Pay attention and you should be able to solve the mystery. “It’s a ‘fair play’ mystery,” says Executive Producer Phil Lord. “Somebody did it and it’s someone that you have met.”
Ike Barinholtz, who plays one of the suspects, says Miller mapped it out so specifically the actors could ask questions and he had all the answers. “He was so clear and concise there was never a minute where we were like, ‘Wait, what is this? What am I supposed to be doing?’ He allowed us just to kind of go in there and really tear it up and have fun.”
Miller says shots for different episodes were often done in the same day.
Ben Schwartz, who plays Xavier’s former bandmate, says he was a background character in some episodes, the star in the musical one. “My character barely notices anything that’s not about him,” he says. “It’s a really fun tool that Chris used to kind of shade your character in so many different ways.”
Ilana Glazer, who plays a veterinary clinic receptionist, says the format forced her to consider character options. “It was like we were athletes just stretching it out,” she says.
Because the cast was composed of hyphenates – performers who write, produce, direct and act – it was easy to toss them curves, Miller says. “It’s a big ask. It’s like you’re having people do eight different shades of the same character.”