Amy Sedaris dishes on spending season 3 At Home with Paul Rudd, Justin Theroux, more
EW exclusively reveals At Home with Amy Sedaris season 3's delicious list of guest stars (with hilarious quotes from the show's leading lady).
Season 3 brims with 'mindf--k' absurdity
Three seasons into the Emmy-nominated surrealist variety-sketch-comedy-DIY-show-satire hybrid, At Home with Amy Sedaris' lead actress and co-creator Amy Sedaris still hasn't landed on an appropriate descriptor for the show's tone — and it's better off for it.
"It’s still more narrative, and we kept a lot of the cooking elements from season 1, but it’s just more of a mindf—," Sedaris tells EW of season 3, which premieres in late spring on TruTV and follows a satirical version of herself as she continues to teach viewers how to craft and bake while avoiding her own grisly death (we're half-kidding) as the "odd one out" in her own house. "Season two was more like everybody wanted to kill me. Season 3 is more psychological and gets into [the characters’] heads a little bit more." For the fictional Amy (and the myriad characters Sedaris plays, from snooty neighbor Patty Hogg to the rosy-nosed Regional Wine Lady) that involves things like faking a pregnancy, rekindling old flames via song-and-dance numbers, having affairs with ham delivery men, and playing a new character, Detective Mungus, whom she describes as "a '70's-type detective" in the vein of Columbo.
One thing's certain, though: "It’s more absurd" than anything we've seen Sedaris do before. Ahead, see EW's exclusive reveal of season 3's revolving door of superstar guest actors who'll appear along the way.
Paul Rudd and Sedaris' on-screen At Home pairing is a Strangers With Candy reunion 20 years in the making. "He did our last episode of Strangers in 2000, and I haven’t [worked with] him since," Sedaris recalls, but adds that the spark between them never dulled. "When you work with certain people, you’re like, oh, that’s why you’re a movie star!"
Rudd brings his irresistible A-list charm to At Home as one of Amy's (many) love interests across a rom-com fantasy set on New Year's Eve. "His character [specializes in] champagne displays, and he’s teaching me how to do a pyramid," she explains. "We're inspired by movies or themes, and everybody in the writers’ room brings their references to it, and we just watch a bunch of stuff [to prepare]. We pick and choose and marry things up!"
Justin Theroux has been an At Home staple since season 1, and while his third consecutive turn on the HGTV-inspired spoof is minimal, he still makes a huge impression. "He plays a friend of mine who comes by and just wants to play, like, ‘Hey, I’m going to light this soccer ball on fire, you want to come?’ But I can’t because I have a baby to take care of," Sedaris explains.
"We only had a day with him, so he just has a small part, but he dressed himself and brought his own wardrobe. He knew how he wanted the makeup and hair. He came very specific with ideas about how he wanted to play the part. He’s only in it for a second, but he kills it…. it seems a lot bigger than it is."
Last season, Sedaris told EW Theroux wasn't wearing underwear while he filmed scenes as a ghostly seaman, but this year she "didn't ask" what was going on below the belt. But, if she had to guess whether Justin's Theroux had twice the coverage this time around? "Probably not!" No complaints here, captain.
Cole Escola and David Alan Grier
Writer and costar Cole Escola — who returns as Amy's beloved neighbor, Chassie Tucker — shares a scene with Sedaris and one of her dream guest stars she's been trying to land for years: David Alan Grier.
"He was here [in New York] doing a play, so he did this on his day off," Sedaris admits. "He plays someone from my past… he comes back into my world and he wants to rekindle our history. So, we do some singing and dancing, and Richard Kind plays my agent. David is one of the silliest people I’ve ever worked with in my life. He makes me laugh in a whole different way. He knows how to get silly. That was a dream come true!"
Sedaris is ready for another shot of comedic genius as Ana Gasteyer returns for another round of At Home goodness.
