Now that Jonah Hill is no longer strictly "the chubby kid from all the Judd Apatow movies" (as my parents describe him), he's ready to make his debut as a TV executive producer and writer in the animated series Allen Gregory. Premiering Sunday at 8:30 PM on Fox, the show is about seven-year-old Allen Gregory De Longpre, a pretentious little tyke who is forced to attend public school for the first time after his parents face financial troubles. Earlier this week, Hill took a media call to hype up his new gig, but it was a little more like pulling teeth than talking to a person who was really excited that their series was about to air. Below are the highlights I was able to extract.
On where Allen Gregory will and won't go
Well, taboo wise... we don't shy away from anything on the show, but as far as a reality level, even though it's animated, [it's not] like a spaceship could land there -- it's all reality based. If it couldn't happen in real life, then it wouldn't. That being said, I've never heard of a seven-year-old-boy having a relationship with a 70-something year old disgusting woman ... but different strokes for different folks.
On why viewers will like Allen
I think the thing that they'll love about him is he has all this false bravado and condescension and arrogance and everything that's all covering up the fact that he's just insecure and wants to be accepted by these people. I think that's my favorite kind of character to watch; someone who acts like they don't care about anything, but really cares more than anybody else.
On joining the ranks of Family Guy and The Simpsons, and if he was going for crossover appeal
I think we paid absolutely no attention to that. We want to do our own thing, and being unique and different than those was really important as opposed to trying to fit in with them. That being said, I think people will connect with it. If you like The Simpsons and Family Guy, you would like our show because it's irreverent and different and is as original as those two shows were and are. I don't think you'd want more of the same. I think you want something different, but that's why those shows are so successful, because when they came out, they were so different.
On Allen's look
Well, we wanted the whole show to feel like it was ripped from The New Yorker and we showed the animators Capote and watched Wes Anderson movies to have a feel for the style of animation. And Allen Gregory, we just wanted his awful attitude to have it be juxtaposed by the more adorable-looking kid aesthetically.
Laughter, thank God.
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