"Poor Ned!" says Lee Pace, of the romantic piemaker he plays on ABC's fantastical Pushing Daisies (Wednesdays, 8 pm/ET, ABC). You think you have problems with your love life? Ned's current romantic entanglement is a doozy, boasting a very unusual obstacle. Because of his special gift (he can bring things back to life with just a touch, but if he touches them again, they die forever), his one true love, played by Anna Friel, is one big hands-off zone, due to having once been deceased. Can you imagine? Pace tells us how Season 2 will examine Ned's sexual frustration, his dysfunctional families— both literal and figurative— and Chuck's biggest secret of all.
TVGuide.com: The show is so visually colorful, with a very specific, rich, saturated palette. So why is Ned always stuck wearing drab black or white all the time?
Lee Pace: That was my idea. It makes sense for the character; he's the center of this mad world.
TVGuide.com: It is a mad world. Have you ever gotten any pressure, either from the inside or the outside, to tone down the show's fairy-tale quality and make it more accessible, more real?
Pace: It's all about [series creator] Bryan Fuller really. He has really, really good taste. The network supports him, and we all support him. I think the show combines comedy and heartbreak, and when it all comes together with the look of it, I don't think there's an answer for how that formula came to be. When you can watch Pushing Daisies or go to On Demand and watch a movie, we want to make the show as satisfying as a movie.
TVGuide.com: Family seems to be a recurring theme this season— Emerson's, Chuck's… will we ever meet Ned's family, whether they be alive or dead at the moment?
Pace: You're absolutely right: family is a big issue this season, how what went on in their pasts has made them the people they are now. Later this season, Chuck and Olive take it upon themselves to find Ned's twin half-brothers, and they make life very complicated for Ned. But it's good for him. He's got a lot of problems, a lot of hang-ups that he's not particularly ready to confront. But… he does, and I think in every episode you see Ned take a step forward. It's all about making life complicated for Ned. Poor Ned!
TVGuide.com: Pushing Daisies is very quaint, very old-fashioned and innocent. But since Ned can't ever touch Chuck, will his sexual frustration ever become an issue?
Pace: Yes, I think so, for both of them. They've been together for over a year now, and it's getting complicated. Is this going to be it for the rest of their lives spooning through plastic? I like that Bryan Fuller is tackling these things with them because it makes them more grown-up, that they actually do have a sex life.
TVGuide.com: Let's talk about the "no touching" rule. Is there someone whose job it is to patrol that? Has there ever been a time that you've had to change the way something is filmed — say, an action scene— to ensure they don't ever touch?
Pace: Oh yeah, when we're standing together at the Pie Hole counter, we'll always touch a little bit, and then we have to reshoot it. There's a scene in "Circus Circus" [which airs Wednesday] where Anna and I decided we were going to play "slap jack" [in which one player tries to yank their hands away before the other slaps them], which is basically Russian roulette for Chuck. And then [executive producer] Barry Sonnenfeld watched the dailies and said, "What were you thinking, and who let you get away with this?"
TVGuide.com: Was that just something you improvised?
Pace: Yeah, we thought it would be funny. We didn't want to just be sitting in a booth. But they couldn't use the scene, because as an audience, you're really invested in the idea that if she touches him, she's dead. You don't want Chuck to die.
TVGuide.com: Has there ever been a time where a touching gaffe has made it to screen? I haven't noticed any.
Pace: No, but there are times when, because of the way it's filmed, I'll be reaching across in front of her or something, and it might look like we're touching; it's a little too close for comfort. We have to be clean when we're shooting. From the beginning, I've been sitting on my hands and shoving my hands in my pockets. Ned loves Chuck so much, it's always on the front of his mind. It's the psychology of the character.
TVGuide.com: Will Chuck's secret ever be discovered or is it the part of the DNA of the show that it never will?
Pace: Well, she hasn't been found out in a big way yet. But, as I said, the show is about making life hard for Chuck and Ned, and that would certainly make life hard for them. I think it's Ned's deepest, darkest fear, because then he'd be found out, and then he turns into E.T.
Source via thepiehole
Little known fact about TV star Lee Pace: His after school job in high school was working at Gallup Poll, doing surveys for Citibank. He made so many phone calls during his time there that if you tell him an area code, he'll know what city it belongs to. While that's quite the talent, it probably doesn't compare to bringing people back from the dead, right?
In the fantastical, hit ABC dramedy, Pushing Daisies, Lee, 29, stars as the endearing Ned, a pie maker whose touch can magically bring life to the dead. Of course, it's not that simple—if Ned touches that person a second time, they will be dead forever.
That brings us to Ned's current predicament. He brought his childhood sweetheart, Chuck (Anna Friel), back to life, and to keep her alive, he can never touch her again. Their chemistry is undeniably palpable and adorable, but their physical separation breaks your heart.
Upcoming episodes, however, might help piece your heart back together. Though Lee admits he's not very romantic in his own personal life (damn!), he says that not only is Ned "insanely romantic," but he "is much more romantic this season than he was last season...This year he's a little more enthusiastic about making the changes that he needs to in his life, like being a better man for Chuck." Hint: Lee said his most romantic Pushing Daisies scene to date will take place in episode five. And, in episode eight, Ned comes up with a new invention: "There's a spooning contraption so that we can spoon. It's like a plastic screen with a big arm sleeve so I can wrap my arm around Chuck." Can we all say, "awww" in unison?
Unfortunately, this season Chuck decides that she should live her second chance at life to the fullest. Will that mean becoming involved with a man she can touch? According to Lee, "It's a big possibility, but we haven't shot that yet. She's headed down that road... but the thing about Chuck and Ned is that they're soul mates. It's not going to be easy for them to split up."
