EXCLUSIVE: The League Season 3: The Winners Cast Interviews
Katie Aselton, Nick Kroll, and Jonathan Lajoie are back for another attempt at that coveted Shiva Bowl trophy tonight, October 6th, only on FX
The League returns for Season 3 tonight, October 6th, with the hilarious new episode Lockout. And as is true of any sport, there are some winners and some losers when it comes to the guys and gals that make up this terrific ensemble of iconic modern day characters. To celebrate the anxiously awaited return of The League, we talked with three of the show's big winners.
Nick Kroll stars as Ruxin, winner of last year's Shiva Bowl, and he is doing his best to gloat about this championship title. Katie Aselton stars as Jenny, who has gotten a new job, joined the league on her own, and won the battle not to have another baby, getting a dog instead. She has her husband Kevin right where she wants him. Then there's Taco (Jonathan Lajoie), just back from a tour of the world, and now the international star of an Iraqi soap opera. He is pretty much a winner by default.
Here is our conversation with the Winners of The League.
Nick Kroll is Ruxin
Ruxin was teetering on some dangerous ground last season. He was almost nearing Andre status amongst the rest of the guys...
Nick Kroll: Ruxin won the league last year. The reign of Ruxin is just a vicious one. He was hoping that there would be no football, so that he could be the league champion again by default. Just like Rudolph W. Giuliani wanted to be the mayor after 9/11. I think he is excited to really hold it over the guys this year. He has an Au Pair. He is really excited about that. He thinks he as the whole package. She is played by Brie Larson. There is just a whole lot of insanity. Rafi comes back, El BroLo El Cunado, played by Jason Mantzoukas. He'll be with his friend, Dirty Randy, played by Seth Rogen. Its all pretty exciting.
Will we get to see more of Ruxin at his job? Serving as a lawyer?
Nick Kroll: Yes. You'll see that. Taco, played by Jonathan Lajoie, considers Ruxin his lawyer. So you will see some of that. Occasionally. We will reel through Taco's mind. The law stuff does come into play. I think Ruxin's career has more focus than the other guys' careers. But it really is about everything, whether its his friends, or his career, or his wife...Ruxin is constantly on the make. He is constantly making terrible decisions. And he is doing it with a cunning, death-defying idiocy.
How is the marriage this year?
Nick Kroll: The marriage is mixed. Let's just say that the Au Pair has some interesting results. Nadine Velazquez and I have moments of great intimacy. And moments of anger. Its not a bad job when you have to get into bed with Nadine Velazquez.
Is Leslie Bibb going to return this year?
Nick Kroll: Not at the moment. But we are only half way done. There are a bunch of storylines, and people, and other things that could come back. There are surprises that we have that we can't yet divulge. You will see a lot of awesome women coming in this year, and some other great guest stars...We have Will Forte coming in for an episode that Paul Scheer and I wrote. He is so funny in it. There are a whole bunch of great people.
You guys jumped into this new season quickly, and just started kicking out the episodes. If I'm not mistaken, it wasn't very long ago that you shot this season premiere that we are going to see tonight...
Nick Kroll: Yeah. We shot this first episode at the end of August. And we will shoot these out of order. So we will shoot a couple of scenes from episode one, and then not shoot the rest of episode one for another week, and finish shooting it a couple of weeks later. Its all cross-boarded. At any given time, we are shooting three or four episodes at the same time.
That has to be a bit challenging to keep all of those storylines together. Do the stories every change or evolve when you come back to shoot them weeks later?
Nick Kroll: They know. Jeff Schaffer and Jackie Marcus Schaffer know everything. They are all knowing. They are the wizards behind the curtain. We trust them implicitly to know where they are in the series, where they are in any given episode...We read every script that we are given, but there is a trust, that they know where we are during the shooting of any given episode. Even if we are shooting completely out of order. They have such an incredible grasp on all of these characters. And all of the storylines. Where we need to go. Where we were. They make it all look seamless.
Jeff is writing The Sacha Baron Cohen movie The Dictator. Did they grab all of you guys, or just El BroLo?
Nick Kroll: Just El BroLo. Paul Scheer and I helped out with some table reads leading up to it. But Jason is a unique looking guy for that, and he is just so explosively funny. I think its going to be exciting for people to see him both on the show, and in The Dictator. He is just electrically funny.
Katie Aselton is Jenny
Your husband, Mark Duplass, who plays Pete, is not here tonight. Do you find that there is still an outpouring of love for this man from woman all over the world?
Katie Aselton: No. People don't like him any more. He is not up at the Toronto Film Festival garnering rave reviews right this second.
It seems the tide is turning. Now we are seeing an outpouring of love for you. Maybe Mr. Mummbles can take a backseat to Katie...
Katie Aselton: God, I hope so!
People stood up and cheered at the end of Our Idiot Brother when you came on the screen, and you are in the movie for, maybe, one minute, if that...
Katie Aselton: I don't think those cheers were for me.
Who were they for? The dog, Dolly Parton?
Katie Aselton: I don't know. That's really sweet of you to say, though...
What is going on in Jenny and Kevin's marriage this year? Last year it got pretty heated, once she left him as a league advisor and joined in with her own team...
Katie Aselton: Jenny and Kevin are an awesome couple, aren't they? I dig them a lot.
Yes, and I don't think that relationship has been better showcased than in last year's Halloween episode...
