Jessica Walter kicked off our interview at the 2019 WonderCon with a toast. However unlike her Archer character, Malory Archer, Walter’s beverage of choice was non-alcoholic.
FXX’s critically acclaimed animated adult comedy Archer will return for its 10th season on May 29th. Walter talked about what’s in store for Malory and the whole Archer gang in a season that will find the group attempting to get along without killing each other in space.
Archer: 1999 airs on Wednesdays at 10pm ET/PT.
What’s the new wrinkle for Malory this season?
Jessica Walter: “Well this season – wow – is major. She has the ability to become an orb, a ball of energy. So, her powers are tripled, quadrupled. She can do a lot. She’s still human, but she crosses over. It’s quite something.”
Has it been a challenge for you to reinvent Malory each season?
Jessica Walter: “You know, Adam Reed – our creator/commander in chief – is so brilliantly talented. The writing is so specific that I don’t have to do much. We don’t change it; the scripts are there. We just have to really show up and translate his wonderful writing. When you have good writing, it’s not so hard. When you don’t… Let’s put it this way, if it ain’t on the page it ain’t on the stage.”
Has there been a favorite reboot of Malory of yours from the past seasons?
Jessica Walter: “Well, I love this season. This season’s great. You know, having a superpower, being able to transform into a ball of energy.
A couple of my favs were way back…way back. I hate to say the name but Isis which when we started, they worked for Isis, if you remember. And then all that horrible stuff happened with ISIS so all the cups and the little memorabilia stuff that you get – Isis hats – all that went in the garbage. (Laughing) That was fun. I liked the ‘40s, you know, the film noir. I liked that season.”
Arrested Development has aired the second half of season five. Would you want to do more, and do you get a sense there will be a season six?
Jessica Walter: “I don’t know. I mean, honestly that show has such a soft spot in my heart. I love that show. It means a lot to me and it means a lot to everybody in it. 16 years ago is when we started that show. That’s a long period. If they ever wanted to do it, I’d certainly entertain the idea. I have no idea what’s happening though.”
Can you think of any show you’ve been involved in that has a setting in space like this one?
Jessica Walter: “I don’t know of any show, but I was in a Movie of the Week, they used to call it back in the old days. It was called Movie of the Week and it was the first film version of Dr. Strange. I was Morgan LeFay and we had huge sets. I don’t know if they were in outer space where she became 1,000 years old and then she transformed into this young woman. That was epic. That took a long, long time to shoot. In those days it was three weeks and you’re out on those Movie of the Weeks, but we were there a couple of months. Universal…huge sets and with all that sci-fiction stuff. So that’s the limit of my being involved.”