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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Exclusive interview with Michael Muhney of Veronica Mars

NEW 2/22/06: Michael talks about Sheriff Lamb's Death

by Jennifer Squires Biller

Sheriff Lamb, is back! His appearance in this week’s Veronica Mars was too short, but I’ll take what I can get of the gun-toting bad boy. Those of you who can’t get enough of Lamb and his portrayer Michael Muhney, you don’t want to miss this interview I did with Neptune’s newest series regular.

Muhney talks about a possible stint on Battlestar Galactica, his Mensa connection, what storyline he’d like to see for Sheriff Lamb, why he didn’t get the lead on Scrubs, what he does on an upcoming show that will have you “peeing your pants,” and what he doesn’t want me to tell executive producer Rob Thomas. Be warned, Tubers, you will laugh out loud. Muhney just may be the funniest man alive.

On a personal note, thank you, Michael, for taking time to chat with me and for answering these probing questions. You absolutely rock! And a special thanks to all the Tube Talk fans who sent in some great interview questions. You may see them answered below. OK, enough with the pathetic pimping. Go read it, already. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Michael Muhney:

Jennifer: OK, Mister, arresting Weevil at graduation in front of his Granny, not cool, man. Defend yourself! Even the Lamb-loving fans had a hard time with that one. Are we going to see a return to badass Sheriff Lamb this year?

Michael: The badass is back. Oh yeah. And Weevil? He gets what he deserves...How 'bout them apples?

Editor’s note: Gulp.

Jennifer: After previewing this interview at Tube Talk, the most popular question I received from readers was, "Is anyone going to be 'on the Lamb'" this year, i.e. is Madison coming back for round two, or has the Sheriff moved on to college girls? (Ducking and hoping that Michael isn't offended and really doesn't carry a gun in real life.) What can I say? Tube Talk readers are an inquisitive bunch.

Michael: There might be one or two "on the Lamb" but you'll have to wait and find out. Don't worry. If you're wondering if Lamb gets some, he does, probably just not enough.

Jennifer: What was up with Madison Sinclair going "on the Lamb" last season? No offense, but she doesn't exactly seem like the type of girl to go for anyone making less than seven digits. Did she have any outstanding parking violations in her record that needed clearing up or something related?

Michael: She caught wind of the rumor of Lamb and his …proportions. A tryst is a tryst.

Editor’s note: Laughing. Too. Hard. Can’t. Breathe.

Jennifer: What can you tell us about Sheriff Lamb's storyline this season, now that you're a series regular, that won't get you fired?

Michael: I legally can't tell you anything. I can say that Lamb will most likely continue his reign of terror and pseudo-power over Neptune, though.

Jennifer: Will you get anymore of those superb verbal-judo scenes with Veronica, now that she's away at college? Will Lamb be visiting campus on a regular basis to arrest her for whatever reason? Readers are concerned that Veronica at Hearst means fewer Lamb/Veronica scenes.

Michael: So far, there might actually be more Lamb/Veronica scenes. Oh yes, we'll be dueling it out verbally. Get ready to laugh.

Jennifer: Do you have a storyline you'd like to see for Lamb?

Michael: Something where Lamb's personal life gets to a point where he actually needs to go to Veronica for help.

Editor’s note: Rob, please, please, please make this happen. Can you imagine Lamb beholden to Veronica? I'm giddy at the thought of it.

Jennifer: The episode where Veronica and Duncan discovered Meg's abusive parents showed us a softer side of Lamb and gained him a lot of fans. Was the scene written to humanize Lamb a little more, or was that just the end result, due to your fabulous delivery?

Michael: “Fabulous delivery?” I'm floating. That's all I heard, I don't remember the rest of the question… Well, I have to applaud the writers for allowing me to play up a moment like that.

Jennifer: What has been your favorite episode so far and why?

Michael: The pilot. It gives me goose bumps and makes me teary-eyed every time I see it.

Jennifer: Any chance we'll see the Sheriff busting out some karaoke at The Hut this year?

Michael: Please God, don't suggest this to Rob. No.

