When a man walks around in a dog costume at Comic-Con, hardly anyone blinks an eye, and perhaps the reason why is that Wilfred, the FX comedy starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gann, is a good fit for the pop culture event. On the show, Wood plays Ryan, a former lawyer struggling with manic depression, who offers to watch his neighbor’s dog, Wilfred (Gann), as a way to get to know her better, but to Ryan, Wilfred is a man dressed in a dog suit.
The second season is already underway, and its dark humor and clever dialogue has attracted the attention of some big-time guest stars, including Robin Williams, who appeared in the first episode as Ryan’s therapist. Other guest stars this season will include Dwight Yoakam and Mary Steenburgen. Elijah Wood, Jason Gann, Fiona Gubelmann (who plays Ryan’s neighbor, Jenna) and Dorian Brown (who plays Ryan’s sister, Kristen) spoke with members of the press about how the rest of Season 2 will unfold. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
JASON GANN: When I’m in the suit and it’s summer and I just want to tear somebody’s hair out, I think about the fans and how much they really love the character and the show, and I keep going.
Is Wilfred based on man or beast?
GANN: The motivation for the character was that he was a man stuck in a dog’s body. He was inspired by those dogs who spend so much time with people that they actually think they are people. The frustration of not being human was really behind the darkness of Wilfred, and it was only with the American version that some of the lightness came out in Wilfred, inspired by Elijah’s performance as Ryan.
Elijah, what made you decide to do a TV show?
ELIJAH WOOD: I was primarily interested in doing cable drama. I’m such a huge fan of shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and even back to Six Feet Under. Cable has become such an amazing place for storytelling. Some wonderful actors, and incredible directors and writers have moved to cable, so I was interested in that, but I was also interested in the idea of doing comedy. My manager sent me the script and said it was the funniest thing she’d ever read, and I agreed. It was unlike anything I had seen or read. It was dark, it was weird and I loved it. It just felt so unique and different. I immediately looked up clips of the show it was based on, online, and loved how dark it was, and I loved the character.
Then, I met with (showrunner) David Zuckerman and loved his vision for how the season would play out. There were so many great, positive reasons to be a part of it. To be honest, ultimately, I was just creatively driven to do something like that, and it’s been so much fun. It’s been interesting being on television, weekly. The notion of being in people’s living rooms every week, with new episodes, is foreign to me, but it’s been great.
Jason, does Wilfred have good intentions for Ryan?
GANN: If you think that Wilfred is part of Ryan’s subconscious, where there are elements of self-loathing, then he does love him and want to protect him, but people do have self-destruct buttons. For me, it comes into question that Wilfred does have Ryan’s best interests at heart. But, every villain is the hero of his own story, so it’s probably me just kidding myself.
Fiona, when you have to treat Jason like a dog, what’s going through your mind?
FIONA GUBELMANN: It really depends. I think where the comedy comes from, in the show, is treating him like a dog, for real. Even though Jason is older, he’s like my little brother, so there are times when he’s doing stuff, and I’m trying so hard not to crack up.
Dorian, do you have siblings, and do you talk to them like you talk to Ryan?
DORIAN BROWN: I would never talk to my brother the way I talk to Ryan. I have a younger brother, and it’s a completely different relationship. But, Kristen lightens up a little bit, this season.
As a fan of the show, do you hope that Wilfred is a dog?
BROWN: I would love for him to be a dog.
GUBELMANN: In the first season, I said they had to have a dog in a cone, and they brought that in. I’ll suggest things like that, and sometimes they take them. We have the best writers. If I ever have a question, I can have an open dialogue with them.
Do Jenna and Amanda (Allison Mack) meet, this season?
GUBELMANN: Things get interesting between Jenna and Amanda, this season. I love Allison Mack. She’s just the sweetest, coolest person. We have a really fun episode, coming up.
Elijah, do you and Jason have deep discussions about the show?
WOOD: Jason and I don’t talk deeply about the show, unless there’s an episode or a show that really requires it. We laugh a lot, and we sing songs. If there was a webcam on the two of us, it would be pretty ridiculous and mildly embarrassing. We have a lot of fun.
Fiona, are you happy with the way this season plays out?
GUBELMANN: I think some really great stuff comes to light. All of the characters grow and everybody has to face themselves, their actions and their relationships with other people, this season, and they are held responsible for things they’ve done. I love what I got to do, this season. I got some really meaty stuff.