WIlfred Conference Call

Elijah Wood and Jason Gann offer fans a look at the Season 1 finale

Wilfred, starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gann as a man and a dog who share a very peculiar bond, returns to FX tonight for the all-new episode Sacrifice, and then will bring its Season 1 to a close next Thursday, September 8th, with the finale entitled Identity. Both Elijah Wood and Jason Gann jumped on the phone earlier in the week to discuss what fans can expect from these final two episodes, as well as the future of the series.

Here is their conversation.

We wanted to know if you could talk a little bit about the recent episode that Mary Steenburgen was on. It was such a great episode and we really got to know a lot about your character, so if you could just tell us a little bit about filming that it would be great.

Elijah Wood: Yes. That was - actually that was one of the more enjoyable experiences working on that particular episode, made, I think all the more special because of Mary Steenburgen. She was truly extraordinary and brought such a beautiful energy to the set. We only worked with her for four days, but we felt this great loss when she left us - it was kind of amazing. It was four days, but she'd made such an impression on everyone. It's a - you know it was an important episode in the sense that it gave a lot of background information for the "Ryan" character and a really interesting relationship develops also between "Wilfred" and "Ryan's" mom, as well. Jason?

Jason Gann: Yes, and I got to make out with Mary Steenburgen and -

Elijah Wood: You did, by the way I just recently saw that episode - damn, I forgot how much you actually made out with her.

Jason Gann: Yes, I was really looking forward - I was like - I was like so excited about making out with Ted Danson's missus, it was like - it kind of overshadowed the rest of the episode for me. We shot a number of takes of that kissing scene and we thought we had it and I said, "Yes, I think we've got it" and I went into the room where the show runner and the director were, Randall Einhorn and David Zuckerman, and I said, "Did you see my tongue go in?" They were like, "Yes, we know it went in." "But, did you see it go in?" They were like, "You can tell it's in." I'm like, "But did you see it?" They said they didn't see it go in. I said, "Give me one more." So I went back out and I said, "We'll do one more." I made it get the tongue right in there and then I said to Mary Steenburgen, "Look, I'm sorry about that." She was like, "What are you sorry for, it's the most fun I've had in ages." It was a lot of fun. She was a really good sport. We have to bring her back, you know. We really want to see that character again. It was so great we got a second season and fingers crossed she's back.

Elijah Wood: Yes, it was a great episode, too, I think in the sense that it explored some of the psychological background to the "Ryan" character and developing his back story a little bit as well, sort of an interesting multi-layered episode that I think we're really proud of.

Jason Gann: I'm not really proud of my last comment. Now that I've heard Elijah Wood's really intelligent answer to that, I mean all I talked about is making out with ... I vow to have more intelligent answers for future questions.

Elijah Wood: But, but look, I mean ultimately the make-out is a stellar, very important piece to the puzzle that we created.

Jason Gann: Well, yes, yes. Thank you, thank you. It is, and it's also like the humanizing of behavior and I've seen dogs just get their tongue right in the mouths of humans.

Elijah Wood: Yes. And, and, you can also look at that as - is "Ryan" making out with his own mom? ... is he ... ?

Jason Gann: Yes, gee, all right.

Elijah Wood: I didn't mean to open a can of beans.

Jason Gann: Maybe it's time we move on to the next question. Thank you, that was a great question, thank you.

Since every episode basically starts off with its own little problem and it gets tied up at the end, we have the little recurring things that happen, but for the season finale, is it going to be something like that or are you guys going to give us a cliffhanger?

Jason Gann: Ooooh.

Elijah Wood: I don't know how much we -

Jason Gann: ... question - yes, I don't know how much we can say. Let's just say that there will be more questions than answers.

Elijah Wood: Yes.

Jason Gann: There will be answers - that doesn't mean there won't be answers.

Elijah Wood: There will be.

Jason Gann: Yes, I think we - yes, it's a lot less packaged. The last two episodes are a lot less packaged. You're right in that the episodes do start with a problem that gets somewhat resolved by the end, but you know, now that we're this far into the season we're - and we've really created the rules and the parameters of the show we're able to, I think, stretch those a little bit and play with the form a bit more so it's a little less packaged.

