Happy Accident

by Zach Oat September 18, 2009
The Jenna Elfman Interview

What movies do you have in the works?
The Six Wives of Henry Lefay with Tim Allen and Paz Vega, I did that two years ago, and I'm still waiting for it to come out. It was an independent film, and I think it was about to be released when the financial market was affected, and whatever money was behind the release of the movie was affected, so it was delayed a bit.

That's a shame, because it looks like an amazing cast.
It is! It's a romp, it's kind of a black comedy, a lot of physical comedy in it. Tim Allen's hilarious, as usual. That was fun. My kid was nine weeks old when I went to do that movie, and I took him with me to Connecticut. It was fun to get out of the house and go work and go do some comedy. And the other one I have a cameo in. What's it called now? Love Hurts? I love the stars of that film (Richard Grant and Janeane Garofalo), both of them are really talented, so I thought would be fun to go do a few days of work with these great people.

What can you say about your role in the upcoming Forbidden Zone 2, directed by your father-in-law Richard Elfman?
I don't know anything about it. [Laughs.] This is the first I've heard of it. My father-in law has been over at my house many times over the last two weeks, and I've not heard one word about it, so I don't even know that it exists, but I would do it, absolutely, because I think Forbidden Zone is brilliant and out there. And I've always wanted him to do another Forbidden Zone, and I wanted to be in it. So if he were to do it, I'd do it.

Why do you think it was so difficult to get your new show off the ground?
You know, in development, you kind of-- for me, from the talent perspective, I was meeting as many great writers as I could, and they obviously have to be inspired to want to write something for you as well, and many of them were. Many of them had ideas that didn't totally seem like something I would wanna do. You kind of cover a lot of territory. At my deal at ABC, I brought them four ideas, four pitches, and they would also find stuff and send it to me. So it was kind of like a mutual thing. And they spanned the spectrum -- a couple of them totally made me laugh, but were pretty out there, but you just kind of bring 'em in, because it's part of the creative process. But some of 'em absolutely had a shot, were going to be done, and then the network has their own whimsy, and life has whimsy. Everything -- the story, the writing, the network, the star --has to be aligned. The subject matter, it has to be culturally relevant... there's a lot of pieces that have to come together, that it's quite a challenge to get to come together, which is why I don't think you've seen many great sitcoms in a while. You know? It's not the most inspired territory out there. I think with the writers it is; a lot of it dies at the network. Networks are like a graveyard for funny ideas sometimes. [Laughs.] No offense to the networks, I just think it becomes sooo quote-unquote "collaborative" that it just becomes, by committee, too much, and you lose the funny, and then, you know. We have a bit of a challenge.

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