EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Lee Pace of PUSHING DAISIES

ABC - MICHAEL DESMOND

Photo Credit : ABC - MICHAEL DESMOND

Anyone who knows me knows that I love me some PUSHING DAISIES.  Everything about it from the brilliant cast, to the storylines, to the direction, the cinematography, the singing, the animals, just everything about the show has me sitting like a goof with a giant grin on my face week after week. This week’s episode, titled “Circus, Circus,” finds Ned, Emerson, and Chuck searching for a missing teenager after her mother (played by personal fave Rachael Harris ) hunts Emerson down.  In other news, racked with guilt, Lily heads to the nunnery to chat with Olive.

Having had the chance to meet the cast (at Comic Con this summer or over the phone last week with Swoosie Kurtz), I want nothing more than for this show to thrive.  Lee Pace, the charming Piemaker who can bring things back to life with one touch, had some time to chat with me (on my birthday, no less), to talk about what we both think of this season, what we should expect throughout the year, and why you should tune in!

AM: I have seen the first three episodes, and I’m just in love with the show. I’ve been in love with the show since minute one.
LEE: Oh good, what do you think of the second season? Do you think it’s coming together?

The words I’m using to describe it so far are brilliant, and lovely. Every good word you can imagine to describe it, I’m using.
Oh good, thanks. That’s good. I really love how this season is. It’s different from the first season in a lot of ways, I think Bryan really found his stride, coming back from the strike this year.

Photo Credit : ABC - MICHAEL DESMOND

Last year, you had the set up, and you had to learn a lot about these characters, and this year, you can kind of let them live, and breathe a bit, because we know enough about them.
That’s true. One thing I was kind of glad to see in the episodes, in last week’s episode, I wanted to make Ned have changed from the last episode of last year because it’s been a year since. In their world, too, a year has past, and I wanted there to be an impact, for Chuck to have had an impact on his life. Having spent time with her, having spent a year living with her, doing the cases with her, I wanted to give him a level of enthusiasm. In a way, kind of a willingness to change, become a better man, ya know?

It’s complicated and he’s got deep issues that he’s trying to deal with but he’s dealing with him. I think in every episode you see him taking a little step forward.

For people who haven’t gotten to see it, what else can you say is coming up for Ned this season?
Well there’s that, but also, things get really hard for him. Ned is really fun to play when he’s under crazy pressure, when nothing is easy. Between Chuck moving out and wanting to have a bigger independent life, that’s going to bring nothing but anxiety to poor Ned. He just wants her to be safe at The Pie Hole [laughs]. But also, I’ve been having a good time with Ned solving the cases. Last year, I think he was kind of dragging his heels, like “I don’t really want to be doing this…” but it’s fun to play him as a little bit of a gumshoe, you know, getting to the bottom of who killed whom.

So we’ve seen Ned’s dad and he’s apparently been visiting The Pie Hole, but you [spoiler alert] mentioned to us at Comic Con that we would be seeing Ned’s twin brothers. When do we see them?
When do we see the twins? I think they come up…it’ll be a few weeks. It’ll be a few weeks. These first episodes are really setting up a bigger storyline to be kicked off. Maybe in episode 5, the ball really starts rolling down hill and the storyline continues to be much more complicated with the family stuff. We really dig into Ned’s father’s past and Chuck’s father’s past, and the aunts play a big part in that past, and holding a lot of secrets. That’s going to be a lot of fun to play.

ABC - MICHAEL DESMOND

Photo Credit : ABC - MICHAEL DESMOND

I’ve had a chance now to meet just about everyone but Ellen [Greene] and the cast seems so lovable, and so happy. You all seem to enjoy the show so much. Is it really like that all the time?
It actually is kind of like that all the time. We’re not a bunch of 20 year olds that are thrilled that we’re on TV and we’re ready to move on to the next big movie, we’re not like that. We’ve all been doing that for long enough to know that this is a great job, and a really unique opportunity. Not just to work on good material, but to work on a show that is open hearted and a good, positive thing to put out into the world. We’re all happy to be there, simply. We’re all happy and grateful to be there and working with each other. That’s really no small thing. With WONDERFALLS, I didn’t have much to do on the show, so I wasn’t around set so much. This year, I’m pretty much there everyday, and I hear stories about other shows where people fight, and all sorts of funny business going on. I can’t even imagine it because we all get along so well, and it’s so easy.

I was talking with Kath and she told me to ask because you’re so guarded as Ned, are you more apprehensive now to touch people / be around people?
I’m kind of like that generally. I’m shy, and kind of reclusive. This weekend, I made it out of the house twice, and I kind of like that. I’m kind of shy, I’ve got very Nedly tendencies. There was a time last season where Anna kind of came running up to me and gave me a hug and I flinched. You shouldn’t flinch when someone like Anna Friel gives you a hug. She kind of snapped her finger and was like “That was Ned.” It was totally instinctual. I don’t know. Maybe it’s from playing Ned. Did that answer your question?

Yes, yes it did! How was the Emmy experience and the red carpet?
It was kind of overwhelming, it was a lot. My favorite part about it was my friend Tom Ford gave me a suit to wear, which was really nice. I don’t think I’ve ever worn something so nice in my life. That was fun. My sister came with me. Those nights are kind of the most fun when you’re with someone from your family who isn’t used to that kind of thing, and hasn’t seen it before. Just to experience it through her eyes. It’s kind of extraordinary and a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work when you’re nominated, too. The 30 minutes before they announced my category, I almost had a heart attack. My heart was pounding. The idea of having to get up there and speak for myself was petrifying. Kristin was sitting next to me when it was called. She said it was the funniest look on my face when Alec Baldwin won, because I was just like “woo, thank God that’s the way it turned out.” I don’t think I was ready for the idea of actually winning. But after the award was called, it was a lot of fun.

ABC - MICHAEL DESMOND

Photo Credit : ABC - MICHAEL DESMOND

Last question before I let you go – if you had to appeal to the folks that haven’t tuned into PUSHING DAISIES, why should they watch?
First, I’d like to say that it’s not as complicated as you think it’s gonna be [laughs]. It’s really not. It’s actually kind of very easy and you know, kind of Scooby doo fun to go on the ride. The biggest reason for people to tune in, it’s a really kind hearted, positive, kind of show that just makes you feel good. Makes you feel loving and good things. It’s a positive good show, and that’s one of the things that separates it from other things on TV. They are brokenhearted characters who really want to be good people and that’s a good thing to see. That’s a good thing to invite into your home at night. Especially when times are hard right now. Banks are closing, it’s not the happiest world right now in America. A little bit of good feeling can go a long.

I sit watching the show with a big old grin on my face. It just makes me smile. That’s how I explain it to people.
That’s how I felt when I read the first scriopt, when I read the pilot episode bfore I signed on to do it. There are all these kind of odd things in this world, but it made me feel really good.

 

Please be sure to tune into PUSHING DAISIES, Wednesday night on ABC at 8PM.  If you’re unsure what you’re missing, check out this starter kit that tells you everything you need to know:

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