ABC News’ Raquel Hecker reports:
Cult favorite TV show “Arrested Development” is back! After a six year hiatus, a new 15-episode season will be released by Netflix on May 26. What can we expect from that unpredictable, wacky Bluth family? I spoke with Portia de Rossi, who plays Lindsay Bluth Fünke, about reuniting with her TV family and life at home with her wife, Ellen DeGeneres.
1. What was it like having the whole cast back together?
De Rossi said it was surreal. She said they kind of all felt pretty overwhelmed when they did the scene in Lucille’s penthouse. Every single cast member was in it. It was a five-page scene. It took them about two minutes to fall straight back into character, not only as characters in the script but all the off-camera stuff was the same as it was back in 2006, she said, adding that it was like time had a vortex and maybe one month had passed, not six years.
2. The new season has a unique format. The episodes are focused on a different character. You have two episodes – what happens to Lindsay during her shows?
De Rossi said she has two episodes. Each episode is centered around a different character. Michael Bluth is in every episode, but this time it’s their own story. De Rossi’s character decides to go on journey as herself to find out what makes her happy, what she wants in life, and whether she’s happy in her marriage. De Rossi said it’s a really lovely arc, it takes her all kinds of places asking herself all the right questions and trying to grow as a person. De Rossi said it was nice to get to have this deeper understanding of this character that she has loved and get a whole hour to flesh it out.
3. What’s the most outlandish thing we can expect when “Arrested Development” comes back?
De Rossi said she has a crazy sex scene that was shot like 1970s porn. She never expected as Lindsay to ever do anything like. Everyone has outlandish stuff going on, she added.
4. How Lindsay’s relationship with her husband, Tobias?
Good as it ever was! The show picks up where they left off, and they cover six years to 2012 in our episodes. A lot happens for Lindsay and Tobias in six years, but viewers will find them where they left them.
5. You had a script to work off of – but it changed all the time! What was the craziest way you found out what to say in a scene?
De Rossi said the people she works with are so funny that every single day was hilarious fun and exciting. The most exciting thing was they didn’t really have a script; it was constantly changing, she said. De Rossi did a scene with Terry Crews which wasn’t written. They were sitting on sofa with Mitch [Hurwitz creator and director of "Arrested Development"] in a corner typing like crazy. De Rossi said they had to learn their lines off the screen. Mitch would stand behind the camera man and shout lines of dialogue they’d never heard before, she said, noting that it offered the chance to be truly creative and spontaneous. With the new format everything was very loose and free.
6. Will we see a revival of the chicken dance?
No if de Rossi can help it.
7. How did you develop your particular dance?
De Rossi said she honestly doesn’t know what happened to her. Will had his – then they were all in that scene and never gave it too much thought. De Rossi said she can’t live it down, adding that people always ask her to do the chicken dance.
8. How’s your wife Ellen (DeGeneres) doing? I know you two just went to visit your home country Australia together! How did she like it?
It was the first visit to Australia for DeGeneres, and she loved it, even though they were only there for five days, de Rossi said. She said they got an incredible reception, adding that people were very excited to see her wife.
9. We saw the photos of your amazing home in Elle Decor. Did you disagree on anything while you were putting the ranch together?
De Rossi’s passion is horse riding, while DeGeneres’s is houses and furnishing them. De Rossi said DeGeneres has amazing tastes, but that she put her foot down at having furniture in the barn (it’s a working barn). One day she showed up and saw a piece of Swedish furniture in the barn. De Rossi said her wife has a sophisticated eye, adding that she’s thrilled to live there.
10. You’ve been having terrible bush fires close to you in Santa Monica. Did they come near your home?
It nearly burned down. There was a bush fire at the next door neighbor’s house and across the street and De Rossi said she and DeGeneres actually had to evacuate their home. They eventually got the okay to return home.
11. You recently said that you and Ellen don’t want to have kids–was there ever a point where you felt otherwise?
De Rossi said that she believes women are conditioned to think they will want to have children when they meet the right person. After she met Ellen, she said, she thought she should want to have them and they thought about it for a while. Ultimately, she realized she didn’t have the drive to have children and decided against it. De Rossi said she and DeGeneres have two nieces and are “great aunts” to them.
12. Do you and Ellen have any special rituals that you always do together?
De Ross said she and DeGeneres are “always” together. They love to cook – which means she cooks, and they both eat. Sometimes, she said, DeGeneres will make a salad. She’ll also clean up and set the table and open wine. DeGeneres is “not useless” and enjoys everything that De Rossi makes, she said. De Rossi added that they used to have a full-time chef because they were so busy but since they went vegan, she wanted to learn to cook and has enjoyed it.