Wood has truly made a name for himself in the Hollywood
industry. Having participated in both blockbusters and independent
films alike, Wood is a talented actor who brings life and
energy to some of the most interesting characters ever created.
One of those most recent characters is Ryan Newman, the
protagonist in the FX television series Wilfred
Ryan Newman is a down-on-his-luck lawyer who is close to
ending his own life until he is saved by the foul mouthed,
smoking and drinking Wilfred, his neighbor's dog. While
Wilfred appears to Ryan as a man in a dog costume, everyone
else sees him as an ordinary dog.
In a recent conference call, Wood discussed Newman's development
as a character, as well as the compelling plots and exciting
guest stars for the second season.
Wilfred is manipulative and like the anti-Jiminy Cricket.
Why do you think that "Ryan" continues to stay
with him despite all the schemes and all the lies?
The scheming and the lying, that's a good question. I think
that as much as "Wilfred" cannot entirely be trusted
I also think that almost entirely those sorts of schemes
and those lies end up in "Ryan" learning something
and "Ryan" continuing to grow and advance as a
person despite the method for getting him there. I think
deep down "Ryan" has a sense that "Wilfred"
does have his best interest at heart, even though his methods
aren't exactly to be trusted.
I think he's aware of the fact that he's on a path of self-discovery
and a journey to bettering himself , and it's his friend,
it's the person that knows him the best, it's the person
that understands him the best, again, despite the difficulties
present in their relationship sometimes. It's the person
that he can actually rely on and that can truly understand
what makes "Ryan" who he is.
Some of the funniest moments on the show have been the
improved in-character banter between you and Jason [Gann]
at the end of each episode. Will we be seeing more of that
this season, and can you talk a little bit about the improvisation?
actually none of those moments are improvised. The scripts
are very finely tuned. We don't actually have a lot of time
for improvisation. We're doing four day episodes, we're
running somewhere between six and nine pages a day of dialogue,
so we're moving relatively quickly. The pace is fast, so
it's difficult to get time for that kind of thing. And those
beats, those couch moments of them sitting together and
hanging out and smoking weed at the end of the episodes
are also kind of finely tuned little character moments.
But, yes, you will be seeing more of them now that we've
established that the basement does in fact still exist,
which we can now reveal since people have seen the episode.
Yes, we will see them hanging out in that space more for
Good morning to you. In the season finale we saw a different
side of "Ryan," a side that even made "Wilfred"
cringe, so what was it like to unleash "Ryan's"
dark side, and will we be seeing him again this season?
It was a lot of fun. It provided a color to the character
that was very different from the character we were introduced
to and that we've only kind of ever alluded to that side
of him in the first season until we saw it at the end, so
it was great fun to play. It provided another layer and
sort of insight into the darkness that lies within him that
ultimately led him to the place that we found him in at
the beginning of the first season. We won't necessarily
see that darkness again.He allowed himself to get to the
precipice a little bit, and in doing that he almost lost
everything that was holding him together, "Wilfred"
included, and so we see him now having come out of that
space, and I don't think it's likely that he'll return there
any time soon.
But we now are aware of the fact that that exists, and
to a certain degree I guess more importantly that is ultimately
what led to his initial downfall, it was that sort of selfish
activity and doing things that he knew was wrong despite
the fact that he knew them that put him in the place that
made "Wilfred" come into his life in the first
place, I think.
Can you talk about working with Don Swayze and
filming that scene, because it was hilarious.
It was great. It was great. One of the elements of the
show that's so wonderful is that we do get to include these
wonderful characters and then doing that get some wonderful
guest stars that come and join us and color our world. He
was fantastic. His character is very funny and he was super
game to play a relatively nefarious character, and it provided
quite a lot of laughs for us and I think he had a really
fun time doing it. He was great.
Did the filming of The Hobbit get in the way of Wilfred,
or was it timed well where you didn't have to worry about
jumping from one place to the next?
Oh, it was all done prior to the second season.
Yes, they've been filming The Hobbit for about a year and
I jumped on to it in July, a little bit in July last year
and a little bit in October, so it was all done prior to
starting on the second season.
Well, now you're creating an iconic figure in Wilfred,
you did it with "Frodo," and you're doing it with
Wilfred. What's it like, the differences for you, television
The pace is more intense, we move at a much faster rate
than films typically do. Like I said earlier, we're doing
about four day episodes, so it's quite a lot of material
in a short amount of time, so the pace is fast, I'm having
to keep up. I have just about enough time to get home every
night, go over the next day's work, get some sleep, and
go at it again. So that's a marked difference. And I think
the thing that was interesting for me, this is all relatively
new being on a television show and being within a comedy,
and what was so interesting last year is when it first aired
the realization of the fact that it was in people's living
rooms every week, it was such an interesting experience.
I never experienced that. I'm used to making something
over "x" amount of time, releasing it on to the
world in cinemas, and then it goes away. But we were in
people's living rooms for the course of the summer, which
was so interesting, it was the thing that was kind of happening
every week and that people were constantly reacting to,
and it was an enjoyable experience and I'm looking forward
to people seeing it again and reacting to more of what we've
You mentioned some of your co-stars a couple of questions
back, can you tell us a little bit about working with Robin
Oh, it was a joy, it was such a treat for all of us. We're
all massive fans of his. And I've had the pleasure of working
with Robin a number of times in the two Happy Feet films
doing voice work, and he's just a delightful human being,
so incredibly humble and so hilarious, and obviously an
icon, and to get a chance to bring him in to our world on
Wilfred was a total joy.
And it was funny, we were sitting across from each other
doing a scene and we realized that, and he said it, that
this is the first time that we actually got to play a scene
together in the flesh, like in front of each other and on
film, and he was saying how enjoyable that was, which was
wonderful. It was great to actually have a tangible space
to work in as actors. It was great. I think he had a wonderful
time. He worked with us for a few days and I think he loved
our crew, and he regaled people with stories and he spent
almost all of his time hanging out on set. It was wonderful.
It elevated our episode as well. It was a real treat for