Editor’s note: Michael, my note to Rob is in the mail. May I suggest a duet with Veronica of Islands in the Stream or perhaps a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

Jennifer: Do you have any fun blooper stories to share?

Michael: I am a pretty big ham, so there is some cool stuff. But most stories are a kind of you-had-to-be-there-type. Oh, there was one time when I had Keith and Veronica walk in on me in my office, and I was French-kissing Cliff…What?

Editor’s Note: Cliff??? That lucky bastard.

Jennifer: What episode or scene are you most proud of?

Michael: “Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner” (Episode 7, Season 2.) That, and I did a short-film in Germany. The porn was particularly delicious.

Editor’s note: The following question pertains to Kendall, as this interview was conducted prior to her “death” scene in the season premiere.

Jennifer: Do you have a favorite actor to work with on Veronica Mars? Feel free to be Switzerland if your answer will incur the wrath of your co-workers. Who on the show would you like to work more with? Also, is there any chance of a Kendall/Lamb combo this season?

Michael: I think I have the most fun with Kristen. But, everyone ranks up at the top. Really. And as far as the Kendall/Lamb thing, I really, really, really want to see that happen. If you agree, write in to the CW about it. I'm serious.

Editor’s note: Hmmm…Lamb and a corpse. Ewwww.

Jennifer: Do you pattern your portrayal of Lamb after any other famous TV cops i.e. Barney Fife, Andy Griffith, Andy Sipowicz?

Michael: No, actually, I just put myself in the situation and think, "How would I behave if I got off on power and humiliating people?"

Jennifer: Were you shocked to learn that your narcissistic Sheriff Lamb, who wasn't a major character in the first season, had become a fan favorite that spawned Web sites such as Rack of Lamb?

Michael: I am shocked at any and all love I receive. But I have to say; the fans have a huge play in how I feel about my character and this show. These fans are seriously the best. fans. ever.

Jennifer: What's on your TiVo, or if you don't have TiVo, what shows do you watch?

Michael: Pardon the Interruption (ESPN); The Office, Arrested Development reruns, Lost, American Idol, Project Runway (“the stakes have never been higher,”) this season's Survivor (I wanna see if it turns up tons of controversy), The Simpsons, and holy frak! Battlestar Galactica.

Jennifer: What was your worst job ever?

Michael: Waiting tables at Applebee's in Chicago. Oh, you mean film? Umm, no comment, but it was an indy film. Awful. Just awful.

Jennifer: Tell us something everyone may not already know about you?

Michael: I am a big crybaby with movies. Oh, and I have a rash on my ass that won't go away.

Editors’ note: May I suggest some Gold Bond ointment and some tissues?

Jennifer: Veronica Mars fans are a dedicated bunch who spent the summer raising money and donating Veronica Mars DVDs to libraries across the country to help raise awareness about the show and hopefully help improve ratings this season. What would you like to say to all the folks who love this show and are fighting hard to keep it on the air?

Michael: I literally swear that each fan owns a little piece of my heart. I am astounded and humbled at the lengths people are willing to go to support the show, meet us, cheer us on, and keep us on the air. You go girls! You go guys!

Jennifer: Why should folks watch Veronica Mars?

Michael: Um, just because it's one of the best T.V. shows on the air. That says enough.

Jennifer: If you could guest star on any TV show past or present, what would it be?

Michael: Seinfeld, Sanford and Son, Lost, The Office, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and I am currently working on doing a mini-arc (if schedule permits) on Battlestar Galactica. Oh, and I'm very serious when I say this, I want as many people as possible to write in to that show and tell them just how much BSG love I have been spreading, and the fact that I love that show and will.be.on.it! My agents represent a couple of series regulars in that show and have been in the producers' ear about working out a deal with me. There has been interest, but you can help them get more interested. Please! Let's honestly see just how powerful the fan power is!!! Go go gadget unity!

Editor’s note: You heard the Sheriff. What the frak are you waiting for? Get writing, Tubers.

Jennifer: There is a rumor that you are a member of Mensa. Is that true?