Since most of the show that we've seen so far is through "Ryan's" eyes, are we going to see any episodes through "Wilfred's" eyes, like his relationship with "Bear" and "Giraffe"?

Jason Gann: Yes, it will be in black and white. It will be in black and white... you just gave me a great idea for an episode; thanks. Will we see through "Wilfred's" eyes? Well, I mean you could say that we - that part of "Wilfred" is "Ryan" in this case. We are - look, we may do that. We may do that. Right now the formula seems to be working for us. There is an ongoing ... with ... and the beginning episodes require like a trust or ... different arms. You know we're going to run out of those eventually. There are only so many different human emotions that there are before we start repeating ourselves. It's kind of like how long we're good for, but I hope so. It's more of a question for David Zuckerman, but you know we'll try.

Jason, at the beginning of the season you talked a bit about the differences between the original series and the American take and how Wilfred, this Wilfred would be a deeper, richer show in terms of emotion and psychology. I'm just wondering in terms of what you set out to do, how do you think things went over the course of the season in terms of meeting or surpassing your expectations and hopes?

Jason Gann: It has surpassed my expectations. David Zuckerman had a really good idea for the genesis of this version of the show. I was really excited by it, but yes, I've got to say that I think it's - I also think that the ending is pretty tremendous. I'm really looking forward to seeing where we can take that in Season 2. It's been good for the show, but it's also been great for my character, as well. Like, I've had a lot of fun with "Wilfred" and I think that he has expanded and there are a lot more layers to "Wilfred" that I didn't foresee, but I really love. It's been great fun for me on the set.

When the season is all over and people go out and buy the DVD of Season 1, what do you want to be on the bonus features?

Elijah Wood: Well, there are actually some - there are deleted scenes, some of which I'm - you know, I was a real fan of. There is actually a great deleted scene that I won't reveal because it will likely be on the DVD from the mother episode that is quite hilarious.

Jason Gann: Yes. There are a lot of scenes -

Elijah Wood: I imagine - yes, I've got to say there has to be a fair amount of bloopers, right? I mean -

Jason Gann: Yes, I'm more like - I'm sort of more aware of what I really don't want to be on there. Like I'm not - it's funny like I watch behind the scenes - the making of movies, but at the same time I kind of wish they weren't there because if it's a really fantastic movie that's kind of got a magical element to it, it's very rare that I get transported into another realm by TV because I'm so desensitized by being on film sets all the time. So on the rare occasion that I am drawn into that world, I often don't like seeing how different things are made. We're really careful to try and not have me like "Wilfred" scenes sort of half in/half out so I'm not a big fan of like behind the scenes stuff. I like interviews. I think we should do interviews. And I like bloopers and we certainly have - because our show is so precious of time we do have a lot of extra stuff that unfortunately had to be cut. Hopefully that will be in there and people can get to see some alternatives, maybe just see maybe a few scenes that are a bit more stretched out that we didn't have the benefit of the time with.

bol|What do you look for in a script; whether it's TV or film?

Elijah Wood: Jason, do you want to take that one first?

Jason Gann: I don't get that many scripts. Normally they're scripts - I mean the last few years I mean I've pretty much back in Australia done my own shows and really no work outside of that. It's kind of - it's only now that I'm starting to read some like Hollywood film scripts and stuff. I've read some really great ones, but I mean I just like stuff that says there is a character in there that says sort of Jason Gann in it, you know? I like doing roles that I can do in my own way, so it's pretty tough. I see something that seems like kind of standard fare that I can imagine any number of actors playing then I'm generally not interested.

Elijah Wood: Yes, I think I'm always looking for something very different from anything I've done. I think - and I'm equally attracted to just simply a great script and not necessarily a great character. I mean you can find sometimes great characters in the context of a script that isn't as interesting, but I suppose I'm almost just as interested in just being a part of an entire piece that I think is brilliant even if it's a small part to play in that entire piece, you know. I think, yes, I guess I'm just always looking for something that I've never done or something that feels unique and special. I think a lot of it is also just gut, you know, what you emotionally connect with and that can be a variety of different things, I suppose.

{bold|Is this melancholic gut-busting humor to offset the kind of sad little undertone, is that going to continue in the second season? Can you give us some more insight into the therapy aspect of "Wilfred" and "Ryan's" relationship?

