David Cross talks Arrested Development, Todd Margaret and Mr. Show


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Comedian and actor David Cross sat down with Salon.com to talk about his upcoming movie “It’s A Disaster.” The dark comedy, which also stars Julia Stiles and America Ferrera, shows what happens when a couples brunch that a group of self-absorbed thirty-somethings host each week is interrupted by the explosion of dirty bombs. (The film is available on video-on-demand platforms now and will be released in theaters April 12.) However, it seems that whenever Cross sits down to talk about a new project, all anyone wants to talk about (us included) is “Arrested Development” and his role as the flamboyant aspiring actor and analyst/therapist (or anal-rapist, if you prefer) Tobias Fünke. With the “Arrested Development” reunion about to happen on Netflix, Cross can’t seem to escape the questions about “Arrested Development,” no matter what he’s promoting. However he assured Salon that he’s “not a sad clown.”

It’s a great read that covers Cross’ work on “Mr. Show With Bob and David” and, of course, “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.” Here are some of the highlights:

As we’re talking about this movie, I can only imagine you’re gearing up for a bigger press push soon, as “Arrested Development” nears. How does it feel to be so strongly identified with a single show and character?

I appreciate the question. And it doesn’t diminish my love and appreciation for it. I’m so thankful and lucky to have been given that opportunity, and it’s an amazing show, it’s an amazing character, there were great people to work with. But there are — it goes hand in hand with some people who’ve never seen “Arrested Development” and think I’m the guy from “Scary Movie 2″ and “Men in Black.” Or “Alvin and the Chipmunks.” Those people, a 16-year-old Puerto Rican kid doing figure-eights on his grinder bike, I don’t give a shit if they’ve seen “Todd Margaret”!

But when it becomes constant, and builds up, I want to say, ‘I’ve done other stuff! I’m glad you like it — there are other things you might like.’ But it doesn’t really, truly bother me. I’m not a sad clown taking off his greasepaint, asking, Why doesn’t anyone know the real me?

Did you ever find a way to merge making money and feeling fulfilled artistically?

“Arrested Development” would be that project. With “Mr. Show,” we didn’t make any money. We didn’t see a penny from DVD sales or any of that shit. The big movies that were lucrative, “Scary Movie 2″ and “Small Soldiers” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks”: I didn’t do them for the love of cinema. The one place it’s come together was “Arrested Development.” With “Arrested,” it wasn’t that my paycheck was so huge. That was three years of consistent work. You can make quite a living on that. And with the Netflix thing: That was lucrative. Not on the scale of a movie, but I certainly made a financial … well, I wasn’t hurting, let’s put it that way. I get that money and I do something like “Todd Margaret” and over two years, I lost money. But I loved doing that project and would do it again in a heartbeat if I could do another kids’ movie.

Head over to Salon to read the whole interview.

And here’s the trailer for “It’s A Disaster”:

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Weird Roles

Anthony Michael Hall’s Most Rotten Movies

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

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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.

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Season 6: Episode 1: Pickathon

Binge Fest

Portlandia Season 6 Now Available On DVD

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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