Thursday, December 8, 2011
A: With CALL ME FITZ, I set out to ponder the notion "can a man change"? The show looks at good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, and - this is where the comedy kicks in - all the gray areas in between. We really try to spin each episode around one aspect of Richard Fitzpatrick's psychological make-up, so the stories are really about something. Then we mix in a triple shot of bourbon, a few hookers, and watch the wreckage fall where it may…
Q: Tell us about Fitz’ journey in the second season. Where is he psychologically this season?
A: Fitz is in a dark place in season two, on the hunt for his own worst enemy - literally - someone wants him dead, and it's a race against time to figure out who that person is. Without giving the ending away, what we tried to do in season two is call Fitz to task for his past actions - really take a look at the cause and effect of how one chooses to live their life. It was also an opportunity to get to know the Fitzpatrick family a little better, delve into their fraught past, and see how a guy like Fitz becomes a guy like Fitz.
Q: Can you talk about the process of fleshing out a new character like Dot
A: Dot Foxley was a tricky beast. While she was easy to write from the start - a mix of fucked up Southern spitfire and Sarah Palin - we knew casting was critical. She could very easily have fallen into caricature. Amy Sloan read for Dot and nailed it right out of the gate - she brought intelligence to the role, a scary groundedness. This is a character who practices voodoo, has fire engine-red bangs, and throws knives for fun. When Amy came in, this mix of insane and brilliant.... we knew she could go toe to toe with Fitz. Though he'd never admit it, I think he's terrified of her - Dot reminds him of the other redhead in his life - his mother. All the pieces fell into place with that revelation. That's when we knew the character of Dot had real longevity.
Q: What do you most admire about Fitz?
A: His honesty. Hands down. Fitz is who Fitz is and he's not afraid to own it!
Q: Do you think the Fitz family dysfunction is the norm? Are the Fitzpatricks based on relationships you've seen in real life?
A: God, I hope not! No, that's a lie. I think all families are fucked up in their own special, horrible way. And for the record, I would never ever use my own relatives as inspiration for anyone on the show...
Q: Can you talk about Fitz and Larry's evolutions throughout the first two seasons?
A: Fitz and Larry ... the most deranged comic duo ever to grace a C-list car lot! Well, in season one, their arc was all about 'how can I get rid of this guy he's ruining my life'. In season 2, it's 'how can I use this guy to my advantage despite the fact he's ruining my life’....
Larry is concretely a part of Fitz' day-to-day in Season 2. We never question the fact that he's Fitz' conscience, or his insane devotion. Fitz accepts Larry and even starts to depend on him for help -- despite the fact that Larry is the cause of many of Fitz' problems... that's what interests me about their relationship. The fact that the conscience is just as screwed up - maybe even more - than Fitz.
Q: The music is a big part of the show and definitely a fan favorite! Can
you talk about your musical inspiration for Call Me Fitz?
A: Music is key to this show... and believe me, it was part of many discussions at the beginning of season one. My rule of thumb is: don't use it to fix what a scene isn't accomplishing - use music as a means to elevate, add a layer of comedy, complexity, emotional nuance. After all, Fitz is a guy obsessed with Frank Sinatra and the rat pack. We had to go there.
The big band vibe mixed with redux 70s/80s may seem like an odd mix, but it really seems to suit the low-end Vegas tone of the series. I have a blast choosing songs and helping Rich and Dylan (the kick ass Fitz composers) and Amy Fritz (music supervisor), figure out the cues and needle drops. We work with real musicians, use amazing vocalists (Matt Dusk, Ginger St. James, etc.)... this part of the process is a real joy for me. I think it is a huge part of what makes the show unique.
Q: You not only wrote, but produced and directed, last week’s episode, and this week’s upcoming season finale. How do you juggle all of these hats? Do you ever have fights with yourself between what you think as a writer and what might be feasible as a director?
A: No fights, but I did question my sanity a few times! It's a lot to manage, but totally worth it. The experience of being on set and directing our actors after months in the writing room is incredibly rewarding. I wish there was time in the season to do more. But the early mornings? Not a fan.
Q: What can fans expect in Season 3?
A: Big things for Fitz in season three. Let's just say our guy is back on top again... which only means he has further to fall. I think it's my favourite season yet!
Posted by Official Call Me Fitz Blog at 8:37 AM