Elijah Wood: Hm.

Jason Gann: Hm, that's a good question - how to answer. Do want to try first, Elijah Wood?

Elijah Wood: I mean, I think you know the foundation of the relationship is based on the recovery of "Ryan" and I think that that - for "Wilfred" to exist "Ryan" has to need him, I think, so I think that that component will always be there, but I think it will ebb and flow, you know? I think over the course of this season we've seen "Ryan" start to recover. I don't know that the foundation will always be built on a sense of melancholy necessarily, but I think that that dynamic will continue to exist. I feel like it has to exist for that relationship to play out because ultimately it's about "Wilfred" is engaging "Ryan" in a way of life that he was unfamiliar with and ultimately trying to push "Ryan" to live a stronger, better life. I see that definitely progressing. Jason Gann?

Jason Gann: Yes, I think towards the end of this season where we've kind of gone there first, we're going there eventually, but we needed to set up a kind of comedic premise first. Because we've done that I think we're able to afford ourselves some space to be able to deal with some heavier things. I don't think we could do that continually throughout every episode. I suspect, even though we haven't blocked it out, I suspect that the second season might be somewhat similar because anyone that is in recovery in real life they don't spend their whole 24 hours a day in recovery, otherwise they're not recovering very well. Part of recovery is to be able to enjoy your life. So I think that there will be a lot more funny, maybe one-off episodes that don't hit as hard on the head the whole therapeutic element, but yes, it will always be there, I would agree.

With the season finale and how everything wraps up, did you write that and did you know how it was going to end before or after you knew that there was going to be a Season 2? Then how is that really going to play into Season 2 because it was kind of ambiguous, like you said.

Jason Gann: Look, we were so pressed for time with Season 1 I had to leave the writer's room before - I mean all the stories were mostly broken, but there were still about a number of, say maybe three written and so they did change a lot. I do know that with the ending we had to - I mean we were all really excited about the way it ended. When we heard about it we were on set and we all loved it. We had to get that - once that was approved by the network then it was - then we were all really excited. Yes, it's, I mean there are arguments for and against having a cliffhanger and I think that it's done really, really well; but no, I didn't write that.

It's so intoxicating to watch the interaction between "Ryan" and "Wilfred." Since "Ryan" is rather broken and doing his best, what struggle would you like "Ryan" to overcome and address? And what role would you like "Wilfred" to play in it?

Elijah Wood: What struggle would I like him to overcome the most? I mean I think that he's - well I suppose one of his larger issues is being able to socialize with other people. I think that's something that I would like to see him overcome. We've addressed that - it kind of succeeded, but it kind of failed. I don't know. How would "Wilfred" best help "Ryan" in that scenario, Jason?

Jason Gann: Well, look I think that ultimately if - what I'd like to see "Ryan" overcome would actually probably mean the end of the show and then I'm unemployed so I don't really want to see it, but if I think of "Ryan" as a character then I'd like to see him kind of not need "Wilfred" anymore as this talking Australian man with this ...

Elijah Wood: Yes.

Jason Gann: Then, I imagine that you'd probably see him sitting on a hill or something with a real dog and that would be kind of sad, but it'd kind of be good for the character. Whether I want to see that in the show, I don't know. Yes, like I guess going back to what I was saying before about recovery is I think a really strong side of recovery is when the individual is not aware that they're recovering, that they're actually just living their life day-to-day without thinking about it. So, I guess I'd like to see him in the meantime sort of have some periods where he's actually doing okay and him and "Wilfred" are just kind of buddying around getting into hi-jinks.

Elijah Wood: Yes, I'd also like to see "Ryan" get to work, you know. We've never really seen him - he's a lazy ass. We've never seen him in a work setting and with other responsibilities. You know his responsibilities thus far have really been about himself and sorting himself out. I think to throw him into the context of a working environment where he has to answer to other people I think would be the next step for him. I would like to see that.

In Season 2 "Bear" will get a mention in the credits, and have you gotten her into any therapy since you don't treat her very well?

