The stars of WILFRED, ELIJAH WOOD and JASON GANN sat down with us at the journalist’s conference table in the press room at Comic-Con to talk about their hit show, WILFRED on FX. WILFRED is one of those rare shows that is strange enough to peak your interest and profound enough to keep you coming back for more. I have not enjoyed a comedy so much in a long time. If you have not caught an episode, be ashamed but you can redeem yourself and our friendship by tuning in, it is never too late to jump in.
Being stoned when WILFRED was created:
Jason Gann: I was a little stoned. In the first thirty seconds of the short film, Wilfred offered a bong. There was a bong there when we wrote it but I’m not saying I’m pro drugs. People ask if I use a real bong on a professional set. The first short film I made, I played this dude who was smoking weed and he was sleeping on a mattress in the garage of his parent’s place. I had to set up this versabrik, as his bedside table and in this scene I just fall down back to sleep back onto the pillow and my mate was shooting and he said, “I didn’t believe you, I didn’t believe you” so we had to do it again. I got up and did it again and I feel down head first and split my head open. That’s what happens when you perform stoned.
Reaction on Venice Beach to the dog suit:
Jason Gann: There was barely a reaction. One dude who was like a performer or some weird guy, I had these teardrop reflective sunglasses on in between takes and he was like, “Hey, the guy with the teardrop sunglasses.” I was like, “That’s what you see.” It’s the first time I had ever been in public in the Wilfred suit and felt comfortable. It’s not a joke, I really did. Every time we shot on Venice there’s been coincidently Australians there and they come up to me and say, “Wilfred, I can’t believe you are here” and they are so excited. That is really encouraging for me to see. The last time we were there, there were actually Americans coming up that had seen the promo and there was a little love for the characters.
Watching the episodes:
Jason Gann: I can’t watch something for the first time with people. I need to do it on my own so if I’m devastated I can deal with that…
Elijah Wood: Privately!
Jason Gann: There is just something different about when you watch a show and you know it’s on TV live.
Elijah Wood: It’s very true. You can feel if there are a lot of people watching the show.
Elijah’s thoughts on the first script:
Elijah Wood: I just fell in love with it. I had never read anything like it. The cover of the script said that it was based on this original show in Australia, so I immediately looked it up and saw clips of it on Youtube, which actually served to enhance my experience because I thought, “Fuck man, if we can make this kind of show, this is going to be really interesting.” I had never seen anything like it on television before. I loved the darkness of the original show and that built this real level of excitement in me and then I ultimately met with David Zuckerman. He told me where he saw the show going and I loved it even more. The characters of WILFRED are so great.
Elijah’s thoughts on Venice Beach:
Elijah Wood: Venice is kind of an odd character in itself. We really did shoot in Venice and it is very locally there and it is definitely part of Ryan’s universe and the fact that there are so many stoners in Venice is…
About Wilfred’s nose:
Jason Gann: I’ve actually got a very cute nose and I’ve always had it. Some people think that it is put on and it is not. I’m very particular about it fitting in the contours of the nostril. It can’t be up too high or I look like a koala. It’s got to get in the nook and cranny over there. Recently, the make-up artist said that we can get a mold done and then get a rubber one that comes on and off. For years I’ve wanted that but now with the cute extras on the set, they really like the nose and so I’m like, there is no reason to rush the rubber one.
Where Elijah would like to see his character go:
Elijah Wood: I’d like to see, and it sort of does start to happen, the natural process of recovery and it does start to get better. We will see that but in terms of where we want to it go, I don’t know.
Jason Gann: We’ve got a lot of twist and turns that we think will be really exciting to explore and hopefully, we’ve just started.
Ryan’s relationship with his sister:
Elijah Wood: Dorian is so great and it’s a great relationship. We’ve had so much fun with that and that’s also a relationship that I think it starts so bad and it will get better. That’s family and I think it is going to feel very real.
Looking forward to about “The Hobbit”:
Elijah Wood: I’m looking forward to seeing everyone and being back in New Zealand. In terms of the actual film, I’m looking forward to seeing Smaug and how they realize Smaug and I think that is going to be really interesting as a character. I’m looking forward to seeing The Thirteen Dwarfs and their characters come to life, 3D and all of that. I think I’m looking forward to great storytelling. I’m looking forward to seeing the scripts come to life. Peter and Philippa write incredible stories that are incredibly compelling and they are obviously based on this incredible source material but they weave in a lot of beautiful humanity and they make you really empathize with the characters.
Jason Gann: A lot of people think it’s rubber but it’s really not. (Jason, going back to the discussion of Wilfred’s nose and everyone starts laughing in the room.) Some people think it’s drawn on and I used to do it with a pencil.
Elijah Wood: Next season it’s going to be CG.
Jason Gann: Eventually, I will get some other idiot in the suit walking around and I’ll just do it from my bed.
Elijah Wood: Oh yeah, it will just be face replacement.
Discussions about picking out the bong and Bear:
Elijah Wood: Fuck yeah, there were. Those are pertinent questions.
Jason Gann: With Bear there were a lot of cuddly toys brought for us to see and the head was too big on that one and this one’s got a better ass. Hang on, let me road test this one. I was like take it back, well we can’t take it back now.
Elijah Wood: And the bongs, there were multiple bongs.
Jason Gann: What dog has that?
Elijah Wood: And a lighter. You know what I love, I read a comment on response to one of the episodes and someone was like, “You know, I’m already seeing some problems that make no sense, like how does Wilfred get a lighter?” Where did he get the lighter? Where did he get the bong, dude?
Jason Gann: Where did he get the human face?
COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL 2011 SAN DIEGO, CA
Elijah Wood and Jason Gann Interview
Elijah Wood – “Ryan” on Wilfred
Jason Gann – “Wilfred” / Co-Executive Producer / Writer on Wilfred
WILFRED Thursday Nights at 10 EST only on FX
July 24, 2011
Photos & Press Conference Room Coverage by Lena Lamoray