For all you Ched/Nuck fans out there, don't fear. Lee knows that everyone wants to see the couple together. "It's more fun to watch Ned and Chuck against the world versus Ned and Chuck against each other."
As fans of the show know, it's not always just about Ned and Chuck. They round out their posse with Pie Hole waitress Olive Snook (Kristen Chenoweth) and private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride). Expect some new faces though, as the cast will be getting bigger. David Arquette is joining the show to give Ned a friend. Of course, to be on Pushing Daisies, the character has to be quirky, and with Lee's description of David's part, he's sure to fit right in. "He has a fun hobby that's similar to Ned's hobby. He taxidermies animals, so he brings animals to life in his own way." (Notice the eyeball in David's hand in the photo on the right.) I'm getting excited just picturing these two in action together.
Be sure to check out Pushing Daisies on ABC, Wednesday nights at 8 pm.
Source via thepiehole
As Ned on Pushing Daisies, Lee Pace plays one of the sweetest characters on television. I was lucky enough to score a few minutes on the phone with him this week to talk about the second season of Daisies, what's coming up for Ned, and what it's like to be on a show that's so outside the box. Here are highlights:
Q: Has the show changed at all going into season two?
A:I think it has a lot. I think Bryan [Fuller]'s figured out a different way to tell the stories . . . With playing Ned, at least, I wanted to pick him up a year after the show had ended [last season]. So he's been with Chuck for a year, and he's a little more enthusiastic about life, he's a little more prepared for the curveballs that he's gonna be thrown this season.
Q: And how did the events of season one change Ned?
A: Chuck coming to life was probably the biggest thing that's ever happened to him in his life. Ned is someone who's created a world around him that he understands and that he's comfortable with — he can make pies and give them to people. And then he's got Emerson pulling him along on these cases and making his life more complicated, and now he's got Chuck making his life more complicated. This season, Chuck is wanting a little more independence, which scares Ned, because her independence means someone could find out about him and what he can do, which is his worst fear.
Q: Has playing Ned changed how you're perceived at all?
A: I think it has, actually. I've played a lot of bad characters in my life — not bad, but kind of rough, complicated characters, and Ned is such an adorable, sweet guy that I think people think that's who I am. . . . I am not unlike Ned — I'm pretty shy and kind of reclusive, but not as much as Ned. I should probably never describe myself as adorable.
Q: Ned is also a pretty mysterious character, and we've learned a lot about him through the flashbacks with little Ned and little Chuck. Are there any things that surprised you about him when you read them in the script?
A: A few episodes down the line in this season, Ned — we're dealing with a lot of his past and family issues, like issues with his own father, issues with Chuck's father, killing him, and Ned gets a little angry. Ned gets a lot angry, actually, and it's good because that was kind of a surprising scene to read and those were fun scenes to play, fun to kind of stretch Ned a little bit. He's not defensive. He's a very active character. He's got hangups, he's got complications in his life, but you never get to see him get angry.
Q: Do you have a favorite death or favorite awakening scene?
A: There's one on next week's episode when we're at the nunnery. I bring to life a nun who's been killed, and I think it's one of the funniest "alive again" scenes we've got because she's played by Mo Collins from Mad TV, and she's just really foul-mouthed and really funny. It's a really, really funny scene to have a nun talking the way she's talking.
Q: There's really nothing this whimsical on television. When you got involved with the show, did you think there was anything risky in doing something that was so far outside the usual realm of US TV?
A:I don't think about it as risky at all, because I think it's a good show and I think you can't really go wrong if the material is quality because then you'll get a quality director and you'll get good actors to work on it with. It comes from Bryan Fuller, and that's already really good. . . . I didn't really see much of a risk on it being outside of the box. Those are all kind of things in its favor.
Q: What's some of the most interesting feedback that you've gotten about the show?
A: One thing that I hear a lot is that people want to hear a kind of mythology about the show — like if there's going to be a way that Ned and Chuck will be able to touch at the end of the show. And my thinking is that this is what separates it from a comic book or a superhero story. There is no mythology. Ned is discovering his powers as the audience is, really.
Q: The show's really known for its tongue-twisting dialogue. Are there any particular lines that you had a really hard time getting down?
A: Honestly, every day I've got one speech that I cannot — I have to motor through it and say it all really quickly. And it's never easy stuff that I'm saying either, it's all like "Happy Time Temp Agency." You fit all these words in your mouth and it's always really tricky, there's no way around it. I go in in the morning and I learn the lines and I shoot the scene and then the lines just go out of my head.
Q: If you're just walking down the hallway, do you ever brush up against Anna Friel and freak out?
A: We actually bump into each other all the time — all the time! Anna will kind of run up and give me a big hug — earlier this week, she did it, and I kind of flinched a little bit, and she kind of jumped back and was like, "Did you just flinch when I gave you a hug?" I was like, "I'm sorry, I don't know where that came from!" It's just playing Ned. I shouldn't be flinching when a beautiful girl like Anna Friel gives me a hug, but I flinched! That's weird, that's odd, that's not normal.
Q: If you had Ned's power, do you think you would see it as a blessing or a curse?
A: I think it would be kind of a curse. It's caused Ned a lot of trouble, the power. I wouldn't particularly want it. I wouldn't want it at all, actually. But he was able to bring Chuck back to life — I don't know, it's complicated! As all things in life are.
Source via thepiehole
It sucks that ABC can't take into account all the people who watch the show who don't have the Nielsen box (ie, most college students) and for the people who watch online because they couldn't watch the episode when it first aired. It's a wonderful show, I guess it might be almost too quirky for the majority of its target audience though I mean, I like the show, but my family doesn't. :: shrugs :: What else airs at the same time?
Also, this is kinda random, but anyone catch Young Ned in a commercial for McDonald's? It's kinda funny b/c he was also in a promo for PETA Kids.