Not too long ago, we told you all about House of Lies, a new show coming soon to Showtime. The network liked the new show enough to order 12 episodes of the show, which we now know will premiere on Sunday, January 8th, 2012 at 10 pm.
House of Lies will star Don Cheadle as Marty, who every piece of news is describing as a “cutthroat/self-loathing consultant of a top-tier firm.” And also, apparently he’s a real envelope-pusher who threw out his moral compass before he came to work. The show will also star Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Dawn Olivieri (Heroes), Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) and Glynn Turman (the creepy old black guy from Super 8).
In an interview with the website Zap2it, Kristen Bell talks about her character and about the series:
Kristen Bell: Really anything. It’s basically a group of cutthroat management consultants that will do whatever is necessary to get the job and the after-work. It’s murky as to what they actually really do, which I think is the actual description of consultants. If someone has a problem, we come and fix it — you’re downsizing, you need to stop fighting, whatever needs to be done. And their moral compasses are a little bit wonky. … But there’s a dynamic between the four of us — Don Cheadle, me, Josh Lawson and Ben Schwartz — that’s very fun. We travel together all the time, we spend 100 hours a week together.
So it’s kind of our life as traveling salesmen.
Would you call it a comedy, a dark comedy, what?
KB: It’s a dark comedy — a dark dramedy, I’d say actually. Tonally, it’s very Showtime.
What about the role appealed to you?
KB: I’d been searching for the right TV project. I knew I didn’t want anything built around me, for the reason of it’s difficult to be No. 1 on the call sheet. It’s a very different workload than No. 2. But also I wanted to find a writer or creator who had a story to tell, who wasn’t just like, “OK, what can we do with her?” I didn’t want it to be sold on me; I wanted to be part of a good project. And I trust Matthew Carnahan [“Dirt”], our creator, implicitly. I think he’s very funny, he’s very dark, he’s very provocative. I think Showtime also has a lot more they can do with storylines — what they show, the subject matter they broach. And working with Don Cheadle is not a bad thing. He’s pretty exceptional, both as a human being and as an actor, and I just feel like I’m learning a lot from him. I’m trying to absorb how he works.
KB: Then you’re No. 1 on the call sheet, when you completely represent a show, there’s so much more that’s required of you. You’re in every frame of the show, but there’s also the publicity aspect that’s a reality for us. There’s just a lot more on your shoulders, a lot more pressure. There’s a lot more pressure when you’re the main component of a show, and I didn’t want that pressure. I wanted to have fun, and this has actually been really fun.
Can you talk more about your character?
KB: I don’t know if I can. A lot is revealed in the first three episodes. She’s very compartmentalized. She has a lot of issues.
I’d imagine that in a show called “House of Lies” the people probably aren’t squeaky-clean.
KB: Yeah — she’s very flawed. All the characters are kind of flawed. So the dynamics are a little bit deeper — no one is exactly what you think they are. That’s partly because their line of work bleeds over into their personal lives. They’re chameleons. They transform into whatever the client needs them to be and do whatever they need to get the job. If you need us to be firm, we’re firm. You need us to be soft, we’re soft. You need us to rub your back, we’ll rub your back. The ability to transform to get what you want is what bleeds into my character’s personal life.
KB: There are many facets to my character’s personality, and every time they come up with a new one they’re like, “Oh yeah, and she’s this, and she believes this. Which could be directly contradictory to something we’ve already established, but that’s what they’re asking me to do, and it’s really exciting as an actor.
I look forward to DVRing this in January!