“I think I’ve always been kind of a jokester or a wise ass – I don’t know how you wanna put it – a jerk,” jokingly explained Will Arnett, who stars as the smug brother and unsuccessful magician on one of the best sitcoms in recent history, “Arrested Development.” Born and raised in Toronto, Arnett headed to New York for typical dramatic roles in plays and independent films, but didn’t find commercial success. After reading for a few dramas and sitcoms, Arnett said he turned to comedy “because people found my dramatic acting to be hilarious, and that’s a bad sign for a dramatic actor.”

Arnett’s friends eventually told him of an amazing pilot script, but he remained cautious. “I didn’t wanna read for it because I had some crappy experiences in TV. I had my heart broken or my ego crunched on but eventually went in and just read for it.” After sending a taped version of his read from the unfinished script, he heard back the next day and was asked to audition for the studio in Los Angeles, eventually cementing his role in the cast.

After two seasons and six Emmy wins for “Arrested Development,” the show has established itself amongst the sitcom elite. Featuring the quirky Bluth family, which includes an alcoholic mother, fugitive father and emotionally scarred children, “Arrested” has an ensemble cast unlike any other television show. This fact, along with cutting-edge humor and intricate plot devices have made fans, albeit a small number, fervent about the phenomenal show.

Of the many critical accolades heaved upon “Arrested Development,” much of the attention has been directed toward the seemingly improvised scenes, which, Arnett said, is a result of the “incredibly collaborative creative process on the show.” It creates an “incredibly fun, funny creative environment. Everyone we work with is talented and so a lot of it is shooting straight from the hip – it’s really like uncensored. We’re not tied down to one thing.”

While the actors don’t have much input on the direction of the plot or the characters, they do have room for interpretation in scenes.

“There are certain things you’re given a lot of freedom where you kinda just create a joke out of something that may have not previously been there, you might just find a nugget. And everybody loves to find a nugget. And then you boil the nugget down to a gorgeous ring to wear on your finger like a badge.”

For all its critical success, the show hasn’t been able to avoid the ratings basement and remained on the brink of cancellation until late last spring. Fox, in spite of its notoriously quick cancellations, gave the show another chance, with a third season and a time-slot shift to Monday nights. Arnett says he still remains frustrated and unsure about the show’s future.

“That frustration is manifested in Mitch Hurwitz’s speech at the Emmys where he said ‘how can you keep giving us awards for a show that nobody watches?’ You know it’s hard to make. You’re making something where you don’t know, where you have no expectation of how it’ll be received. Our show, we know that we take a shit in the ratings every night and we continue to make it. It’s kinda weird – I don’t know how much more patience Fox is going to have with us. You know I wouldn’t blame them frankly, you know, they’re running a business and if part of your business is not performing, then you’ve gotta axe it,” Arnett said.

Until that happens, viewers can expect Gob to delve further into the relationship with his newly discovered son and “how that relates to his own previous feeling of neglect from his own father,” Arnett said. He followed up explaining that “It’s a lot emotionally for a person who is truly ill equipped to deal with it to deal with. He’s very confused right now. He’s often very confused.”

Arnett’s future plans outside of “Arrested” include the films “You Are going to Prison,” described as “your typical prison comedy,” and “R.V., ” which stars Robin Williams and is being directed by Barry Sonnefeld. Other indefinite projects are in the works; Arnett professed, “There are a lot of talented awesome people out there that I’d love to work with, and I’m pretty psyched about that.” Arnett looks ready to continue to thrive on the big screen as the smug star that makes him so hysterical on “Arrested Development.”

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