Jason Gann: Well, how do you know it's a her? I mean - yes, look, I think that "Bear" is starting to, which I'd hoped he would, or she, would take on a real character of their own and it's a great opportunity, you know, and cheap for us, too, as far as characters go to employ someone. Yes, like I don't know whether "Bear" will go into therapy, but look, I really see "Bear" being in the show for some time. I mean hopefully you'll see "Wilfred" maybe start to appreciate "Bear" a little bit more.

Elijah Wood: I'd like to see her -

Jason Gann: I'd like "Ryan" to interact with her, as well.

Elijah Wood: Me too, me too. I think that "Bear" has a lot more to say about "Ryan." I don't think "Bear" is a real fan of "Ryan" and I'm curious as to what it will have to say in the future. I'd also love to see a dream sequence of sorts where we get to see an animated Bear, maybe like an animatronic "Bear" that comes to life.

Jason Gann: That would be cool. I think maybe "Wilfred" needs therapy about "Bear" like that "Ryan" could maybe take "Wilfred" aside and say, "Look, you're talking to an imaginary friend." Yes.

Elijah Wood: That would be fantastic. Oh, the irony.

Jason Gann: Or, or "Bear" should see an imaginary friend like "Wilfred" is talking to "Bear" saying, "Bear, there is no one there, you're talking - you need help, dude."

In the beginning of the season we kind of all talked about the mention of Matt Damon movies, but since it's aired has Matt Damon seen this show? Has there been any talk of maybe him appearing on the show and maybe as like a gratitude of all of his help maybe "Ryan" is able to track him down and have him meet "Wilfred"?

Jason Gann: I've got some ideas if we can ever get Matt involved in an episode. I'm unaware about whether he knows about the show or seen it, but look, I think that we'd be crazy if we didn't try and get him on, and yes we get to have "Wilfred" react with him. I doubt he'd be able to see "Wilfred" in the same form as "Ryan," but yes, he'd be really funny in it.

Elijah Wood: Ah, it'd be brilliant.

When you have a series like that that's at the core of it based on such a specific concept as humanizing a dog, when you kind of look at a big wide lens of the show's future if it runs for three seasons or ten, do you guys have any kind of instincts or openness to things like more meta-textual or wild crazy episodes? For example, like would we ever see a full musical episode or an episode that shows the same scenario in a different era of time; that kind of thing that shows use to break themselves up?

Elijah Wood: Sure.

Jason Gann: Yes, we have - I mean I don't want to shoot our load too early now in an interview, but we've already talked about some stuff that is I think along those lines. David Zuckerman comes from a great long history of animation, as well, and that's something that I'd be really interested in exploring in the show. Yes, I think - and maybe if we go through "Wilfred's" eyes it should be black and white, you know ... yes, I think we're going to have to do that because we like to as ... is sort of stay one step ahead of the audience and it excites me sometimes when I would read fans talking about the show on fan pages and they're really ... nuts about it and when ... would say I've read it, I know what happens he does this and then "Wilfred" in the end screws him over and it's like, it's pretty ... people start to think they know what the show ... and know ... is coming up a few episodes later. I was just going to say I like the idea of playing with the format as well, and I think toying with the audience to a certain degree, as well. The show is about perception to a certain degree, and I think that that can also fit into various interpretations of what perception is.

A lot of people say that the show deals mainly with getting high-which let's face it, "Ryan" and "Wilfred" get stoned an awful lot-but there's a lot of morality generously peppered into each episode. Is it intentional? Are you trying to tell a moral with each episode? Or is it just coincidence that some kind of life lesson is being presented?

Jason Gann: Well firstly on the weed smoking, it isn't in every episode. And the reason I know this is because fans go crazy when it's not. It's like, "They didn't smoke weed!" The ... people say that they, like, have a ... waiting, and every time "Wilfred" and "Ryan" light up, they light up. And they make a game of it. And then so whenever-yeah-and so whenever we miss it in an episode-and it's normally just by pure chance we just forgot to put it in, people get-they're like, "Why didn't-. They better smoke next week." So I mean, some people think that it's like a stoner comedy, and at first, like, I think it's okay for people to hang their hat on. ... some people need to go to relax or something before they .... But as far as morality goes, yeah, I think that ... possibility is to create an atmosphere to try and put out something that's, like, morally nutritious for the world. There's enough chaos and blood and craziness for anyone. So yeah, ... with anything I do, I'm likely to put some ... moral in there.

