'Ultimately, I realized that if I wanted to do this that I was going to have to create it myself,' Arnett tells EW of his latest role
Will Arnett is back as a non-equine leading man in Flaked, Netflix’s new comedy, and EW has an exclusive first look at the poster and trailer. The tone seems more similar to a mumblecore dramedy than a witty sitcom, making one thing clear: anyone looking for Gob Bluth won’t find him — and that’s the way Arnett wants it.
“For a long time, for whatever reason, [Gob-like roles] were a lot of the parts that came my way. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to shy away from doing things that I felt that were just derivative of that same thing,” he tells EW. “This show is probably a lot more in the line with the stuff that I always wanted to do. Ultimately, I realized that if I wanted to do this that I was going to have to create it myself.”
And so he did, along with The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret writer Mark Chappell. Flaked centers on Chip (Arnett), a Venice, California, transplant. He’s a staple in the community, shown speaking about his past addiction in a public setting. Friendships turn complicated when he pursues a new resident (Ruth Kearney), who’s also fancied by his best friend (David Sullivan). Chip’s foundation only becomes weaker from there.
“There’s this idea of the persona that we put out to the world, and the person that we look at it in the mirror at the end of each day. If the divide between those is great, then you’re in really big trouble,” Arnett says. “Chip’s a good guy. He’s not ultimately being totally honest with himself about where he is and who he is, and that’s his struggle.”
Arnett and Chappell broke the character and threw in unattractive attributes found in other people. Something else happened. “As you get deeper into the process and writing it,” Arnett explains, “you also started landing on things that you don’t like about yourself, and that’s where the story gets kind of personal.”
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As for the location, Venice is its own living creature, rife with workout junkies and hipsters alike. Arnett has lived there intermittently through the years and calls it his favorite part of L.A., and one of his favorite places anywhere. “I love the idea that there’s a certain allowance for reinvention,” he says. “I feel like people go to Venice to reinvent themselves often. What’s so great about that is it allows for that, and you’re not sort of cast away for doing that.
“While there are parts of that that are really funny to lampoon, it’s something kind of great.”
See the exclusive first trailer above.
Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development), Ben Silverman, and Peter Principato serve as executive producers on Flaked. Its eight-episode season 1 arrives March 11 on Netflix.