#Echo12 :: Q&A w/ Tony Hale

Tony Hale developed his strong, national fan base with his hilarious role as Buster Bluth on Fox Television’s smart, Emmy Award-winning series Arrested Development. During his college years, Tony became a follower of Christ. When speaking to Christian audiences, Tony strives to help listeners understand the power and sway of false motivations, and the perils of obtaining one’s professional goals only to discover that real value is found in family, friends and the timeless message of the Gospel.

 

 

 

  • ┬áThis guy is hilarious!
    • I went to college.
    • Then pursued theater.
    • Then I was a youth minister for 2 years.
    • Then I moved to New York and did theater.
    • Then I started doing commercials and all that other stuff.
    • How would you describe that time in your life?
    • I moved to New York when I was 25, but you have to find a support system in the city. Especially in theater.
    • In my business I’m in a job interview for 2 years then I’m lucky if I get a gig for 2 months.
    • So you have to have a support system.
    • That is when I started this group called The Haven.
    • I saw this common thread that these people’s churches hadn’t supported their decision to go into theater.
    • When I was in New York for 8 years, doing commercials and theater, and working a lot with the Haven. Towards the end of 8 years I got this callback for Arrested Development.
    • I shot the pilot, and 10 days before we got married the show got picked up.
    • A lot of people want to know what it’s like to be a person of faith in acting in L.A.
    • They force me to do cocaine all the time! Just kidding.
    • My immediate response is “I have a difficult time meeting someone who doesn’t have somewhat of a spiritual foundation.”
    • I have a mortgage, family, but I don’t know where my next job is. It’s insane!
    • Knowing that God has my back is everything to me.
    • He has carried us!
    • This is the first time in 6 years that I’ve had a job lined up.
    • A big thing with seeing Hollywood as dark
    • I wouldn’t put my shows in the same category as Fireproof, but I don’t have anything wrong with that art.
    • Where the church goes wrong is when they say that the only art that can be done is stuff like Fireproof or Left Behind.
    • I think there is a place for everything.
    • We shouldn’t put God so small.
    • If you take a picture of a tree and take a picture of a cross and you ask what is the most beautiful art? People automatically assume the cross.
    • How do you make the choices for different projects and scripts?
    • Character development is very interesting.
    • I always have to be myself, and bring myself to the table, and not try to be someone else.
    • I always have to watch my mentality.
    • It’s very easy to pick and choose some things about Hollywood or New York that is bad, but I’m pretty sure there are some bad things happening in our churches.
    • I think with our art as communicators, it’s a good challenge to try and drop the agenda.
    • When I have a conversation with someone, and they have an agenda, I get more energized by just getting a slice of their life.
    • I love it when a friend comes up to me and totally empathizes with something that I’m going through.
    • How did your experience on Arrested Development change your life?
    • My whole life, all I’ve ever wanted is a sitcom.
    • When I got on Arrested Development I remember going through a period of strong disappointment. It taught me a massive lesson.
    • If you’re not practicing contentment where you’re at, then you’re never going to be content when you get what you want.
    • Every job I’ve had, I’ve really made a conscious effort to be present where I am.
    • Whenever I find myself going to the “what if” you just say, “Not now.” It brings you back to the present.
    • How does discipline and contentment when you’re on the job, and when you’re in between a job?
    • I don’t think it changes.
    • Even though you have a job you’re still thinking about the next job.
    • I just really try to enjoy where I’m at.
    • In those in-between times I’m a bit of a stay at home dad. My favorite thing is to drive my daughter to school. I always get weepy watching her walk into school. Then have meetings. Then come and pick her up.
    • I have to really make an effort to be present.
    • I’m not good at it. But it’s a discipline.
    • How does your work fit into your larger identity?
    • When you have been in a career where everyone knows you from a show, or something else you have to make an effort to know that my identity comes from who God created me to be.
    • In your opinion what is the most important element of storytelling?
    • I’m huge on dialogue.
    • It’s difficult to connect to the story when people are talking like robots.
    • From a creative standpoint what has been the most rewarding thing you have done?
    • I did a web series called “Control.”
    • I helped with the creative process and the writing.
    • What is the line you draw of what you’ll do and what you won’t do?
    • People ask me, “Would you do nudity?” and my response is always, “Would you want me to do nudity?”
    • If I’m uncomfortable with it, and I take that job then they’re not going to get 100% of me.
    • If I’m on a job and someone tells me to do something that I’m uncomfortable with, then I just talk to them about it, and give some other options.
    • If Buster came to Echo what would he be most excited about?
    • He is a big Lord of the Rings fan, so maybe with all of the earth-tones in this building he would probably act out Lord of the Rings.
    • He would come here with earth-tones and blend right in.
    • What do you wish you could tell your 25 year old self?
    • I would just want him to enjoy New York more.
    • Really make the most of this.
    • What drives you to do what you do?
    • I really do love comedy.
    • I do enjoy encouraging people and sharing what I’ve learned.

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