With all of those scenes of pot smoking, how did you guys research that to realistically portray being stoned?

Jason Gann: Well, I'll say-otherwise I don't know if you are aware of this, but we don't-we haven't been clearing the chamber, is this term. Clearing the chamber, which means that we're not finishing our bongs.

Elijah Wood: I know we haven't been.

Jason Gann: And because we have only a very small amount of time to shoot a scene, we generally usually take a big hit of it, and then put the bong down and continue the conversation. But people, like, getting really frustrated at us because we aren't-we're not clearing the bongs. So I guess in that ... we didn't research-we should've researched that better. And I vow to try and remedy that for Season 2. And maybe we just need to pack smaller .... Because we all had to do that. We just packed ... just pack the ... as full as it can, so we can just keep it going ... So it does mean we have to make smaller ... and have them reset them before we do each take, then so be it. But yes, we need to remedy that.

Elijah Wood: Yes, we do need to remedy that. It's very important. I love the fact that people are getting stoned watching the show and that if we don't smoke, it ruins their high.

Jason Gann: Yeah, I mean, David Zuckerman and I laugh sometimes because, I mean, there is irony of-and I guess it's a hole in the plot where most of them are saying, "Ryan's going to recover from this mental illness that is ... on the script." And "Wilfred's" answer is, "Smoke more weed." I mean, there's arguments for and against whether that actually will be helpful for any sort of emotional or mental .... So we laugh often and we say, "Hey, get high. The answer to mental illness: Smoke weed." You know? So, we're just having a bit of fun as well. We don't want to take the show too seriously. We're not trying to heal people from mental illness. We're just ....

So the finale sets up a number of cliffhangers. Have you thought about how Season 2 will pick up? Are we going to see a time jump, anything like that? How soon will we know what "Wilfred's" status is? Not to give away too many spoilers.

Jason Gann: Look, to be honest about the cliffhanger-how that's going to resolve itself-I mean, I'm just leaving that in David's hands, you know what I mean? He's the brainiac who sets up those cliffhangers-like the wallet at the end of Episode 1, which became just a nightmare to try and solve once the show got picked up. I just noticed he would already have some great ideas ... experience and we'd just-if I spent any time thinking about Season 2 ... like individual stories or "Wilfred"-isms like a dog is- stuff like that that we can blend in. Because we do try and do a lot ... We cram a lot of things in ... TV.

I really enjoyed meeting the character, "Bruce." Because up until that moment, I thought that "Ryan" was the only person who was ever able to see "Wilfred." So are there any others? Will we be finding that out in future episodes?

Elijah Wood: Well it really depends on what "Bruce" is, I suppose. I mean, look, I think the expansion of the world that they're in is going to be something that we'll continue to play with, I think. You know? Because right now, like, we've traversed this world very much in the confines of "Ryan's" environment. But I think we'll start to expound upon the outer limits and reaches of that in the second season and sort of play with it a little bit more. I love that episode. I love that episode.

Jason Gann: I love "Wilfred's" punch. Like, suddenly "Wilfred" can, like, just punch like an action hero. A full-man punch, but it does look like a TV punch. It's ridiculous.

Elijah Wood: Yeah.

You guys seem to get away with a lot of jokes that are very off-color and very funny, but you don't normally see-you never see on network TV. And I know you can get away with a little bit more on basic cable, but has there ever been anything that they've pushed back with and told you, "No, you can't make this joke," or, "That crosses the line," or anything that ... comfortable with to let you go through?

Jason Gann: They're pretty open. They're pretty open I've got to say. You know, there was-look I don't want. There was one idea we loved. It got push back, but we're going to try and repackage it and try to get it across the line.

Elijah Wood: Oh, I know the idea you're talking about. Yeah.

