Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Asking Bryan Fuller, Part the First: Pushing Daisies

Have I got a treat for y'all today! I can cross a mighty big one off my bucket list, because Heaven itself opened up and rained goodness down by granting me some chatting time with writer and producer, self-proclaimed geek and me-proclaimed genius Bryan Fuller. Bryan's had his hands all up in everything from Star Trek to Heroes of course, but he's most fondly appreciated round these parts as the visionary behind the short-lived-but-forever-beloved Wonderfalls and the now-airing-on-ABC (Wednesdays, 8pm!) Pushing Daisies.

Well Bryan took up my proposal (no, not that one... or that one... or that one...) and answered two rounds of questions, and today I present you with Round 1 which has to do with Pushing Daisies. There are some very very slight spoilers ahead, specifically for tonight's episode, and some info on a future episode (that made my head explode with candy-flavored fireworks), so do tread lightly if you're sensitive to those sorts of things.


JA: Hi Bryan! Let's jump right in. I live in terror of Ned and Chuck's every swinging extremity. I'm probably damaging my brain from cutting off its oxygen due to how much I'm holding my breath because of their "Touching = Death" plight. Promise me right here and right now that I have nothing to fear in that you would never have them accidentally brush elbows in the hallway causing Chuck to drop instantly dead mid-episode.

Bryan Fuller: I promise. Right here. Right now. Although if it had to end that way, it would end with a kiss.

JA: This is less a question than a suggestion: Perhaps you remember the Evil Leapers from Quantum Leap? How about an Evil "Dead-Person-Toucher" to challenge Ned? And relatedly, how about an easy name similar to "Leaper" for what Ned does instead of "Dead-Person-Toucher," which has a taste of the necrophiliac.

BF: "Deliver Us From Evil" (the first of Quantum Leap's Evil Leaper trilogy) didn't roll out until the fifth season. [ed. - Geek!] So in our fifth season, Pushing Daisies will follow suit and roll out the Savory Pie Maker with a witching dead-person-touching finger of his own .

On the serious tip though, do you have any plans to address where Ned's reanimation power came from? Is it just an "act of god" or will we find out there was an ancient African tribe that gives the power to One Girl Pie-Maker In All The World To Fight The Powers Of Darkness?

BF: You know, I kind of want that to remain magical. Midichlorians really bummed me out.

JA: Speaking of acts of god, how lenient is the network with some of the more risque bits? Like in tonight’s episode "Bad Habits" you have the corpse of a nun exclaiming, basically, that there is no afterlife. Any notes from the higher-ups on that? Or does the general air of sweetness counteract any of the more bitter flavors you inject?

BF: There was a lot of discussion on how we depicted the nuns in that episode, that line in particular. How Aaron and Gretchen (Berg and Harberts, who wrote the episode) rationalized it was this: no nun who is actually a nun ever questions their faith. We didn't want to take any pot-shots at religion or people of faith in an episode about nuns because we're bigger than that, goddamn it. Or rather, God damn it.

JA: One of the things about Daisies that consistently brings me pleasure is your impeccable taste for casting great character actors in small roles. Missi Pyle, Molly Shannon, Diana Scarwid, Mike White, Paul Reubens... I could keep going (no really - I really really could). That's not even touching the ones that you've given permanent roles to - Ellen Greene for the love of god. Any dream guests you'd kill to have?

BF: Holy cow. There are quite a few. I'll start with Toby Jones.

JA: And please tell me the rumor that Caroline Dhavernas and/or Beth Grant will be showing up to sate us Wonderfalls-geeks’ insatiable lust has truth to it?

BF: Beth Grant has reprised her role as Marianne Marie Beetle in our eighth episode. She competes with her muffins against Ned and Olive and their pies in a Comfort Food Cook-Off and it's really f-ing funny and one of my favorite episodes for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is Kristin Chenoweth's rendition of the Bangles' "Eternal Flame." [ed. - OH MY GOD.]

Speaking of network notes on risque bits, we got one for this episode regarding a cast member's risque bits during a slow motion sprint.

JA: Lee Pace dressed as a priest. I don't really have ... any question here... moving on...

BF: It is a recipe for excommunication.

JA: Could you just cram Kristen Chenoweth in an envelope and send her to me? She's tiny! I promise to treat her right, and only make her sing show-tunes on very specific occasions.

BF: Yes.


See how that goes? By the end I've always whittled everybody down to single-word answers. And the slow backing away. And all the paperwork with the restraining orders. It's exhausting!

A huge thanks to Bryan for taking time out of his busy schedule crafting the world's most romantic and colorful show about death to indulge my fan-boy prattle. And y'all go watch Pushing Daisies! ABC, Wednesdays, 8pm EST. Tell your friends!

And stay tuned - Next Wednesday
comes Round 2 of the interview!



congrats times many. this was so fun to read.

Anonymous said...

Running risque bits? I smell a prime screen grab.

Anonymous said...

Bravo Jason!! you are the awesome-est today!


p.s. tomorrow it will be me again

Anonymous said...

Bryan Fuller rocks!

Anonymous said...

Aw darn! I can't believe we have to wait til next week for round 2 of the interview!

Prospero said...

Please, jason, if Bryan sends you Ms. Chenowith, will you promise to share her with me?

RJ said...

I don't how you 2 could possibly get married since I moved to Utah to marry him and Lee Pace last month.

Chelsea said...

I love paul reubens in the show. (Did anyone see him in 30 rock?? F-ing hilarious.) Look him up, first season. You'll die.

LOVE LOVE LOVE Bryan fuller. Wonderfalls was addicting!

Keep these shows alive!!! It would be a shame to see it die (pun intended) just like Arrested Development and other much beloved, off-kilter shows.