Michael: Any kind of IQ I have is a result of my family's propensity for high IQs. I actually am meeting with some Mensa organization folks in a couple weeks. I am considering getting involved in some of their functions.

Jennifer: The dialogue on Veronica Mars is some of the wittiest on the small screen. How do you guys get through it without busting up?

Michael: We don't. We bust up every day. I laugh out loud when I read the scripts. I did a dance move, yes, a dance move, in the show that had people rolling. Just wait. You'll pee your pants.

Jennifer: You've guest starred on some great television shows, according to IMDB, JAG, Charmed, Numb3rs, ER…do you have a favorite experience?

Michael: Actually, it wasn't JAG, it was the NCIS pilot/spinoff episode. I would say that I have had some great experiences guest starring, and I was once pretty snobby about doing any guest starring stuff when I first came out of college. I was quickly drawn to certain parts and have had some great experiences hopping on other people's shows. It's not always fun shooting so many failed pilots.

Jennifer: Do you have any upcoming movies or projects to tell us about?

Michael: Yes! Angst should be good once it's completely cut together. Lovers, Liars, Lunatics just came out and is hilarious. I'm also writing a very dark film. I'm not sure if I'm just writing in a cathartic way, or if I'm creating a piece de resistance.

Jennifer: One of the most entertaining parts of your Web site is the "Almost There" section that tells your fans about the roles you almost had but inevitably lost to other actors. What a list of near misses: Mark Wahlberg's role in The Perfect Storm, Kyle Chandler's role in King Kong, James Marsden's role in X-Men and Zach Braff's role in Scrubs, to name a few. Not many actors are willing to share those kinds of details about their career. That's one of the reasons fans love the humble Michael Muhney. Do you think the near misses were just bad timing or that things work out for a reason and that fate has a larger plan for you?

Michael: I hope it has a larger plan, damnit, because nobody realizes that the contracts were drawn up, the executives were salivating, and the starring role in Scrubs was mine. It literally came down to the president of the studio seeing me several times and then finally saying, “You see I'm crying that I'm laughing so hard. You're hilarious. You'd be perfect for this part. There's just one thing: I don't believe you're the guy who doesn't get the girl every week." Damnit. I would have made out with Natalie Portman if I had his career! Damn. Damn. Damn. My dear, sweet, Natalie.

Editor's note: Sorry, Michael, but I don’t believe you wouldn’t get the girl every week either. Who would turn that down?

Jennifer: What's it like working with Rob Thomas? He seems like one of the nicest guys I've ever dealt with in this business. He took time to actually send me a couple nice notes this summer in regard to my review of the season finale and support of the show. Seriously, not many hot-shot TV writers would take time to do such a sweet thing. Is he like that with his actors?

Michael: He really is, in all ways, the nicest boss I've ever had. I cannot believe he has the kind of heart he does. He is a gracious, honest man that knows the meaning of loyalty and gratitude. Here's to you Rob *raises glass*

Editor’s note: Raising glass to Rob, too! *Cheers*

Jennifer: Finally, to appease the hordes of fans who've written in the past few weeks to tell us how "hot" Michael Muhney is and that they can't wait to read this interview, are you single, dating or married?

Michael: I have an adoring, hot wife that makes me look ugly when I stand next to her.

Editor’s note: All together now, Awwww!

For more on Michael Muhney, check out his official Web site.


Rae said...

Great interview, Jennifer! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

tube talk girl said...

Thanks Rae! He's a hoot.

TVFan said...

This is an awesome interview!! He (and you) had me cracking up. Great job.

Scooter said...

2 on the Lamb? I can't wait. Plus I'm still waiting for Ronnie to call out Lamb on his relationship with Madison. Hopefully that happens because that could be an instant classic.

Bonus points to Michael for watching Pardon the Interuption too.

tube talk girl said...

Thank you TV Fan. Michael is a funny guy.

Big Tuna said...

Awesome interview, Jennifer. You are as funny as he is!

Kim said...

I can't believe you asked the Kendall/Lamb question. Nice! A lot of people on the VMars boards have toyed with that idea.

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