By: Courtney Vaudreuil
Have you accepted Portland into your heart? If not, your chance to embrace hipster/hippy mockery in all its hemp-clad glory begins on January 4, 2013, 10/9c on IFC. In season three, viewers can expect a mission to convert Seattle residents to the gospel of Portland, more vignettes with Armisen in drag, and some impressive guest stars like Chloe Sevigny, Jeff Goldblum, Martina Navratilova, and Rose Byrne. Creators and stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein recently sat down with theTVaddict.com to talk about all things PORTLANDIA.
You have a lot of great guests this season. Who was the most fun for you to work with?
Carrie Brownstein: That’s a hard question because everybody brings something different to the table and we have been so fortunate in working with people that are very generous with their time and their energy and we were working with a small crew on a pretty small set. So I feel like it’s hard to kind of pick a favorite, but this year it was a real pleasure to work with someone like Roseanne Barr, Jim Gaffigan, Patton Oswalt. But I’ll say I’m going to name this person just because they’re totally different from anyone else I feel it seems fair, Martina Navratilova. All the actors have been amazing, but it’s just so surreal to work with basically a legend and literally one of the greatest tennis players of all time. She’s just in the highest echelon of that sporting role and I think it’s because she wasn’t an actor or comedian or a musician, it just lends itself to this kind of surreality and everyone was a little bit awestruck and star struck, so I’ll just say her.
Fred Armisen: I’ll agree with that about Martina Navratilova. It’s definitely a different kind of being star struck.
The sketch you had with her, she gave a pretty deadpan delivery. Was that surprising for you that she was able to hold it together, because it seems like not being an actor that might be a little harder?
Fred Armisen: Yes, I was surprised, and pleasantly surprised. She was really, really good.
Carrie Brownstein: Yes, I was surprised, too, although I will say I think that she has such discipline, obviously, like I think that she took direction and basically all [director] Jon [Krisel] had to say was just be natural and she did it.
How much did you love the scene where you buy doilies from Jeff Goldblum?
Fred Armisen: That shooting day was like being on some kind of a drug. Like it was so amazing, I felt kind of dizzy from like how crazy it got and how awesome he was. He’s so good. We literally don’t have to tell him anything in terms of this scene. We’ve got this very talented art department who filled up this store with doilies, which is not easy because they’re so tiny. So they made it seem like a real doily store and he was just so good with it that I remember that just Carrie and I barely had to do anything.
Do you get flooded with requests from other actors and comics to come on to the show?
Fred Armisen: Not flooded, I mean I say friends, people that we know. It’s always like okay, we’ll figure something out, but maybe next season, but it’s just friends of ours who just want to come and hang out.
Do you think you’ll have [Battlestar Galactica creator] Ron Moore on the show again?
Fred Armisen: Oh, that’s not a bad idea. Yes, we’d love to maybe next season. He was great. We are really friends.
Who came up with the Battlestar Galactica sketch from last season?
Carrie Brownstein: It was Jonathan Krisel. It started out, the broader concept was there’s a couple who are kind of only getting along when they watch this show. Like their whole relationship has just become about this wonderful and deepest mode and where they just really feel connected to each other and it’s probably the only time they’ve become connected to each other. And that becomes sort of like this drug. And then we kind of broaden that out to be that kind of binging on a specific show and getting obsessed. Yes, I think it was Jon’s idea.
Tying into one of your first episodes for this season, do you feel like you have to convince people that Portland is better than Seattle?
Carrie Brownstein: There is a rivalry between Portland and Seattle for sure, but it’s actually been reversed where Portland is the underdog. Seattle had a huge time in the ‘90s with the .com boom and grunge music and Portland always felt like the younger sibling. But I think now Portland gets so much attention nationally for its cuisine and boutiques and whatnot that Seattle kind of has an inferiority complex. We just volley that and to carry it back and forth; but there’s actually and affection between the two cities and obviously a lot of similarities.
Is Portland truly a place where young people go to retire?
Carrie Brownstein: I mean literally probably not, but in terms of the sensibility of Portland, I would say that the feeling definitely is there. I do think that people move there to work less, to improve the quality of life in terms of free time and play and sport and livelihood and creativity. If you want to call that an early retirement, that’s probably not an unfair assessment, but it definitely can feel like it’s a city at play.
PORTALANDIA airs Fridays at 10/9c on IFC.