The cast of Better Off Ted have done various interviews to promote the TV Show through Season One and Season Two. The cast talk about their characters and working together as members of the show.
(03/15/09) Portia de Rossi - LA TimesEdit
On the characters and writing "It's very, very well written, and the characters are so well-defined that -- you know how in the old sitcoms, the characters would just walk out on stage and people would get ready to laugh? I think we have a little bit of that, I'm hoping."
Victor Fresco on Portia's potrayal of Veronica Palmer "I was outside the 'Ally McBeal' demographic, she was completely confident that she was born to play this role."
Victor Fresco - The FutoncriticEdit
Each episode of "Better Off Ted" begins with a commercial for the fictional Veridian Dynamic. The ads truly seem like real corporate company advertisements and if you don't pay close attention, you'll miss the punch line. What was the inspiration for Veridian? VF: The show was developed before this big corporate explosion that we've gone through but there was not one particular company because I haven't worked for a lot of giant companies. The only large companies I've worked for are in the studio system but I see a certain similarity in the corporate culture. I think in large companies there is this culture but I think it has gotten hyperactive in the last several years, which is just that notion that profit is king and anything goes as long as it makes money. [The show] wasn't designed after any company but I think it could be any giant company that functions like this where they demand 100% loyalty but give you none.
Can you talk about the casting of the show? Jay Harrington and Portia de Rossi are really great in their roles. VF: It came together quickly as most of these pilots do. You don't have a lot of time to cast, unfortunately, and it's the most important thing in the show, I think. Good casting can transcend mediocre material but the best material in the world cannot transcend the mediocre casting. It's all about casting and I think we got really lucky in all five of these regulars. Jonathan Slavin I've worked with before on "Andy Richter" and always liked his work and thought he'd make a great Phil. Malcolm [Barrett] came in and read and was fantastic. I'd never seen him before but he just nailed that part. I saw Jay first for Ted because our casting person thought he would be perfect and I liked him a lot but it's so weird to hire the first person you see so we looked at a lot of other people over the five weeks that we had and kept Jay in the mix. He was the best that we had seen over that time and then he really won the part with the network and everyone realized hands down that's the guy.
Andrea [Anders] came in and I liked her work on "The Class" and I always thought she was great. Most of the process when writers watch their material read in casting they go away feeling that they suck not the actors but the writers. If the actors don't have a take on the material that the writer does it makes the writer look bad so you sit back in endless casting sessions thinking that you suck and then someone comes in like Andrea and you think, "Oh my god! This is funny! I can actually write television." So Andrea really made the material come alive. And Portia came in [for the role of Ted's boss, Veronica] and I knew her work from "Arrested Development." We had a great meeting where she was 100% convinced that this was the right role for her and she was born to play this. She read it for me and she was fantastic. She really won this part. She was just so good at this role; she really nailed it. And, by the way, a completely different person from Veronica. She's a sweetheart.
(03/18/10) Victor Fresco - VultureEdit
So why do you think it didn’t catch on? I think not enough people knew about it. It wasn’t like we had a lot of people watch it and they didn’t come back to it. If anything, I think we were building slowly, but to me the way TV works is you spend a lot of money advertising and promoting, or you have to let a show stay someplace for a long period of time and an audience slowly comes to it. And I don’t think we got either of that … I still feel there’s an audience out there for it, because I know that the people who liked it, liked it a lot.
When the second season started, did the network try to tweak the show at all? No. The network, to their credit, always liked the show. They liked it creatively. We were on, I think we aired seven times, maybe six, and we were preempted by the president’s speech a couple of times, so we didn’t get a very good run. So they liked it, but they just felt it didn’t get enough eyeballs. To their credit, they didn’t say “introduce a lovable neighbor” or something.
Do you think perhaps there isn’t an audience for these shows on network television? That’s a good question. I don’t know, because then I look at other shows … I think Modern Family is a smart show that’s well written and that works, and when I look at it from my perspective I think, Well, they spent a load of money marketing it. People knew about it, it premiered with a big number. I thought Everybody Loves Raymond was a smart show, going back a few years.
(03/08/10) Portia de Rossi's (Veronica) Stylist - CorporetteEdit
We’ve noticed that a lot of designers have been showing miniskirts with skirt suits. Did you ever try to work with those? We had to eliminate miniskirts because Portia’s so tall and there’s only so much fabric in the hem of the skirt.
What did you look for in a suit for Veronica? It is not easy to find a smart sophisticated skirt suit that doesn’t look frumpy that also has a nice pattern or color that you like! It was like a full time thing for us. A lot of her suits were designers — Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Theory, Tahari.
You mentioned the importance of tailoring — what would you advise women to think about while shopping for a suit? The trick is to fit the widest part of your body — which will often be your shoulders and bust. Then you can get a tailor to take the waist in, or add darts in the back. It’s so worth it — just a little nip gives you a shape that looks powerful and sophisticated. In terms of finding a good jacket, you may need to figure out what the best stance for buttons is — what looks right with your proportions. It’s the same thing with the skirt — figuring out what kind of skirt you can wear. Can you wear a pencil skirt, or is straight or A-line a better look? It’s a pretty simple alteration to take it in at the waist. If it’s going to be a too major of an alteration with the tailor, you might want to look somewhere else — some things might not translate to what you’re trying to do.