Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen on Their Spooky, Mysterious New Amazon Series ‘Forever’

     September 14, 2018

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From co-creators Alan Yang and Matt Hubbard, the Amazon original dramedy series Forever follows a suburban wife and husband, June (Maya Rudolph) and Oscar (Fred Armisen), who live a comfortable and totally normal life, in which June is finding herself to be a bit restless. When they try to shake things up in their long-term marriage, after June encourages an adventurous ski trip instead of their typical annual vacation, everything changes for the couple, setting them on an existential journey that they never could have imagined.

At a press day to discuss this new TV series, co-stars/executive producers Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen sat down with Collider to talk about how Forever came to be, why this idea was of interest to them, exploring a very human relationship, learning about their characters, the stand-out moment that included a rendition of Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It,” and whether they’ve had any conversations about where it could go, if there are future seasons.

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Image via Amazon Prime

Collider: I loved this! This show is just so odd and interesting and different.

MAYA RUDOLPH: Thank you!

But now, I also have so many questions about where it could possibly go next. Have you had those conversations about where this could go?

RUDOLPH: At first, we started to joke about it, but then I started to get nervous because I didn’t want to joke about it anymore. I don’t know if we’ll do any more, but it feels like the sky’s the limit.

FRED ARMISEN: I know. With all of the turns and surprises that they had, as writers, I know that if or when they come up with other ideas, it’s gonna be something that I don’t expect. If it was up to me, I would say, let’s just go to Iceland and shoot there for fun. It could even be another time period. I have no idea. 

RUDOLPH: That didn’t occur to me until you just said that.

It really does seem like it could go anywhere.

ARMISEN: Yeah. 

RUDOLPH: Which is my favorite part of it. It’s the part that makes me a little bit titillated.

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Image via Amazon Prime

How did this show come to be?

ARMISEN: We wanted to do a show together. That was the first priority. And then, we met with Alan Yang, the writer. He presented us with an email of different ideas, and then we just picked one out of there, out of almost like a list. 

RUDOLPH: It was a big long list.

ARMISEN: Everything happened very quickly. I don’t think we met with any other writers. It just happened in a really lucky way that doesn’t happen very often.

What was that idea that caught your attention?

ARMISEN: It had a spooky theme, where everything else was a little bit more goofy. 

RUDOLPH: There were some ‘90s references that I felt like I was too old to get. I was like, “Oh, that’s your childhood, not mine. I’m a ‘70s/‘80s baby. But, this one was more otherworldly.

ARMISEN: A long, long time ago, Maya had this idea for us to do The Munsters, or The Addams Family

RUDOLPH: I just wanted to play monsters. I thought it would be fun to be a family that happened to be monsters.

Until you think about all of the make-up that you’d have to wear.

RUDOLPH: That’s a good call.

ARMISEN: That’s such a good thing to bring up because I have always worn wigs and beards, and I make my living doing different characters. Little by little, I’ve had less and less patience for putting glue on my face. 

RUDOLPH: It can start to feel claustrophobic.

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Image via Amazon Prime

ARMISEN: Yeah, life is so hard. Me and my big complaints. 

RUDOLPH: No, but you get to the point where the novelty has worn off, with the wear and tear of glue on your skin. I think about Planet of the Apes, or the live-action Grinch, and the prosthetics sound terrifying.

ARMISEN: When you’re a kid, you’re like, “Yeah, of course, I’d do it!” Now, I’m like, “I don’t know. It seems like a lot.”

RUDOLPH: At SNL, you have to do a face cast, where they take a mold of your entire face. If you told me that I’d have to do that now, I would’ve said, no. But then, I did it. They put straws in your nose and literally cover you in goo, and you can only breathe out of the straws. I can’t believe that I did it. I could never do it today. Not in a million fucking years. Face casts are really hard. I’ve heard of it going wrong, too.

This show is fun because it really does get to explore some of the bigger questions and things that people think about. Do you think that’s why shows like this, that explore these kinds of stories, are endlessly interesting to people? Is it that question of the unknown?

RUDOLPH: Everybody’s got question marks. I think that’s the common bond. I feel like what we did with this show is to look at the relationship. Even if you’re in a situation where you take a bigger step back and look at the bigger picture, they’re myopically focusing on their relationship, and the ins and outs of their own struggles and happiness. They’re asking, is this where I want to be? I feel like that’s a very human experience, and a very relatable experience.

ARMISEN: My hope is that people will identify with that.

Because it is such a normal relationship.

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