Christy Grosz is an Awardsline contributor.
After building a career on comedic characters he calls “eccentric,” Will Arnett is back in primetime with CBS’ The Millers, playing TV journalist Nathan Miller, a recent divorcee who finds himself living with his mother. Arnett is more of a leading man than he has been in the past on such shows as Arrested Development and Up All Night, and he’s doing it in front of a live audience on the multi-camera sitcom directed by TV stalwart James Burrows (Taxi, Frasier). He’s also enjoying a thriving film career, voicing Batman in The Lego Movie and appearing in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this year.
AWARDSLINE: Showrunner Greg Garcia asked you to be a part of The Millers when he heard that the future of NBC’s Up All Night was not looking good. What about the role of Nathan appealed to you?
WILL ARNETT: I had known Greg personally for a number of years, and when he heard that basically the show was over, he said, “I just want you to read this script, if you don’t mind.” I didn’t think that I wanted to necessarily start work on a TV show quite so quickly, and yet because it was Greg, I thought, “Well, I’ve got to read it.” When I read it, I really liked it. Then I had a meeting with Greg and (director) Jimmy Burrows. Jimmy said, “You are going to have to play a character who is much more at the center of it.” So in that sense, it was a bit of a departure for me. I had to play somebody a little more together. But that really appealed to me. It was something I really wanted to do. (more…)