How difficult is it to keep a straight face with Jason saying raunchy things in a dog suit?
It’s actually not too hard, just because we shoot at a very quick pace. We shoot four days per episode. I really have to treat him like he’s my dog and it keeps me grounded. But Jason is very silly and because we have been such good friends that can be a problem sometimes because I’ll look at him in the eyes when we’re shooting and I just wanna burst out laughing. I think that’s the harder part.
What do you make of the furry costume fetish and the sale of Wilfred Halloween costumes?
I am not too familiar with the furry costume fetish. In fact, I didn't know much about it until I recently Googled it. But I love that so many people bought Wilfred Halloween costumes last year! My parents even went as Wilfred and Jenna. And at Comic-Con it was so cool to look out during our panel and see fans dressed in their Wilfred costumes. It's amazing to be a part of a show that has such incredible and dedicated fans. I feel so lucky.
Where did the idea for Jenna's "Squishy Tits" video come from?
I’m not quite sure. I remember last fall going and hanging out with the writers and they were telling me that idea. I couldn’t stop laughing because I thought it was so funny. I loved it. I loved that Jenna’s boobs exploded at the end of the video. David sent me the link to that video to watch before they actually sent it out there and I was dying, I was laughing so hard. I never thought that my chest would be the subject of a video like that. [Laughs.]
I never thought that my chest would be the subject of a video like "Squishy Tits." Now people tweet at me all the time and they’ll end it with #squishytits.
Since that aired, have you had a lot of people calling out "Squishy tits!" to you?
[Laughs.] People are. People love it. I was hash tagging "squishy tits" and people were attaching the link to it and going crazy about it. Now people tweet at me all the time and they’ll end it with #squishytits. [Laughs.] I think it's hilarious.
What was it like shooting that video?
It was so much fun! We did it a whole bunch of different ways and totally goofed around and a lot of the stuff didn’t even make it because they’d probably cut us from the air! [Laughs.] That was actually the last day of shooting season one and the night before the guys had shot until 3 a.m. I went off to shoot and Elijah actually came to set at 10 a.m. that day just to be there for me. That’s how cool and supportive a guy he is.
What does FX do that allows a unique show like Wilfred to find its audience and thrive whereas quirky shows elsewhere might not last more than a few episodes?
What's so cool about FX is that the amazing people running the network really foster and support creativity. They are a very hands-off network and have created an environment where artists can create something unique and special. Also, they have created this "formula" where they produce their shows on a very tight budget for the first few years so that they can afford to let the show find itself and its fan base, and they don't have to worry about canceling a show two episodes in because its numbers aren't high enough for the budget.
Of all the life lessons at the beginning of Wilfred episodes, which is your favorite and why?
One of my favorite Wilfred quotes is the Steven H. Coogler quote from the episode "Respect" [1.05]: "Seek respect mainly from thyself, for it comes first from within." I love it because I have found that self-respect, love, and general happiness must first be found within. You can't live life expecting other people or things to make you happy. If you can't be grateful and appreciative for what you have, you'll never truly be happy.
Interview by Justin Monroe (@40yardsplash)