Arnett takes on darker role for Netflix dramedy

Will Arnett says playing a character struggling with sobriety has been “cathartic.”

TORONTO — Will Arnett says playing a character struggling with sobriety has been “cathartic.”

The Arrested Development star took on a more sombre role with his latest venture, Flaked, a half-hour Netflix series that he admits turned out much darker than he initially envisioned.

Arnett drew on his own experiences with alcoholism for the streaming serial, which he sums up as “neither comedy nor drama in the sense that the world isn’t like that. We are all things at all times.”

“It’s a very personal story,” says Arnett, who co-created and co-wrote the project with Mark Chappell, and stars as Chip.

“Part of it is Chip’s relationship with his sobriety, and really that’s about his relationship with his true self — with who he is and is he being honest with himself?”

That’s not to say there aren’t laughs, says Arnett.

When Chip is not trying to inspire fellow addicts at Alcoholics Anonymous, he’s trading barbs with a neurotic best friend (played by David Sullivan) and a kooky neighbourhood pal (played by George Basil).

It’s a delicate mix of tone that Arnett says was not easy to master.

“It’s been an interesting process and it’s been difficult,” Arnett says of exercising more creative control for this venture, adding he plans to direct if a second season is ordered.

“All of that is like this kind of very combustible material that is packed into a bullet of comedy, if you will. Because we wanted it, on the surface, to be constantly moving and the dialogue to be kind of quick and the guys to be kind of quick-witted with each other and with other people, so that you feel like if they ever stopped moving that the whole thing will fall apart.”

At the core are big questions “that we all deal with.”

“I’ve been obsessed for a while with that idea of authenticity and initially the character of Chip was kind of like an essay on what I disliked in other people who did that — who were inauthentic with me,” says the Toronto-bred comic, who has spoken of battling alcohol abuse in his 20s.

“Inevitably some of your own stuff starts making it onto the page and it becomes uncomfortable and you’re kind of like forced to face things that you potentially dislike about yourself.”

“Flaked” premieres Friday on Netflix.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read