Every week, the cast and crew of FXX’s sharp, raunchy, cult comedy, You’re the Worst, is taking EW behind the scenes. For each episode, one member is recapping, sharing thoughts on what went down, and walking us through the ins-and-outs of the show. This week, Allan McLeod and Todd Robert Anderson, who play Paul and Vernon respectively, bring us into the ninth episode of season three, “The Seventh Layer,” which follows the twosome on a road trip.
Allan McLeod: When Todd and I received the script for “The Seventh Layer,” written by show creator Stephen Falk, neither of us could believe it. The entire episode was just Vernon and Paul. That’s it. None of the core characters appear — there was only a phone call from Lindsay. As for Todd, he really couldn’t believe it because he now had to memorize a two-page monologue, about Paul and Vernon picking up a baby bassinet for Becca, which kicked off the episode.
Todd Robert Anderson: That’s true. I couldn’t believe it. It was surreal. I thought maybe there was some kind of clerical error. Just us yammering for 29 pages? Insane. Anyway, once Vernon and Paul pick up the bassinet, they get gas, grab snacks (namely some Blammos) and head home, only to have car trouble which strands them on the side of a lonely road in the Angeles Forrest. So, Vernon and Paul decide to venture into the woods. Now, one thing about us doing this recap is we can let you in on all the juicy behind the scenes tid-bits. Here we go! Everyone loves tidbits.
Allan: Here’s one — after Paul’s glasses got busted, I wore my own personal (and very cool) prescription sunglasses for the rest of the episode. Pretty juicy tidbit, huh. Todd, any tidbits?
Todd: I destroyed my body making this half-hour of television. I jacked up my foot and my elbow, and I had to sit in a cold, gross creek. We shot in Malibu, which I thought was supposed to be a fancy place, but that creek was gross. The people of Malibu should fix it. It’s shameful, really.
Allan: Well, you may not have liked that creek, but Vernon loves it. And Paul is excited to find a rare bird (the Squant-Billed Bushtit) with whom he shares similar characteristics. Y’know who else was excited? Stephen Falk. The day we shot the creek stuff was the same day Stephen found a terrific walking stick. I’ve never seen him so excited. You’d never guess it, but this guy loves finding fun sticks in the woods. Incidentally, that stick became Paul’s walking stick in the episode. Another fun tidbit! You’re welcome!
Todd: Once Vernon has quenched his thirst for creek water, he and Paul move on, only to become lost in the woods. From there, every minute is more bananas than the last. Our director Wendey Stanzler said she felt like she was shooting a buddy action comedy from the ’80s, and I totally agree. (In fact, I think we should immediately make a buddy cop movie, don’t you?) Of course, it did get scary sometimes. Remember when we were yelling at each other and that guy in a house down the road got all mad at us? I’m telling you, Malibu is a very dangerous place.
Allan: A buddy cop movie sounds good to me! Paul and Vernon: Hubby’s For Hire! Anyway, after Paul discovers Vernon intentionally putting diesel in the car’s gas tank in order to slow them down, Paul flips out. They have a knock-down, drag-out brawl, which is interrupted by a squirrel that gets caught in Vernon’s pit trap.
Todd: After some bonding over how mean their wives are, Paul and Vernon scream-masturbate into a campfire as a rite of retaking their manhood. Here’s where Wendey gave me my favorite direction of all time: “Could you move your butt more?”
Allan: Suddenly, Vernon and Paul get scared by some bear-like creature in the distance, so they run and accidentally stumble down a steep ravine, passing out in the brush.
Todd: In real life, the brush we rolled into was poison oak, which gave me a terrible rash over 60 percent of my body for a month, yet had no affect on Allan whatsoever. It is nice to be Allan McLeod, isn’t it?
Allan: Boy, howdy! The next morning, Paul is legally blind, but the Squant-Billed bushtit helps him see a way out. Back at Paul’s stalled car, a friendly family helps Paul and Vernon replace the diesel with regular gasoline. Last tidbit: The actor who played the husband in this scene is none other than delightful character actor Clint Culp, whose daughters played Ryan Gosling’s daughters in A Drunk History Christmas, which I narrated.
Todd: I like that Clint Culp! I never met that Gosling guy, but my wife was on that teen show he did about going to high school on a cruise ship. Great tidbits, Allan!
Allan: Likewise, Todd!
Todd: Hey… can I have the last word?
Todd: Stay out of Malibu.
You’re the Worst airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on FXX.