind of movie he wanted to make.
And I wanted to be a part of facilitating that, this sort of
idea of making a really cinematic thriller utilizing the
language of cinema in a way that I hadn’t seen in a long
time. Like that gets me going. I really sort of on a gut
level really respond to that. So, I don’t really think about
roles that I haven’t played so much. Moreover I think I look
to new challenges and new experiences.
Look, there are so many roles that I’ve never played. I’ve
never sort of been a romantic lead, there’s all kinds of
things. But I feel like I’m always just drawn to a project
on a gut level. And I supposed that can be any variety of
elements that come together to make me respond to something.
And so I’m kind of constantly running on heart and instinct
I suppose, but always I guess with a mind to do something
I’ve never done before and to have new experiences and new
challenges and that can manifest in so many different ways I
Greg: Thank you.
Moderator: We’ll go to the line of Kyle Wilson with Nerd
Repository. Please go ahead.
Kyle: Hey, again. So, “Ryan” and “Wilfred” have a
relationship I think that has a lot of stories to tell and
you mentioned that there are unfilmed Couch scenes. I feel
like their relationship has a lot of stuff that can be
played with, if not live action perhaps in some other medium
like animation or, perhaps a book/graphic novel.
If anything like that were ever to come to fruition, would
you want to be involved or would you rather sit back as a
fan and just kind of enjoy those inclinations in a different
Elijah: That’s a great question. I actually have often
thought of it being animated because of the boundless, there
are sort of no boundaries within the context of animation.
There’s so much that you can do. And I’ve always actually
really loved the little interstitial animated bits that they
use for the logos on FX.
Kyle: Those are great.
Elijah: I think they’re fantastic. I love them and I kind of
love them so much that I sort of wish that there were whole
episodes just with those characters because they’re kind of
great. And I love the animation style as well. So, I don’t
know, if there were an animated show of Wilfred and it was
“Ryan” and “Wilfred,” I would definitely be interested. I
think it would be a fun environment from which to tell their
stories and I think that would be fantastic.
Look, I love the characters still and I particularly love
the character of “Wilfred,” so just seeing that character or
both of them in some other iteration I think would be really
Kyle: Cool, well get your people on it. Thanks, man.
Elijah: Yeah, man, thank you.
Moderator: And we’ll go to Lauren Berkley with
GeeksAreSexy.net. Please go ahead.
Lauren: Hi. So, Wilfred walks a fine line and I was curious
as to if you did any research within the mental health
industry? Since it’s kind of a real, like the show is a
black comedy, but it also is super serious at times, but
there are people that suffer with “Ryan’s” condition or
affliction and I was wondering how sensitive, like was there
a thought given to that and did you do any research about
how to maybe play someone who sees creatures that are
Elijah: Well, I think we were always aware that various
symptoms that we were expressing were potentially real and
linked to quite real mental afflictions. But it was always
really important that it be undefined. So, I never did any
research and part of that was because we are not actually
seeing “Ryan” from the perspective of an outsider to see how
crazy he actually is.
So, to a certain degree what he is experiencing for us,
because we’re only seeing his perspective, we’re seeing it
as real and, believe me, every absurd scenario that he would
get himself involved in with “Wilfred,” we would say to him
if you could actually see what is actually happening right
now it would be really disturbing.
So, it was always on our minds and it was always on my mind,
but I was never playing mentally disturbed because he was
just experiencing “Wilfred,” so the reality that he’s in is
that reality. The only way I think I would have had to play
him slightly mentally handicapped would be if we were to
break from that reality and actually see “Ryan” for what he
really is, which is smoking a bong with a dog on a couch or
sitting in a closet somewhere, do you know what I mean?
Because we never actually showed that I was to play it as
what he’s really experiencing with us only afterwards
questioning the reality of the world that he’s in and
questioning his own sanity, as a sort of observational
afterthought I think.
We were keenly aware and I think it was also important to
us, and I’m sure David would speak to this as well, that we
not, you know, we’re not necessarily poking fun at mental
illness and I think for that we were also never trying to
get at all specific with what that could be. We were really
working within our own reality and a certain level of
generalities as it pertains to what those symptoms were
because we were never trying to make something accurate in
regards to mental illness.
I mean also, at the end of the day, it is a comedy, so as
dark as the show gets and, certainly, as some of those
symptoms are reflective of real mental illnesses I think it
was also important for us not to get too accurate or to poke
fun too much I think.
Lauren: Great. Thank you.
Kristy: All right. Well, thank you so much to everyone today
for joining us. Especially, Elijah, we really appreciate
your time. You’re awesome. As a reminder, Wilfred airs
Wednesday nights at 10:00 p.m. eastern and pacific only on
FXX. A complete transcript of this call will be e-mailed to
everyone within about 72 hours.
Elijah: Thank you all.
Moderator: Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, that does
conclude the conference for today. Thank you for your
participation and for using AT&T Executive Teleconference.
You may now disconnect.
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