"She plays my twin sister! I’m older by just three minutes, and I’ve decided I’m going to host Easter. She comes to visit, but she has a drinking problem. I’m kind of enabling her and she’s in denial," Sedaris says of the episode, which she describes as having a vintage "movie of the week" feel. "It’s fun working with a really funny girl who’s so good and believable in her character. We had a blast together… and she plays drunk really well!"
As seasons 1 and 2 did with finales "Murdercide" and "Game Night," season 3 will end with Michael Shannon playing a shadowy figure shrouded in mystery and intrigue.
While Amy's life isn't on the line in this episode, it still provides a jolt of old-school jitters as it thrusts the pair together in unexpected ways.
"I get an elevator put into my craft room, and I get stuck in it. He plays an escapee from prison, and we’ve been writing letters back and forth," Sedaris describes. "We have a blind date coming up and he meets me at my house while I’m stuck in the elevator. You can just imagine what happens!"
Shannon's return also sees him going up against Sedaris' Ronnie Vino, the Regional Wine Lady — a markedly upbeat character who plays off of Shannon's intimidating stature to great comedic effect: "It’s weird to play the wine lady with 'real' actors because she’s so cartoony. I play her two-dimensional on purpose, very stagey," says Sedaris. "So, it’s weird to play her with these stars that come on. It was fun to play up against Michael Shannon as the wine lady, especially because when he’s on set, everyone’s doing the best acting they can possibly do. It’s like, oh, interesting, you weren’t like this yesterday!"
Keeping up with the show's vast cultural reference catalog, mix Fatal Attraction with Single White Female and you've got a recipe for one of Sedaris' favorite episodes of season 3, which features Jane Krakowski.
"I’m convinced I’m pregnant but I’m not really pregnant," Sedaris describes of the show's "silliest episode" yet, which sees Josh Hamilton playing an ex-boyfriend whom Amy contacts for child support even though she's faking her own pregnancy and hasn't seen him in 15 years. When Krakowski's character arrives to give some how-to advice for pregnant women, Amy's jealousy kicks in. "We’re just doing the one-upmanship of the game. She’s tired, but I’m really tired. I just try to outdo her. No matter what she’s feeling, I feel it 10 times more!"
If you only take one thing away from At Home With Amy Sedaris, let it be potatoes and cheese. "That's all we do," Jason Sedaris jokes. "I kind of like it that way."
The latest king sailing in on a potato ship (yes, that's a season 1 reference) is the SNL alum, who attempts to put a powerful spin on a simple dish for a comical cooking segment.
"He’s making a macaroni and cheese recipe, but he’s acting like it’s not macaroni and cheese. He’s making it sound like it’s a lot more complicated than that," Sedaris recalls with a laugh. "I’m like, ‘Well, it’s pretty much macaroni and cheese.’"
If the image of Michael Cera man-handling slabs of picnic ham isn't the epitome of a romantic fantasy, we're not sure what is.
"I order a bunch of hams because I’m having a party; he works at the store and delivers them," Sedaris says of Cera's romantic arc, which was partially inspired by the film Summer of '42, in which a woman whose husband ships off to war while she has an affair with a young man who delivers her groceries. "There’s an attraction…. He had tough lines, all tongue-twisters! But he nailed it every time. He fit right in!"
Theroux's Leftovers castmate Ann Dowd leaves no stone — or, should we say spice — unturned in an unorthodox episode that pushes At Home to new tonal territory. "She plays a food critic, and I’m telling her about my ginger snaps, which a culinary academy is considering giving an award to because they’re so good. But, she realizes that it’s plagiarism and that it’s not my recipe. So, she’s got me in a corner," Sedaris says of Dowd's character, who provides the menacing backbone for an installment that pushes into more dramatic, psychologically tense territory. "It’s not [overtly] funny, it’s not really physical; it’s very talky and almost dramatic. She’s perfection! A lot of it is just the two of us, and we go into a whole different world. You get lost in that episode because you’re just watching these two people try to get what they want."