David Cross was walking his dog, Ollie Red Socks, when we caught up with him for our interview. “She’s a rescue dog. She’s 12 and having some troubles, but a sweet, sweet little girl that I’ve had since she was a puppy, ten weeks old.”
Cross, a relatively new father, speaks pleasantly, sweet, laid back. His humor subtlety pervades the conversation, unlike the personality he exudes onstage, where the Arrested Development actor relishes in silly humor and discomforting imagery often based in controversial subject matter. It works well for him: his last stint at The Capitol Theatre for the Making America Great Again tour in 2016 garnered positive reviews.
Unfortunately, his Port Chester stop for this year’s tour, Oh Come On, was cancelled. Of course, we can’t let a great interview go to waste, so keep reading for Cross’ thoughts on Westchester, tips on watching Arrested Development Season 4, and his training method for the role of Lakeith Stanfield’s “white voice” in Sorry to Bother You.
What’s your impression of Westchester, and is there any place that stands out to you the most?
I lived briefly — gosh I don’t know how old I was, I was a kid maybe six, seven, eight something like that — I lived in White Plains where my grandmother lived and where my mom’s from. I spent a lot of time visiting her.
She had a bookstore on Mamaroneck Avenue. And then I was there to shoot The Post, which was a trip down memory lane. I didn’t really see a whole lot of the town [during my last visit] because Port Chester’s so close to New York City where I live, you know you just sort of hop in the car, go do the show, hop in the car go back home.
You last hit the road in 2016 for the Make America Great Again tour and hadn’t done so several years prior to that right? How does it feel hitting the road again?
Yes, up until then it was roughly a five year gap between tours. It’s something I really look forward to; I would not do it if I didn’t want to. I have plenty of money and it’s a difficult life and I certainly wouldn’t do it if I didn’t enjoy it so much.
Your Arrested Development character Tobias made a cool Easter egg appearance in Avengers: Infinity War. What was it like reprising his character for this new season?
Oh, always a pleasure. A great fun character to do, really fun writing. Hopefully the fun I’m having translates on screen and [it’s] a really great cast to work with. It’s just a pleasure all the way around.
Are you a fan of the new remix of Season 4?
I saw four episodes with my wife, who really enjoyed it. I liked it but I kind of prefer the older way. It took me a while to figure out how to watch [the first cut] and enjoy it. By the end of it, I thought it was really cool and unique and while I totally get why people didn’t dig it, I appreciate for what it was and what it was trying to do. Once I kind of got into the head of how to watch it, and again it took a while it took at least seven episodes, I really dug it.
What sort of tips would you recommend to watching season four and enjoying it in the original format?
Try to pay attention to everything. It took me a long time, too long, to figure that out. But once you do that and everything starts paying off in ways you never would have anticipated it becomes kind of fun. Almost like a puzzle that you’re part of making in a sense.
I had the same experience everybody else did; we didn’t see it until it came out, all of us and we weren’t privy to it. It took about three or four viewing sessions to get the whole thing down, but I remember initially going “What? Wait, where’s… okay.”
What sort of prep did it take to play the “white voice” of a black character in Sorry to Bother You?
I studied for five years at the Sorbonne and invested myself in white culture, a lot of Jello salads, lot of mayonnaise, lot of Miracle Whip. A lot of Miracle Whip. Spent plenty of time at the Knights of Columbus.
After this tour ends in November you don’t have too many projects lined up. What are you looking forward to most with your free time?
Just spending time with my daughter and then whatever my next project ends up being focusing on that, but happily spending time with my daughter who hopefully will be talking by then and have something to contribute.
Maybe you’ll take her up on stage with you for a couple of jokes?
I would love to but that seems like the corniest thing in the world. Also it’s way past her bedtime!