August 25th, 2010
12:53 PM ET
While you may know Will Arnett from playing versions of the “the stunted, spoiled, filthy-rich dumb-ass," as GQ put it, throughout his career, the actor told the magazine in their September issue that he's ready to branch out.
In Fox's new sitcom "Running Wilde," he'll play Steve Wilde, the descendant of an oil tycoon who isn't above holding a competition with his neighbor to see who can purchase the smallest and most expensive Arabian horse. It may sound like the same obnoxious, wealthy character, but Wilde is different, Arnett pointed out: He's also a romantic who's bent on trying to regain the affection of a former sweetheart (played by Keri Russell).
“I'm moving out of my comfort zone," Arnett told GQ, "and right into my wheelhouse."
“Running Wilde” pairs Arnett up once again with “Arrested Development” creator Mitchell Hurwitz, who told GQ that Arnett really isn’t as off-putting as the characters he portrays.
“Like many comic performers who get known for the less-than-savory personas they depict, Will is really the antithesis of the self-involved, emotionally stunted clown who he so easily slips in and out of,” Hurwitz said. “Will is fascinated by entitlement—which is also something of a theme for me—and he's able to play characters that suffer from the dead end of that life condition because he understands both what's ridiculous about that lifestyle, and how insidious it can actually be.”
This ability ended up being a lifesaver for Hurwitz when he was struggling to find the right actor for “Development’s” Gob Bluth. “This is a guy who thinks this show is about him. If he was real and was also in this show he'd ask why we need Jason Bateman's kid in it. Or Jason Bateman himself,” Hurwitz explained of the character. “[E]veryone who came in just played it so ‘character-y.’”
It got to the point where a Fox exec was telling Hurwitz that his "Arrested Development" pilot was on its deathbed, but then, casting delivered the gift of Arnett. “And of course, Will came in and completely nailed it. I mean, after weeks of it not working as we'd hoped and suddenly it's so beyond what we'd hoped for.
“I'm benefiting from it still,” Hurwitz added, “as both a producer and as his friend.”
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