Television's favorite banana stand employees and the comeback kids of 2013—the cast of Arrested Development—sat down with James Lipton to chat about on-set friendships, casting secrets and character names for the popular comedy on Inside the Actors Studio.
Arrested Development made a triumphant return for a fourth season in 2013, ten years after the premiere of the show and seven since the conclusion of its last season. The indefinite hiatus was a bummer to fans, but the show's return to Netflix was an anticipated one for those who fell for the antics of the Bluth family and their hilariously dysfunctional ways. James spent the majority of his time with the Arrested Development crew talking shop about the Bluths and the world creator Mitchell Hurwitz brought to life, but it's the behind-the-scenes chatter that shows what a weird, special thing the sitcom has been for all involved.
Jason Bateman stars as Michael Bluth, who becomes the unwilling patriarch of the Bluth family when his father goes to prison in the pilot of the series, and he recounted the moment he received his script for the Arrested Development audition for James. "When I first...got the script, there was a cover letter on the front of it saying, 'To all actors that are thinking about reading for the show, there will be no marks on the floor, no lights, no makeup, all the cameras are going to be handheld..." Will Arnett, who plays Michael's half-wit brother, Gob, chimes in about Arrested Developments' bare bones production, describing early days on set and the first scenes they ever worked on with Mitchell.
Alia Shawkat, who plays Maeby Fünke, Michael's rebellious niece, opens up about her friendship with co-star Michael Cera, who plays George Michael and her love interest on the show. The Bluth kids started as pre-teens when they were cast on Arrested Development, and grew up a bit during the filming of the show, as Will points out.
"When were talking about coming back and working on the fourth [season], that all of us, who for the first time around, who were already adults, the years that we first made this show were three or four years of our lives," says Will. "For these guys, it was their teenage years...these formative, big years. It's such a different experience."
Arrested Development's also hosted a ton of great cameos, with Charlize Theron, Kristen Wiig, Amy Poehler, Seth Rogen and John Krasinski all popping up for brief spots or recurring characters over the course of the show's run. Ben Stiller was a lucky get, as Mitchell describes above: a photo of the comedian was used as a prop in an early episode, and that led to a pretty lucky casting break for the AD crew.
Mitchell admits to having some issues keeping the characters straight, as there are so many of them—or he's had some trouble with their names, at least. After James quizzes him on the names of the Arrested Development cast of characters, Mitchell admits that the tricky name game was a deliberate decision. "I thought it would compel you to pay attention!"
What as your favorite moment from Inside the Actors Studio with the Arrested Development cast? Are you thrilled for the show's return? Let us know in the comments.