Jason Gann: So I better not explain what it is. But I mean, look, yeah, we do push the envelope, and it's interesting for me because there is a lot of stuff that I could get away with in Australia that we just couldn't get away with here. And yet, there's also stuff that we can get away with here that I just think, "Are you serious?" You know? Like there's sort of some-like there's racist jokes we've made. Well, as soon as they're pitched, I'm like, "Whoa. We can't do that." And they're going in and saying, "No, we do that over here." And I'm like, "Really?" And I'm like, "We would never go there, like, in Australia." But I guess there's a lot to-as long as we're poking fun at everyone, then there's some sort of, I guess racial jokes, that certainly pepper it a bit. I mean, I'm really careful. I'm really aware of hurting people. I really don't like hurting people. And so if ever-and there was a joke in one of the episodes about-just slipped past my radar. I didn't even consider it that I was hurting anyone, and it did upset some people. And I took it very personally, and I felt really bad about that. So I personally am very aware of, like, upsetting people. And I like pushing the envelope and doing adventurous comedy and new types of comedy, but I don't think we need to necessarily hurt people to do that. I mean, I want it to be in this philosophy that people get to laugh and pull fun. But I don't think it should go to that. But I kind of took that question in another direction, but-

Elijah Wood: Well, look, I agree with that. I concur. I mean, with the things that we've gotten away with I have been kind of surprised-some of the more sexual aspects of the show.

Jason Gann: I-yeah.

Elijah Wood: Particularly the sexual montage between "Wilfred" and the giraffe was-I honestly thought that Standards and Practices were going to cut some of that down. But they did not, much to our surprise and appreciation.

Jason Gann: Yeah. It's funny though that, like, what I can get away with in a dog suit and what I can't. I mean, there have been things where I've said, where we've debated in the writer's room, and I've said, "We can do this." And David [Zuckerman] said, "There's no way. We aren't going to be able to do that." He said if it was animation, he'd do it. But he can't do it with live people. So there are certain things you can get away with with animation that you can't get away with live-action. But when I'm in that dog suit, it's somewhere in the middle. I am actually able to get away with a lot more things than if I wasn't in that dog suit. And I guess that's kind of something that we're able to particularly get away with. I mean, you could ... and say that my black nose is animation, because it is animated. It's drawn on. And early animation was all done with pencils.

Elijah Wood: Yeah, I love that. It's a total stretch, but I love it. "Jason Gann says that we have animation in the show," says the quote. Oh, it's beautiful.

Jason Gann: Yeah. My nose.

What have you learned from the process, and what may or may not have surprised you.

Elijah Wood: That's a very astute, good question. Well, I don't know if there was anything that surprised me. I mean, I think the process of television is much faster, so the pace-I don't know if I would say I wasn't prepared, but in some ways I suppose I wasn't. I'd never worked at that kind of pace before. Just simply trying to get six to eight pages of dialogue prepared for each day of work became complicated. But outside of that, the idea of developing a character over the course of a season-even a show like this, which a lot of our episodes are stand-alone episodes-there is a through-line, and there is a growth and a progression. And it was very enjoyable to keep an eye on where the character was going-the fact that we are ultimately making a comedy series, but we are also looking to how that character is developing and growing or progressing over the course of the show. And I found it not unlike that of a film, but definitely more expansive because we're dealing with a much larger piece of time. And I found that as an actor, I could pay attention to the character emotionally and psychologically while also paying attention to what was happening comedically. I found that balance really fun. And I think it speaks to the kind of show that we're making as well, which I'm really proud of. I think it's a really multi-layered show, and these are real characters. I mean, even "Wilfred" has his own growth, as well. He is very much rooted in his own reality.

I met this drunk Australian at Lollapalooza this year who was very shocked and surprised that my friends and I knew about Wilfred because he didn't know it was on TV here-that you guys had done a new show.

Elijah Wood: Oh, right.

He loved the Australian one, and he couldn't wait to see the American one.

Elijah Wood: He woke up the next day hung over, and he was like, "Wait, it's here, too?"

And there was a dog licking his face. But I was wondering if you guys were surprised by how successful the show has been here and elsewhere too?

Jason Gann: Look, I don't want to sound arrogant, but no, I'm not surprised. Because, like, you spend years making shows, and you think that they all should be like that. And all of a sudden one is, and you just kind of go, "Well, great. People are starting to get it." I mean, it's always difficult when you want to do something really new and you also want it to reach it the masses because generally the majority of people want to see what they've already seen before or they're already familiar with. To open the majority of peoples' minds to something new is difficult. I always think that if it's funny-as long as it's funny underneath, then you can argue that it's a teaspoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. You can maybe be artistic and really original and creative, but as long as it's got that funniness at the root of it, then certain people are going to love it just because they need a laugh. Most people like to laugh.

