MacGruber Stars on Keeping Their Composure With Comedic Heavyweights

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A key component of every comedic effort is that, to help balance out the complete absurdity of goofier characters, you need figures that offer more genuine reactions to the silliness to juxtapose the ridiculous antics. With the upcoming MacGruber TV series, Ryan Phillippe has returned to reprise his role of Dixon Piper, while Joseph Lee Anderson has entered the fold as Harold Kernst. Both roles rely on the actors keeping their composure to highlight the more ludicrous aspects of the show, a task that’s easier said than done. The new MacGruber premieres on Peacock on December 16th.

“Will (Forte) and Kristen (Wiig) are, in a lot of ways, equally funny. Will is a little more unpredictable and a little more, what should we say, raunchy,” Phillippe detailed to ComicBook.com. “So, some moments with him, you can prepare yourself for what’s on the page, or what’s written. You have a sense of how that scene’s going to go, and how it’s going to sound. But when he starts to improv, it’s the biggest challenge as an actor that I’ve faced, is trying not to break and keeping a straight face when he’s just saying the most absurd things you can imagine, to you.”

Phillippe and Anderson weren’t the only actors helping sell the reality of the series, as it also features actors like Laurence Fishburne, Sam Elliott, and Billy Zane.

“Honestly, everything was great, every scene was great,” Anderson expressed of his co-stars. “I can’t say I have a favorite (scene). It was just such an honor to be in the room with so many legends, and they were all so humble and welcoming to me. And just made me feel like part of the family. So everything, it was just great.”

Even after being cast, Anderson had a hard time believing the opportunity, as he recalled of his favorite day on set, “First day. Took a picture and sent it to my mom. And I was like, ‘Look at this, this is insane.'”

In the new series, after rotting in prison for over a decade, America’s ultimate hero and uber patriot MacGruber (Forte) is finally released. His mission: to take down a mysterious villain from his past-Brigadier Commander Enos Queeth (Zane). With the entire world in the crosshairs, MacGruber must reassemble his old team, Vicki St. Elmo (Wiig) and Dixon Piper (Phillippe), in order to defeat the forces of evil.

Despite it being a decade since last playing Dixon, Phillippe detailed how easy it was to find his groove on the project.

“It was pretty effortless (getting back into character). Since making the film, we’ve all stayed in contact and stayed friendly, and we have a group text chain,” the actor admitted. “Over the years, there would be discussions about, ‘Oh, maybe it’s going to come back in this form, or this company said they want to make a sequel.’ We’ve all hoped and secretly wished for this to happen. Once we got back together, it felt like we never left, really. The dynamic between Will and Kristen and I, once the story gets going, is so familiar to us and we all genuinely enjoy each other’s company. So that’s the best you can ask for in a work situation.”

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The new MacGruber premieres on Peacock on December 16th.

Are you looking forward to the new series? Let us know in the comments below!

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