David Cross on “It’s A Disaster,” “Arrested Development”


Posted by on

David Cross may not be the person you think of turning to in a crisis, but he’s (mostly) the voice of reason in “It’s A Disaster,” in which a group of different couples gather for brunch only to discover that their city (along with Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, and more) is being attacked by terrorists using dirty bombs. Instructed to stay inside, they have a different kind of meltdown (which is what makes it a comedy). “It’s not the end of the world,” Cross told IFC. “It’s the end of their world. It’s not like their immediate concern is calling their grandma in Kansas City, because Grandma is going to be fine.”

The friends, however, are not. Two latecomers to the brunch succumb on the porch to the VX nerve gas in the air, since Cross has already duct-taped the doors and windows shut and Julia Stiles refuses to break the barrier for them, but not before admonishing them for their perpetual lack of punctuality: “Really? Every time?”

“The way Julia says that is perfect,” Cross said. “And that’s what I love about this movie. There are no special effects, it’s not bombastic, it’s not crazy 0-120 miles per hour in six seconds. It’s subtle and slow about how petty and narcissistic some of these people are. They bicker in a very real way, not in an arch ’30 Rock’ way. It’s the way real people talk.”

Cross almost didn’t want to do “It’s A Disaster” in the first place, but he was won over by the dialogue. After spending eight months in London, he really wanted to be back home in New York, “just f—ing be here, just chill out with my dog and my wife,” but then he had to go to Los Angeles for the weekend for something for his mother-in-law. While he was there, Ferrera sent him the script for the film, by writer/director Todd Berger. “I said, ‘No. I don’t care what it is. There’s no way I’m spending a month in L.A., another month not at home,'” Cross recalled. “But then it was so good and real, and I appreciated Todd’s ear for dialogue, so I stayed. And I loved that it was a character that I don’t get to play that often, a grounded straight man … at least up until the last fifteen minutes.”

Even after the grid goes down and they figure out they have less than a few hours to live, the couples are more concerned with the state of their relationships — one couple wants Cross to join them in threesome, another couple rethinks divorcing, another couple calls off a wedding. America Ferrera’s character decides to finally ingest any food or drugs she ever wanted, cooking up a “poor man’s ecstasy” in the kitchen, while Stiles’ character laments all the things she never got to do — go to Europe, go scuba diving, fall in love, or watch “The Wire.” To comfort her, Cross’ character Glenn tells her, “All those things are overrated. Except for ‘The Wire,’ that’s really good.” If confronted with his immediate demise, Cross himself would “bum out about water boarding, either doing or being water boarded, because I kind of wanted that experience,” he said. “I also wanted to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for being naked. Or eat a live cow, from start to finish. There are so many things.”

One thing Cross did get to do before he died, however, was one more season of “Arrested Development” — which he predicts might shut down the grid once it returns with its debut on Netflix on May 26. “I’m curious,” he said. “I’m not sure the grid will go down on that day, but the next day, it’s going to be like, ‘Gotta watch another, gotta watch another, gotta watch another’ as people binge on it. We will probably lose 62 billion dollars in man hours and production, whatever the GNP is for the day, or whatever it costs us to be in Iraq and Afghanistan for a couple hours.”

Cross got back in the cutoffs to play the loveable Bluth family in-law Tobias Fünke, who still hasn’t recovered from being a never-nude. In photos leaked from the set, Cross was seen wearing a sheet, which caused speculation that perhaps Tobias would have a nude scene after all. Sadly, no. “I’m happy to get naked in real life at the slightest suggestion,” Cross said, “but as far as the character, I doubt it. That photo was from our first day of shooting, and it was my character’s attempt to wear an Indian sari.”

Cross predicts that the model of releasing all the episodes simultaneously will spread as “creative and ambitious people who make television and who have the imagination to utilize it” watch “Arrested Development,” but it’ll be slow to start. “Most people play it safe,” he said. “It’s only going to be a handful of people at first, but hopefully eventually more.” As for the renewed series leading to a film as planned, he was circumspect. “As I understand it, the series will work on its own, and it will work if a film continues the story,” Cross said. “You will be quite satisfied if there is no film. It’s not like anybody would miss it, you know what I mean?”

“It’s a Disaster” opens today in New York and Los Angeles.

“Arrested Development” season four premieres on Netflix on May 26.

What David Cross project are you most excited for? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch More

Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

Catch Anthony Michael Hall in Weird Science on Friday at 8P on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection

Anthony Michael Hall was the quintessential ’80s nerd. We love him in classics like The Breakfast Club and National Lampoon’s Vacation. But even the brainiest among us has his weak spots. In honor of Weird Science airing this Rotten Friday, we analyze Hall’s worst movies.