Elijah Wood: Yeah, I think for us too. You work in a bubble on something, you lose perspective as to what other people are going to think about it, and you have your own perspective as to what it is. And we were working in the bubble making this, and we were really excited about what we were doing. It felt like we were doing something unique and different and a bit strange. But I think we were-at least I was initially-surprised that people seemed to get it so quickly. I think we felt-maybe wrongfully so-but we were just in the middle of it, so we didn't have any perspective as to what an outsider would think. We kind of thought, "Wow, it's really strange," and, "It's really weird," and, "Will people get it?" "Will it register with people? And I remember when we first spoke to some press who had seen the pilot, and they kind of immediately got it. And I think that was extremely gratifying. And the fact that it's really found an audience quite quickly and that not only are people enjoying it on a comedic level-which I think it's very easy to do because I think it is really funny-but people are also seeming to really get what else it is, and the multiple layers that it has. And people are asking questions and theorizing. And I think that's one of the most exciting aspects of its success is that people are kind of watching it for all of the different things that it embodies. And that, to me, is the most gratifying.

Where you guys were when you found out you were renewed?

Jason Gann: The night before, I was at a FOX event, and I was having a conversation. I went home that night thinking, "I think we're going to get another season." And so the next day, I was in bed and got a text message from .... people ... co-stars. She knew before me. She was like, "Congratulations. They picked up." And I'm like, "Great."

Elijah Wood: Yeah. I was in New York at the time. I was doing some press for Wilfred when I found out. I think I had gotten an e-mail telling us that we'd gotten picked up. So that's how I found out.

Jason Gann: It was a good day.

Elijah Wood: It was a good day. It was a great day. I'm very excited to get back into it. I think that where the show has gone and where we've taken it over the course of this season is very interesting and exciting. And I feel like we'll continue to do that in the second season. And more than anything, I just want to get back to it with the same group of people because we had a lot of fun making it, and I know we'll have a lot of fun doing another season.

Jason Gann: With the Australian version, I always felt like, when it was Season 1. I knew it was going to be a good show when it was Season 1. It was unknown, and people were kind of like, "Aw, gee, this is a big risk. I hope you know what you're doing." But then when Season 2 came along, I could do it with confidence. And I sort of feel that way about this time. The Australian one felt like a real experiment, and it was like, "I hope people like it. I hope I work again in this town after they see it." And then now, with the response that we've got, it's kind of like, "Oh, great." We can really go into it with some confidence and enjoy it and be less trepidatious.

Elijah Wood: Yeah. And I think this time around, it's going to be interesting because we can actually take the audience into account. I think we have a certain fan base that appreciates what we're doing with the show. And that's been exciting as well, to sort of include them in this process-knowing that there are people that kind of know what it is that we're doing. But yeah, I agree with Jason also, that sense of freedom that now we're not trying to prove anything. We've kind of made it. We've made the statement of what the show is, and we can kind of take it from there and play.

Jason Gann: Yeah. And we can take into consideration about clearing the chamber.

Elijah Wood: Yeah, right. Exactly. Smoke weed like professionals then.

Looking at the episode of "Compassion" where we see his mother also having a vision with Rhea Perlman and the cat, how much are we to believe-or maybe you guys can put your own theories out there as far as how much is "Wilfred" tied to his genetics to his mom, or is it more the drugs? Or is it something even far darker or some other element we haven't seen yet?

Jason Gann: You mean "Ryan"? How much is he tied to his mum? Well, I think that-we met the mom in Season 1and we're really excited about going into the dad in 2 because it's been touched on a number of times that "Ryan" was kind of pushed into a certain direction by his father. And we've alluded to that. But I think that once we get to know the dad, it may shed new light on the mother and ...

Elijah Wood: Yeah, I don't know that I want to believe that that moment at the end of the "mother" episode answers all of the questions, either. I think if anything, it indicates that "Ryan" and his mother are certainly cut from the same cloth. And potentially it indicates that there's a history of mental illness that may have been passed down. But I don't know. I think it provides yet another question. But it certainly indicates that there's a similarity between the two. I love that moment. I thought that was really quite brilliant, including another vision. I thought that was wonderful.