Keri Russell Chats About RUNNING WILDE


RUNNING WILDE, the new FOX comedy from Arrested Development‘s creator Mitch Hurwitz, premiering Tuesday, September 21 at 9:30pm/8:30 central, follows Steve Wilde (Will Arnett, another Arrested Development alum), a selfish and immature billionaire playboy who reconnects with his high school flame Emmy Kadubic (Keri Russell), a single mom and environmentalist trying to save a rainforest threatened by Steven’s father’s oil company. You can find all of our Running Wilde coverage here.

Daemon’s TV caught up with star Keri Russell as she answered press questions about why she loves Running Wilde, what it’s like working with Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz, and why the show is so hard to describe.

On how Keri joined Running Wilde

Keri said that she hadn’t been shopping around for a new series. She loved her time on Felicity but wasn’t really looking for series opportunities. She was a huge Arrested Development fan, though, and when she read the Running Wilde script, she was so taken with it that she couldn’t say no.

Keri’s a big fan of absurdist comedy. “Who isn’t,” she asked before saying, “It’s refreshing and you can watch it multiple times and get different jokes or see different things each time.”

On exercising her comedic muscles

According to Keri, working on the show is unlike anything she has done before. It’s fast and furious and Mitch will sometimes give them pages of re-writes just before shooting. While Will can already work like that, Keri feels like she’s learning so much every day.

She called the work on Running Wilde refreshing. “It’s a delight and an absolute change of pace.”

On working with Will Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz

Keri gushed, “I’m just laughing all day. They are just so smart.” She called herself the new kid in school on her best behavior and said she feels like a nerd surrounded by older brothers making fun of her or like she’s tagging along with her older brother and his cool friends every day.

According to Keri, Will humiliates and berates her every day, but she’s 75% sure the crew is behind her because they like her better. Keri retaliates by teasing Will that he’s balding.

On how Keri is like Emmy

Keri said she doesn’t think she’s as bossy as Emmy, but she does think she knows everything the way Emmy does. She said her husband Shane would agree and that Will calls Shane an unaccredited writer because he shares everything bad that Keri does.

On David Cross

Keri first met David shooting the pilot and she was very impressed. She said that he’s obviously funny and goes way above and beyond what you read on the page. She called him fearless, saying he’ll make the most ridiculous expressions.

Keri was especially impressed that David (she later said this also applies to Will and the rest of the cast) is such a good actor (as opposed to comedic actor). They had never worked together before, but David matched her move for move and it was an educational experience for her.

On an Arrested Development Reunion

Keri said that it was definitely a possibility that more Arrested Development actors could pay a visit and that there has already been talk about it. She explained that when something works, you want to keep working with the same people, which is how she feels about J. J. Abrams.

On changes made to the show since the pilot

Since shooting the pilot, production has moved to New York from Vancouver and Keri said Will only had to sleep with three or four men for that to happen and she and Will’s wife (Amy Poehler) are very grateful for his efforts. In addition to them being able to work close to home, they get the benefits of New York locations and energy, as well as access to all the great actors in the area.

There were also some cast changes. Keri singled out the addition of Robert Michael Morris as Mr. Lunt as a particularly good change, saying he adds color and that she loves the relationship between Mr. Lunt and Steve.

Keri also said the music has been “souped up” and is now more modern. She said the whole tone of the show is now more current and fun.

On favorite moments so far

When asked what the funniest thing they’ve done so far, Keri joked that none of it is funny–it’s all very sad. She added that they recently did an episode focusing on a junior high dance that was very good because everyone is obsessed with junior high dances. She said Andy Richter is in that episode and is wonderful–what he does is ridiculous and wonderful.

Keri said that they are now shooting a renaissance fair episode that’s a lot of fun and that she loves everything Peter Serafinowicz does. He plays different characters and uses different accents and just does some crazy stuff.

Keri mentioned what she called a “real moment in the show” they had with Stefania Owen as her daughter Puddle and she loves that Puddle keeps the show grounded.

On what Keri loves about Running Wilde’s message

Keri said she loves that while the show is rightly calling Steve Wilde out for being a buffoon, it’s also calling out Emmy. Emmy wants credit for living the life of a public servant while preaching as loudly as she can and telling everyone else what they’re doing wrong.

Keri said that just because you’re in the rainforest, it doesn’t mean you don’t covet going to a fancy party in a great dress, and that’s okay.

On how Running Wilde is hard to capture in a soundbite

Because Mitch “writes in such a complex way,” Keri explained, “it’s the little things that make [Running Wilde] so wonderful” and unique. It’s such a quirky and specific comedy that you can’t reduce it to a couple of sentences.

Keri said that while there is some Arrested Development flavor, Running Wilde is an “innately different show.” It has an aspect of romantic comedy–or at least Mitch’s version of that, a version Keri calls “great.”

Keri enthused that Running Wilde “tickles something” in her and she thinks it’s bright and hilarious.

She hopes that people will give Running Wilde a few weeks because she thinks the show is a funny, off-center, fun ride.

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