'Fringe' exclusive: Lance Reddick on Funny or Die skit, show's future
Matt Carter, TV Examiner
January 19, 2012
Lance Reddick has certainly made a name for himself playing mysterious and even occasionally frightening characters on such shows as "The Wire," "Lost," and currently "Fringe," where he stars as Special Agent Broyles in one universe and Colonel Broyles in the other. Recently, though, we had an opportunity to see a completely new side of the actor courtesy of a new Funny or Die clip that features him as a shockingly inappropriate manager of a toy store. (If you haven't seen the video yet, you can to the left -- with a wwarning for language)
We recently had a chance to talk with the actor about taking on a more humorous role, the future of his Fox series, and how "The Wire" has managed to gain in popularity following the show's end.
Matt Carter: So you've been known through 'Lost' and 'Fringe' for playing some very mysterious characters -- so how did this whole idea [of doing something different] for the Funny or Die skit come about?
Lance Reddick: Honestly, I've been wanting to do some comedy for quite a while. I've done some comedy for the stage, but since I started to do a lot of television about 12 years ago I haven't done as much. But I love doing it.
[My involvement came thanks to] Chad Kultgen, the guy who wrote it. He was approached by Funny or Die to do it, and he was a huge fan of 'The Wire' so if he was going to do it he wanted to do it with me ... I had never met Matt before, and really the only thing he had sent me was the opening monologue. I was flipped -- I was like 'this is hysterical. I want to do this.'
So how long did it take you to shoot this?We started filming around 11 in the morning and we finished around 4. It was one of those things where they said 'whenever you have a break in your schedule, we'll set it up.' So when I happened to have about a week off from 'Fringe' -- my shooting schedule between episodes just so happened to fall like that -- I had my manager call them and we put it together.
So is this something that you could see yourself doing more of in the future?
Absolutely! I never thought of myself of being thought of as one type until 'The Wire,' and I always did stuff that was different. Granted, much of the stuff I did before that was still really intense (laughs), but it was still really different.
When you look back at 'Fringe' now versus where it was three and a half seasons ago, it's become one of the most complicated shows out there in between the alternate universes and what's happening with Peter right now. When you were starting out on the show, did you ever see any of this coming? Did [the producers] give you some sort of roadmap?
No. As a matter of fact, I think the show took a bit of a turn in the second season. I honestly don't think they were necessarily going to build alternate universes from the beginning. If they were, they just didn't tell me -- which is also possible. My character changed quite a bit from the first season to the second season -- honestly I feel like he became a lot less mysterious. So in the middle of the second season, you kind of knew that he was a good guy.
So in the second season we had the alternate [Colonel] Broyles, and then he died [in the] third season. And now he's back.
One of the things I wanted to specifically ask you about during season three. What was it like to have to play [Agent] Broyles looking at Colonel Broyles' dead body?
It was really surreal. I went in the day that we shot [the scene]-- and even though I went in and did the life mask and all that stuff -- until the day that we shot it I hadn't seen [the finished product] ... it was freaky. I wish I had a more eloquent way of putting it. It was almost like an out of body experience. You know when something happens that is so bizarre or so horrifying that your nervous system just short-circuits and disconnects? It was like that.
On the other hand, it's a great thing to play. (Laughs.)
Read Matt Carter's entire article here.
See Lance's "Funny or die" skit here.