Lance Reddick on Farzar: There Were Times When I Was Like, ‘Wow, Will Netflix Let Us Say This?’ (Exclusive)

Farzar. Lance Reddick as Renzo in Farzar. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

Farzar is the latest Netflix animated series from Roger Black and Waco O’Guin, the minds behind Paradise PD and Brickleberry, taking place in space and following Prince Fichael and his team of misfits as they fight evil aliens. The prince’s stepfather, Renzo, is voiced by Lance Reddick (John Wick, Netflix’s Resident Evil), and he comes with his own dark background. The actor and the creators talked about pushing the boundaries of the raunchy, bloody and irreverent comedy show.

Roger and Waco, you’ve been doing this sick and twisted stuff before, but Lance, is this new for you?

Lance Reddick: First of all, I’ve worked with these guys before on Paradise PD. I’ve been recruited on that, so that’s how I met these guys, and that’s how this actually ended up coming about. But in terms of comedy, scattered throughout the last 10 years, I’ve done my share of crazy stuff. But it’s always been… well, except for Corporate… I did three seasons of that. That was a very different kind of crazy from this, but it was crazy.

Roger, Waco, your previous shows have a national park setting and a police setting. So what’s the challenge with this one in space?

Waco O’Guin: It actually was so much easier to write this show and come up with stories for this show because the cuffs were off. And a lot of times, we’d have ideas for Paradise PD or Brickleberry, we were like, “Well, we would always try to keep it a little grounded and maybe not.” But with this, anything we thought of was a possibility that could turn into a story or an episode because it was just a joy to write.

Farzar (L to R) Kari Wahlgren as Mal and Val, Dana Snyder as Fichael, Lance Reddick as Renzo, David Kaye as Barry and Jerry Minor as Scootie in Farzar. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

With the adult content and the raunchy humor, was there ever a limit to how you want to do things, or since it’s Netflix, anything’s possible?

Roger Black: Yeah, anything is possible with Netflix. And we kind of have to police ourselves. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you necessarily want to do it. You know the line, and if someone pitches something too crazy in the writers’ room, we kind of tailor it. We’re like, “Okay, not that, but we can do that.” It’s been really freeing, and Netflix is the greatest home for letting creators do whatever they want.

I’m surprised that there is actually a limit in the writers’ room because when watching the show, everything already feels off-limits. What else is there?

Waco O’Guin: We can’t say, can we? You’ll be surprised how many times we’re having to pull these maniacs back from the ledge. I know people think we’re insane, but we had to be the adults a lot of the time in the room, like, “You guys are out of your mind. We can’t do that.”

Farzar. Dana Snyder as Bazarack in Farzar. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

Lance, when you’re reading these parts, is there a line that was too much? Like, “Wow, I have to say this?

Lance Reddick: I expected that to come up where I was going like, “How am I going to say, ‘Guys, I don’t want to say this.'” But it never happened. There were times when I was like, “Wow, will Netflix let us say this?”

The opening scene was a great way to start the show, especially when your character, Renzo, was just describing things to the kids. I was shocked. So doing that and saying the line, were you like, “Yeah, I got this role. I’m gonna be out there and be this megalomaniac”?

Lance Reddick: Well, the good news for me is that I already had a little practice being a megalomaniac when I did Corporate for three seasons. So that guy is very high on the psychopath list, you know? I was playing somebody who wanted to be the king of the world. So this time I got to play that somebody who is the king of the world.

Farzar (L to R) Dana Snyder as Fichael, Carlos Alazraqui as Zobo and Kari Wahlgren as Mal and Val in Farzar. Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2022

The characters here, they’re all really different. You have the robot who’s still trying to be human, and then you have the twins. What were the ideas for trying to create different characters in space to round out this whole dysfunctional team?

Waco O’Guin: It takes a long time to figure out who fits and who you want in this group. Like you said, they are a very rounded-out group of people. When we got done with the humans, we had to figure out Bazarack’s crew. So that was a whole other challenge. We had a dry-erase board and we would just draw different… I remember the first time Billy came with all these weird parts and Val and Mal with the two heads. But you know when you hit something that feels like it’s going to work. And then the challenge has been what they sound like. What does Billy sound like? We went through so many options for what Billy could sound like, but I think in the end, Dana nailed that.

Farzar is in space, so people are going to try to compare it to Futurama and also Rick and Morty. And you actually made fun of that. You acknowledged it in the very first episode, just to let people know like, “This is going to be its own thing.

Roger Black: Yeah, I mean, no matter what you do, you’re going to get compared to something else. When Family Guide came out, people said, “Oh, this is gonna be like The Simpsons.” When South Park came out, like, “Oh, this is gonna be Family Guy, and vice versa.” Things like that. So we just want to [let people know right off the bat] and say, “Look, calm down. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be funny. We’re going to be different enough, and we’re going to do our own thing. We love those shows, but you just don’t want to be compared, you know?

Waco: O’Guin: It’s just our humor. The brand that we have, nobody’s doing this. We are. I mean, luckily, most people don’t want to do what we do. I think, whether they like us or not, we’re pretty unique in what we do with the humor.

Hopefully, people really enjoy it. Anybody that’s a fan of Brickleberry and Paradise PD, I think, is going to love this show. Hopefully, the show has a little bit of a broader reach. It’s not all just jokes. There is commentary. And we feel Farzar is maybe slightly elevated from where we started with just the Brickleberry joke machine. So we’re really proud of it.

About Farzar

Synopsis: From the creators of Brickleberry and Paradise PD, Roger Black and Waco O’Guin, comes the outrageous sci-fi animated comedy series Farzar. Egotistical human warrior Renzo liberated the planet Farzar from the evil alien Bazarack, and then established a human settlement under a huge dome, becoming the Czar of Farzar. Years later, Farzar is under attack by the evil aliens once again and Renzo’s well-meaning and not-so-bright son Prince Fichael ventures out with his special crew “S.H.A.T.” (Special Hostile Assault Team!), made up of a human-soldIer-turned-cyborg (Scootie), clashing conjoined twins (Val and Mal), an unhinged scientist (Barry Barris), a highly incapable mutant (Billy) and a mischievous little alien known as a chaos-celot. (Zobo). As they begin their journey to fight the aliens that want to kill/eat them, Fichael quickly discovers that all is not what it seems and he may be living a lie.

Roger Black and Waco O’Guin are the executive producers, creators, writers and showrunners, with Marc Provissiero, Scott Greenberg, and Joel Kuwahara serving as executive producers. It’s produced by Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment.

Lance Reddick is joined by Dana Synder, David Kaye, Jerry Minor, Kari Wahlgren, Grey Griffin and Carlos Alazraqui.

Farzar premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2022 and contains ten 25-minute episodes.

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