Katie Aselton: Yes, Jenny gets rude in a frog costume...This season is going to be an interesting one for Kevin and Jenny. We haven't broached a lot of subjects with them. Jenny is full on in the league this year. There is no dipping her toe in, like she did last year. She is in it from the get-go. Jenny gets a job this year. I'm a realtor. I'm selling homes. Homes by Jenny. She has a website. She is gaining some independence, which I love. Because she is a ballsy woman. To get out of the house and gain her identity back is great for her. Kevin doesn't love it. Kevin likes to have his wife doing his laundry, and being available for Fantasy advice. Now he has more responsibilities, and his own Fantasy team to take care of. Kevin also really wants a baby this year. Jenny doesn't. I get a dog, and I call him Time. Because he is buying me time before I have to have another kid. What I love about Kevin and Jenny is that I feel they are a very realistic couple. They say things that I don't think you ever hear in television marriages. I love that. I love that they don't always love their kid. They love their kid, but they don't always have great things to say about her. I love that jenny is like, "I don't want to have another kid."
We saw a similar character moment in Louie, which is also on FX, and obviously came after The League. Do you notice a lot of shows starting to ape what you guys are doing so well?
Katie Aselton: In general. Shows are getting a little more grounded. I think there is a place in the world for Two and a Half Men. I also think there is a totally different audience for shows like Louie and The League. Where things are more real. For me. Maybe someone else's life is like Two and a Half Men. God bless them. But I love that there is a turn towards the more crass, gritty, grounded, dirtier stuff.
Are you going to call the Style. Network and get Andre on What Not to Wear this year?
Paul Scheer: No, its my new sporting jacket. I just got it.
Katie Aselton: You look very handsome. I have to say.
Paul Scheer: You look gorgeous. I like the backless dress. That has a nice back.
Katie Aselton: There were a whole lot of pictures taken of this dress tonight. I don't know how to pose. I feel like I look dumb.
Paul Scheer: At least they are just taking pictures of us tonight. Its not like at the Creative Arts Center. Where it is us, and there is a legend on each side. You are in the background between two legends...
Katie Aselton: You went to the Creative Arts Center for this? Oh, that's right...You're really famous!
He is famous. Did you hear all of those people over there, on the side of the building, yelling at him?
Hmm. That is true. Why aren't they yelling for you? You're my second favorite character on the show after El BroLo. You are my favorite occurring character...
Katie Aselton: Am I your favorite girl, maybe?
Leslie Bibb. I loved her. She is crazy, but she isn't on the show anymore.
Jonathan Lajoie is Taco
How was the draw in Nashville? I saw you on the marquee, and I was bummed that I couldn't make the show...
Jonathan Lajoie: It was great. I love Zanies in Nashville. Such a great club.
What sort of antics is Taco getting himself involved in this year?
Jonathan Lajoie: Taco has been around the world before he shows up in episode one. He has gone through quite a few adventures. Some that may involve the entertainment industry in some foreign countries. I can't divulge more than that. He does come back having been through a little bit. His entrepreneurial spirit is very much alive. He is constantly coming up with new business ventures, and products to patent. And he is very musically active as well.
Last season, Taco really evolved as a character. I almost felt like you guys were pulling a reverse Kelly Bundy. She got less intelligent as the show went on. Here, it seems as though Taco is getting a lot smarter...
Jonathan Lajoie: I think he has been a genius the whole time. That is being revealed slowly. But also, there are moments that reveal he is not the brightest bulb. I think Taco is a genius in his own world. He is just not a part of this world that you and I function in. Sometimes, he comes across as a genius. Sometimes he just has no idea what is going on in the real world.
What kind of songs can we expect out of Taco this season?
Jonathan Lajoie: This year starts off with an old school rap song reminiscent of Run DMC. The subject matter...I don't know if I can necessarily get into that. But it is a fun, old school Run DMC thing. Right now we are shooting one...There may be a country song about...Once again, I don't know how much I can say...But, hey, yeah, there are a ton more songs coming.
Do you feel pressure from the two creators to come up with a new hit song every season, or is it one of those things where, if you have a song, you play it for them, if they like it, it goes in the show?
Jonathan Lajoie: The process will be that the creators of the show come up to me and say, we have this idea about vinegar strokes. They explain what it is. They ask if I have any ideas for a song pertaining to this subject. I will go back to my place, I will write some music and throw some lyrics together. I will send them a first draft. It will go back and forth a couple of times. We find the song and play with the words. That's what you are going to see on the show. I have quite a bit of freedom when it comes to these songs. But it's a collaboration. I don't show up saying, "I want to write a song about Eskimo brothers. Or fear boners." They say, "Hey, can you write a song about this?" I love that. I think it's a great opportunity.
The Halloween episode, and your song about the monkey, is a favorite for a lot of people. Will there be another holiday themed episode this season?
Jonathan Lajoie: Yeah. We are in the middle of shooting, so we are coming at this a little later than usual. We haven't hit Halloween or Christmas yet.
Both Sunny and The League always end around the same week as Thanksgiving. Yet, neither of you guys have done a Thanksgiving episode...
Jonathan Lajoie: I know that there is one episode that will be surrounding the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. That happens. I don't know about Christmas or Halloween. I have a feeling there will be a Halloween episode, I just don't know anything about that yet.