Jim Jefferies stars on the FXX breakout hit LEGIT. He plays a much more heightened and more outrageous version of himself. I spoke with Jim about this weeks episode, the transition from standup to scripted TV, and what we can expect to see this season on LEGIT.
You’ve done a lot of standup in your career; do you find it easier to standup than a scripted show, or vice versa?
Jim Jefferies: I find standup easier for me now because I’ve been doing it for so long, but I’m sure I’ll get more comfortable doing acting over time. At the moment I find acting to be a much more daunting job for me to do.
How different is comedy in Australia and London compared to the U.S. was it a hard transition for you?
No, no it’s not different; it’s exactly the same! A little bit of phrasing here and there but funny’s, funny. There’s a huge thing around the world that we all have a different sense of humor, but we don’t. Maybe some countries have a richer history of comedy on television or standup for a bit longer but it’s generally the same thing all around the world.
Is it weird playing a heightened version of yourself?
It is odd because I don’t think the character on the show is that much of an asshole, but everyone views him as being an asshole and I don’t think he’s that bad a guy. I’ve been that way a few times through my life so I get a little bit strange when people are mean about the character in that way.
How much of the show is based off of your life?
The first season was about 80% based off my life and the second season about 50%. Even some of the story lines that I’ve done in standup are lifted directly from my life there’s scenes with my parents this year that the dialogue directly links the storyline with a love interest from a girl I went to high school with, which is exactly how it happened. So it’s pretty much based off my life.
Do you come up with the majority of the material; do you do most of the writing?
I write most of the storylines and then me and the two other writers go off and write a few episodes each. I write 6 episodes each year and one of the writers writes 3 and the other writer writes 4.
What can you tell us about the first episode of season 2?
The first episode of season 2 I’m doing love line with Dr. Drew, who was kind enough to appear in an episode, I think it was his first acting job. Dr. Drew diagnosis me as a sex addict, which sort of happened in real life with me and Dr. Drew. And then I go off to some sex addicts meetings, there’s also a sob storyline where my career is going down hill because my actions from season 1, a girl accused me of trying to rape her in a car which lost me a movie deal. We’re starting off the season with the character Steve (Dan Bakkedahl) dealing with alcoholism and Jim is dealing with the demise of his career plus also the addiction problems for him as well.
Will we see him work out his sex addiction issues throughout this season?
There’s a few lessons learned, love lost that type of activity going on, there’s a huge arc for my character trying to get his career back together and a love lost in his life. Also what to do when you’re that age when you’re tipping 40 almost and you still haven’t really matured and it’s not cool to be living with your friends anymore. Steve has a big arc this season of him trying to get his kids back also dealing with alcoholism and Billy (DJ Qualls) has a big arc, his best friend dies from a home her used to live in and he realizes that his own mortality is as close as it’s ever been. He also goes on this new drug for muscular dystrophy, which gives him some mobility, but it also has some pretty aggressive side effects.
LEGIT features a lot of explicit and touchy subject matter, do you ever have to pull back and tone it down?
The standards people will tell us, there’s someone who is employed to tell me I can’t do something. There was one episode this season when we swore and we were allowed to say it 6 times but we weren’t allowed o say it 9 times, evidently 9 times would be too offensive but 6 times wouldn’t upset anybody, just silly things like that. As for subject matter I think the show has more depth and heart to it than offensive material. It’s more a story about 3 guys who love each other, than 3 guys who are complete pricks.
What’s in store for your character this season, what will we see happen to him?
There’s going to be a dilemma towards the end of the season where he has to pick and choose whether he goes one way and chooses his career or he goes the other way and chooses happiness.
You can watch Jim on LEGIT Wednesday’s at 10:00 on FXX. You can catch his standup special FULLY FUNCTIONAL on Netflix, and you can follow him on twitter @Jimjefferies
Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli