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A Few Words with Lee Pace and Anna Friel

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Pushing Daisies was a hit at Comic-Con in July. During that time, the Televisionary sat down with a few of the show's cast members.

Here's a look at what Lee Pace and Anna Friel had to say:

Promotional PaceQ: How did you get involved with Pushing Daisies?
Pace: Bryan [Fuller] created the part with me in mind. I was not looking to do TV this year but asked my manager for a copy of the script and called Bryan up, who said, "I wrote it with you in mind." I really wanted to work with Barry [Sonnenfeld, who directed the pilot]. While the pilot is great, it just keeps getting better and better with the episodes I've read already.

Q: What excites you most about the series?
Pace: Really, the character's relationship with Chuck and the psychology of the character. Getting to mine life and death in a profound way. Also, with the show's procedural element, every eight days, you dive into a new world. The episode we're shooting right now is a total caper with a Scooby-Doo feel.

Q: What are the challenges of playing a semi-comedic character?
Pace: Basic acting works. Ned doesn't think he's funny so it's about playing the reality of the character. He's not cracking jokes. It's about the pathos of the moment and the idea that it's the reality of being able to touch something and bring it back to life. There are moral obligations with Ned's condition, an appetite for life and death. Chuck makes him feel like life is good, especially because we only have one life.

And here are a few words from Friel...

Q: Why did you decide to make the leap to American television?
Friel: I had sixteen movies under my belt, Broadway, and the West End and wanted to broaden my palette of work. I came over to LA to change agents and it happened to be pilot season. I read the pilot script and was struck by how joyful and playful Chuck was. I didn't want to play the girl on the arm of some guy and US television creates the best hooks for its characters.

Q: How similar or dissimilar to your character Chuck are you?
Friel: I'm much more anxious than Chuck. I worry about things and certainly don't wake up every day feeling that it's a fresh start and a beautiful day. (Though I should.) Unlike most of the roles I've played in the past, I wasn't able to channel that mood and anxiety into the character and had to get into a different frame of mind. As for similarities, Chuck lets me express the fun, quirky side of my personality. But there is one big thing that's not similar. Unlike Chuck, I'm not American.

Q: What's it like working with Lee Pace?
Friel: We've become great friends and he's become a part of the family. He's a wonderful, thoughtful, thinking actor.

Q: What can you tell us about Chuck's backstory?

Friel: For one thing, they are going to start each episode with a flashback to Ned and Chuck as kids so we'll see a lot of her backstory unfold that way. Chuck has lead a sheltered life without being tainted. Because of her upbringing, she's become a very learned person.

For the next episode, I have to learn a page of Japanese by Thursday. I'll be speaking in Japanese, German, Swedish, and French [in that episode]. She doesn't do it to show off, it's just what she's done, learning things and reading. I want to give Chuck as many layers as possible, peeling away the layers like an orange peel, under which is this very juicy fruit.

To read the full interview, click here.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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