Weird Science (1985) 56%

A low point for John Hughes, Weird Science is way too wacky for its own good. Anthony Michael Hall’s Gary and his pal Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) create the “perfect woman.” Supernatural chaos ensues. The film costars a young Bill Paxton, floppy disks, and a general disconnect from all reality.

The Caveman’s Valentine (2001) 46%

This ambitious drama starring Samuel L. Jackson couldn’t live up to its rich premise. Jackson plays Romulus, a Juilliard-educated, paranoid schizophrenic who lives in a cave. Hall co-stars as Bob, a rich man, who wants to see Romulus play the piano. The plot centers around Romulus investigating a murder, but with so much going on, the movie never quite finds its rhythm.

All About the Benjamins (2002) 30%

Ice Cube plays a bounty hunter who teams up with Mike Epps’ con man to catch diamond thieves. Hall plays Lil J, a small-time drug dealer. It’s definitely a role we’ve never seen Hall in, but overall the movie isn’t funny or original enough to justify its violence.

Freddy Got Fingered (2001) 11%

This showcase for Tom Green’s goofy gross-out comedy is often hailed as one of the worst films of all time. Green plays Gord, a 20-something slacker, who dreams of having his own animated series. Hall is Dave Davidson, a CEO of an animation studio who eventually helps Gord find success. Too bad Tom Green wasn’t so lucky.

Johnny Be Good (1988) 0%

Hall plays against type as Johnny Walker, a star quarterback. Robert Downey Jr. is his best friend and Uma Thurman plays his devoted girlfriend. Despite the support of a future A-list cast, the movie lacks central conflict and charm. Or, as TV Guide put it, “Johnny be worthless.” Ouch.

Catch the “Too Rotten to Miss” Weird Science this Friday at 8P on IFC.

Watch More
Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

The perfect addition to your locally-sourced, artisanal DVD collection.

Posted by on

End of summer got you feeling like:

Portlandia Toni Screaming GIF

Ease into fall with Portlandia‘s sixth season. Relive the latest exploits of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s cast of characters, including Doug and Claire’s poignant breakup, Lance’s foray into intellectual society, and the terrifying rampage of a tsukemen Noodle Monster! Plus, guest stars The Flaming Lips, Glenn Danzig, Louis C.K., Kevin Corrigan, Zoë Kravitz, and more stop by to experience what Portlandia is all about.

Pick up a copy of the DVD today, or watch full episodes and series extras now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

Watch More

Byrning Down the House

Everything You Need to Know About the Film That Inspired “Final Transmission”

Documentary Now! pays tribute to "Stop Making Sense" this Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Cinecom/courtesy Everett Collection

This week Documentary Now! is with the band. For everyone who’s ever wanted to be a roadie without leaving the couch, “Final Transmission” pulls back the curtain on experimental rock group Test Pattern’s final concert. Before you tune in Wednesday at 10P on IFC, plug your amp into this guide for Stop Making Sense, the acclaimed 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary.

Put on Your Dancing Shoes

Hailed as one of the best concert films ever created, director Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) captured the energy and eccentricities of a band known for pushing the limits of music and performance.

Make an Entrance

Lead singer David Byrne treats the concert like a story: He enters an empty stage with a boom box and sings the first song on the setlist solo, then welcomes the other members of the group to the stage one song at a time.

Steal the Spotlight

David Byrne Dancing
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Always a physical performer, Byrne infuses the stage and the film with contagious joy — jogging in place, dancing with lamps, and generally carrying the show’s high energy on his shoulders.

Suit Yourself

Byrne makes a splash in his “big suit,” a boxy business suit that grows with each song until he looks like a boy who raided his father’s closet. Don’t overthink it; on the DVD, the singer explains, “Music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head.”

View from the Front Row

Stop Making Sense Band On Stage
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Demme (who also helmed 1987’s Swimming to Cambodia, the inspiration for this season’s Documentary Now! episode “Parker Gail’s Location is Everything”) films the show by putting viewers in the audience’s shoes. The camera rarely shows the crowd and never cuts to interviews or talking heads — except the ones onstage.

Let’s Get Digital

Tina Weymouth Keyboard
Cinecom/Everett Collection

Stop Making Sense isn’t just a good time — it’s also the first rock movie to be recorded entirely using digital audio techniques. The sound holds up more than 30 years later.

Out of Pocket

Talk about investing in your art: Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone that the members of the band “basically put [their] life savings” into the movie, and they didn’t regret it.

Catch Documentary Now!’s tribute to Stop Making Sense when “Final Transmission” premieres Wednesday, October 12 at 10P on IFC.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet