Categories Articles & Interviews

‘Running Wilde’ delivers an ‘Arrested’ kind of love story

Will Arnett’s character in the new Fox comedy Running Wilde is a pampered billionaire who has virtually everything a man could want.
But what Steven Wilde really craves, the love of his longtime dream girl, is the one thing he can’t have.
The radiant Emmy Kadubic, played by Keri Russell, is a selfless environmentalist and humanitarian, the polar opposite of Wilde in every way.
But fate pushed them together last week in the series premiere.
Now he has become her new cause: Emmy wants to make Wilde a better man. Meanwhile, he hopes to win her heart — or at least make her a worse woman.
It sounds like the premise of a conventional romantic comedy. But Running Wilde, airing at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, is anything but conventional. With its cluelessly extreme characters and goofy sight gags, Running Wilde has the same surreal sensibilities as Arnett’s previous comedy, Arrested Development.

We chatted with Arnett and Russell about the show:
Any truth to the rumor that Steven Wilde is a thinly veiled version of Will Arnett? Wasn’t the character renamed Steven Wilde merely because the title Running Arnett didn’t sound right?
Arnett: “Let’s just say that this show represents a side of me that I simultaneously love and hate: I hate that I didn’t grow up a billionaire’s son, because I would have loved it!”

Is there any part of Emmy, the self-righteous crusader, that exists in you as well, Keri?
Russell: “I don’t think I’m as bossy as she is. But I certainly think I know everything. At least my husband would say so. Will jokes that Shane, my husband, is an un-credited writer on the show. Shane tells him all the bad things there are to know about me and they write it in the show.”

Is it a tough balancing act to make a filthy rich, self-centered, immature character lovable?
Arnett: “It’s fun to write a despicable character and then to fight to make him loveable. That’s where I hope the magic will be in our show. And I like the idea of a guy who has been given every kind of advantage and yet he’s somehow a really good person to those around him. He’s kind of the opposite of what people might project onto him in that way.”

Does this brand of absurdist comedy reflect your sense of humor?
Arnett: “I do enjoy the surreal. It makes me laugh when the fourth wall is bent but not broken.”
Russell: “It’s so refreshing. I love it. It’s something you can watch a second and third time and notice new things and get different jokes.”

What’s up with David Cross? Was casting him as Emmy’s boyfriend a desperate ploy to entice more of the Arrested Development fans to watch this show?
Arnett: “David and I just can’t let each other go. When you have something this real, you just can’t let go.”
Russell: “I feel the same way with J.J. Abrams and Matt Reeves, who created Felicity. J.J. calls me all the time to do stuff. So yes, there is an Arrested Development flavor [with Cross on board]. But he’s also here because he’s so funny. He goes above and beyond what is asked of him in the most ridiculous ways.”

What kind of relationship do you two have off camera?
Arnett: “Keri is just so demanding and ugly when it comes to being down-to-earth and beautiful. She’s tough about it, because she’s so God-darned good at it.”
Russell: “Every minute of my job, he’s humiliating me or berating me in front of the crew. But I feel like the crew is 75 percent on my side. I feel that they like me a lot more than they like him. Yeah, I’m pretty confident about that. But I tell Will every day that I have an older brother already. His name is Todd Russell. My brother makes fun of me every day of my life. I don’t need another one.”

Any truth that there’s a tiny-horse pressure group protesting the treatment of tiny horses in the first episode?
Arnett: “You heard it here first. The tiny horse revolution has begun!”


Categories Articles & Interviews

Running Wilde: Did you watch it? Are you sad it’s not Arrested Development?

Running Wilde has one of the worst titles and best pedigrees of the new TV season. Stars Will Arnett and Keri Russell play characters that seem tailor-made for them: Arnett’s hilariously venal Steve is like a single-child version of Gob, while Russell’s Emmy is an older, screwier Felicity. Adding to the good juju: Wilde is co-created by Arrested Development‘s Mitch Hurwitz. That’s enough to send expectations skyrocketing, but the Wilde pilot was reshot considerably. The show is pretty far from perfect, but last night’s premiere was fast-paced and funny…and featured at least one character who deserves to be the Kenneth/Abed sitcom breakout of the year.
First, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way. Arnett’s character is probably a little bit too tailor-made for the actor: Arnett co-created the show and co-wrote last night’s episode, so whenever Russell’s not around, Running Wilde feels uncomfortably like The Michael Richards Show. With his Baldwin-in-a-forest-fire rasp, Arnett can deliver gag lines with deadly accuracy (“Fa’ad is gonna feel a holocaust of envy.”) But he works best in a group, or at least with a straight man to play off of.
Thank goodness for Russell. Emmy has a bit of the DNA of Jason Bateman’s Michael Bluth: she thinks she’s a moralist, but she’s really just as selfish as everyone else. You could see that in the funniest moment of the night, when Russell proclaimed how proud she was for not feeling superior to anyone: “But if I were the type of person who needed to feel superior, I would say, ‘I feel sorry for that shallow, rich guy. But good for that deep, poor girl for not judging him!’”
The best reason to watch, though, is Peter Serafinowicz, who plays Steve’s wealthy neighbor Fa’ad. When Serafinowicz pretended to be a psychiatrist, I was on the floor. “I am Doctor!” “The best, and the dumbest!” “Thank you, Dr. Magazine!”
What did you think of Running Wilde, PopWatchers? I kind of adored Stefania Owen as Emmy’s daughter Puddle, but not sure how long I can handle her cute-snarky narration. And will everything be better if David Cross keeps appearing as Emmy’s boyfriend?


Categories Articles & Interviews

Keri Russell Says Running Wilde Is Like a Men’s Club — for Nerds

As Felicity, the sensitive college girl forever caught between two men in The WB series of the same name, Keri Russell became known for dramatic, breathless hellos, rather than breathless laughter. But Will Arnett, her co-star in Fox’s new comedy Running Wilde, says Russell is not only funny, she was at the top of their wish list to play his opposites-attract love interest.

“That’s a bald-faced lie,” Russell says, joking that in order to make sure she was funny enough to star in a comedy, the show’s creators — Arrested Development’s Arnett and Mitch Hurwitz, along with Jim Valley — have been sending the actress to do stand-up in New York two nights a week. “It’s been, um, awkward,” the actress says.”God, wouldn’t that be hysterical if it were true?” Continue reading Keri Russell Says Running Wilde Is Like a Men’s Club — for Nerds

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Keri Talks About Motherhood And Her New Show ‘Running Wilde’

Keri Russell is back on TV. After her starmaking drama Felicity, which also launched the behind the scenes talent of J.J. Abrams, Russell enjoyed a movie career in critical darlings like Waitress and blockbusters like Mission: Impossible III and Bedtime Stories. Now she’s costarring in the new Fox comedy Running Wilde, from Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz. Continue reading Keri Talks About Motherhood And Her New Show ‘Running Wilde’

Categories Articles & Interviews

Keri Russell’s life takes a funny turn

The former ‘Felicity’ star returns to television as the comedic foil for Will Arnett in the new Fox series ‘Running Wilde.’

It’s mere hours before the Emmy Awards and Keri Russell is in a bathrobe in her hotel room, holding two phones to her ears. Her hairstylist is arriving and she’s feeling overwhelmed by all the primping that’s about to take place.

“If I had it my way, I’d be going in jeans and a T-shirt,” she explained over the phone. “I can’t decide what to wear! Purple dress or pink?”

She went with the pink — a late-1970s hot-pink pleated chiffon Jean-Louis Scherrer gown from her own closet.

The intense glamour regime required by the awards circuit and the self-promotion that comes with a network TV series is a huge leap from the ungussied lifestyle she leads in Brooklyn, where the former “Felicity” actress rides her bicycle to the market and returns home with bags of food strapped to the back. And where she does something unthinkable for most Hollywood stars: her own laundry. Continue reading Keri Russell’s life takes a funny turn

Categories Articles & Interviews

Keri Russell: The Woman Next Door

She is still most famous for playing a teenager on TV in the nineties. Which seems strange. Because lately we’ve been seeing her everywhere.

“Just worked out near KRuss.” So texts my wife the morning of the day I’m scheduled to sit down with Keri Russell, which would be an incredible coincidence — serendipitous! — if we both weren’t used to seeing Russell all the time. The actress, famous for portraying fresh-faced girls next door since her days on Felicity, lives right around the corner from me in a leafy section of Brooklyn, and I’ll see her around the neighborhood doing the most mundane things imaginable: parking her car. Taking a walk with her son. Window-shopping in baggy jeans. That she apparently goes to the same gym as my wife — well, of course she does. It’s not a huge deal. She’s not the biggest celebrity in the world — she’s not even the biggest celebrity in the neighborhood — but she’s a celebrity nonetheless and a little attention is usually paid. Continue reading Keri Russell: The Woman Next Door

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Fall TV Is Here! Get the Five New Shows You Must Watch

Fox’s Gob-meets-Felicity-fest!

Note: If you want the scoop on Fox’s other new offerings, check out our reviews on Raising Hope (also hilarious and so worth watching) and the very unique Lone Star (I want to love it…maybe you can help me?).

Running Wilde (Fox)

Premieres: Tuesday, Sept. 21, 8:30-9 p.m.
Time-Slot Competition: Life Unexpected (CW), NCIS: Los Angeles (ABC), Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Cast: Will Arnett, Keri Russell, Robert Michael Morris, Mel Rodriguez, Stefania Owen, Peter Serafinowicz, David Cross Continue reading Fall TV Is Here! Get the Five New Shows You Must Watch

Categories Articles & Interviews

Will Arnett: Running Wilde “Designed to Reveal What a Hypocrite Keri Russell Is”

Keri Russell and Will Arnett are comedic gold together — at least that’s what we took away from our sit-down with them at the Television Critics Association fall previews.

Mitch Hurwitz: Running Wilde is not Arrested Development, but you should still watch

Envision lots of laughter as the stars of Running Wilde — Fox’s new comedy about a spoiled sycophant with endless resources trying to woo his former pal — hijack’s interview. Really, we’ll let them take it away… Continue reading Will Arnett: Running Wilde “Designed to Reveal What a Hypocrite Keri Russell Is”

Categories Articles & Interviews

The Realness of Felicity Star Keri Russell

Let’s face it: calling a celebrity “real” is a huge cliché—but we just couldn’t help ourselves with Keri Russell. She arrives—early—at a bakery near her Brooklyn, New York, home, her hair in a loose bun, toting packages bound for the post office. When I offer to pay for her scone, she scoffs.

The 33-year-old star of TV’s Felicity grew up in Texas, Arizona, and Colorado, and moved to this quiet corner of Brooklyn in 2007 with her husband, Shane Deary, a carpenter, and their son, River, now 2.

She’s passionate about children’s-health issues and recently teamed with Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser in Extraordinary Measures, based on the true story of a couple whose two youngest children are diagnosed with a rare, fatal disease; as the clock runs out, they and Ford’s character start a biotech company to find a cure. Over breakfast, the self-deprecating star talks about the importance of downtime, her favorite new way to exercise, and fighting for better health care for kids. Then, she’s off to the post office. Continue reading The Realness of Felicity Star Keri Russell