David Cross on Chipwrecked: most unpleasant experience I’ve ever had

I didn’t intend to write today, since I just got off a flight and am still pretty jetlagged. This story was irresistible to me, though. I have a seven year-old kid and I’ve seen both Alvin and The Chipmunks movies multiple times. They’re dumb and they’re annoying, but if you turn something off in your brain you can sit through them and actually laugh at parts. Parents know what I’m talking about, it’s just what we do. This review in Time Magazine of the third film in the Alvin series has a good explanation of the phenomenon of parental sacrifice when it comes to watching stupid movies. However I think it misses a key point: there is a weird kind of joy in these terrible kids’ films. When someone falls or farts on screen it’s funny in a basic way, but more than that it’s fun to see your kid get so amused by it.

While I was reading that enlightening Time article I came across these quotes from David Cross, who plays the villain character in the Alvin movies, a music company executive named Ian. Cross didn’t hint around when he explained how much he hated working on these films. (I’m sure he meant appearing in them too, which he’s defended in the past.) He said he was under contract to do three Alvin movies and that filming the last one was “the most unpleasant experience I’ve ever had in my professional life.”

“I’m contractually done,” he said during press rounds for his television show “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.” “I was contractually obligated to do three, which is kinda standard.” But now his outlook on the work is considerably less positive.

“This last film was literally, without question, the most unpleasant experience I’ve ever had in my professional life,” he says of ‘Chip-Wrecked,’ where he reprises his role of record executive Ian. Without naming names, he says, “It’s safe to say I won’t be working with some of those people ever again. Not the actors. And the director [Mike Mitchell] was great. We got along. There were a couple of people, though…it was just a really awful, unpleasant experience.” Which isn’t to say the entire ‘Chipmunks’ experience has been rotten for him. “I got recognized in China,” he says, listing off the places ‘Chipmunks’ has taken him. “I got recognized in a teeny tiny town in Mozambique. In Zimbabwe. Botswana. It’s crazy.”

[From The Playlist]

Cross is a standup comic and actor and was on “Arrested Development” and “Mr. Show.” He’s currently promoting a new TV series he created and stars in for IFC, called “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.” It’s got to annoy him, then, that most people know him as Ian from Alvin and The Chipmunks and that it’s his most popular role to date. So is he just recounting his experience here with awful incompetent producers or is he being a jerk because he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who sold out? It’s probably a lot of both. I’m thinking filming alongside imaginary Chipmunks may have been a bad experience for Jason Lee, too. Lee’s character was in the “hospital” during the second film and he only made a couple of brief appearances for continuity. He was replaced as the chipmunks’ main caretaker by Zachary Levi. You don’t hear Lee bitching about it though.

Later on in that same interview, Cross confirms that “Arrested Development” is coming back. We’ve heard that some kind of mini-series is in the works. He says he doesn’t know what’s happening plot-wise, and that “We’re still several months away from getting scripts.” All the main castmembers are at least verbally committed to it, according to Cross.

David Cross and his fiance, Amber Tamblyn, are shown on 11-14 and 11-15-11. Credit: WENN.com

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25 Responses to “David Cross on Chipwrecked: most unpleasant experience I’ve ever had”

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  1. mln76 says:

    ‘It’s got to annoy him, then, that most people know him as Ian from Alvin and The Chipmunks’

    He doesn’t have to worry I’ll always think of him as an Analrapist and NeverNude 🙂

    • lucy2 says:

      There are dozens of us. Dozens!

      Every time I see him, I think “Hey, it’s Tobias!” followed by him saying “Who wants to take me to the hospital?”

    • jc126 says:

      Remember when he “blue”d himself? Lol.

      LOVE David Cross. Loved him since Mr. Show with Bob and David.

    • the original bellaluna says:

      To me, he’ll always be the voice of “Minion” in Megamind. Hysterical!

  2. Veruca says:

    Chicken Pot Pie.

  3. hcern says:

    I believe it was Zachary Levi who replaced Jason Lee as the caretaker in the second movie. This was the only DVD in our car for a few weeks….Ugh!

  4. Obvious says:

    I didn’t see the 2nd one, but Justin Long was the voice of Alvin wasn’t he? Wasn’t it Zachary Levi who took on the role of handler???

  5. Stacy Dresden says:

    Maybe he’s most widely recognized for the Chipmunk films, but he has a pretty solid “indie” following for his comedy career.

  6. The Original Mia says:

    David Cross annoys me. I don’t find him funny or interesting. He taints Amber, tbqh. He should really just STFU. No one forced him to sign a 3-picture deal for the Chipmunks. Not Transformers. Not Star Wars. The Chipmunks.

  7. layla says:

    He will always and forever be Tobias Funke. … “I think I just blew myself”

  8. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Three Truths:

    Arrested Development is never coming back, so these chuckleheads need to stop teasing us. Let’s not get fooled again. Show me Cera restrained Misery-style with a script stapled to an ironic knapsack and MAYBE…

    At this point Alan Wilder has been out of Depeche Mode for far longer than he was in it. We must release the hope, as the chance of him and Flood coming back with the greatness are miniscule. Am I the only one who associates Anton Corbijn’s videos with them before thinking of U2? He and DM made about 480 videos together, where has our memory gone?

    David Cross is at his best when being anything other than David Cross. I love Mr. Show and AR, but this dude only has two settings: whiny, petulant and self-regarding ‘rebel’ fourteen-year-old, and whiny, petulant and self-regarding ‘rebel’ sixteen-year-old. No, you aren’t super cool for getting invited to the White House, only to do LSD when President Obama is in the room. These aren’t gems of alt-comedy, or whatever, these are dickslap moves and why would anyone be impressed by it? Amber, I guess. Whoop. Many accounts paint her as being a female version of him, or a ‘stand in the shadows to gripe about the bourgeoisie and don’t even think of approaching me’ type. That’s a bit disappointing At least Cross’ dickishness is accompanied by a good IMDB page, Riff’s kid could stand to be more gracious, as Russ Tamblyn’s demented meowing to capture the attention of a girl he was about to kidnap still trumps a lot of the stuff she’s done. That’s such a funny/strange scene, that’s ac-ting.

    Alan Wilder *might* come back.

    • Lisa says:

      You mentioned Alan Wilder…btw…STILL HAVEN’T GOTTEN OVER THAT…Anton and DM…no matter what else u wrote…I THINK I LOVE U!!!

      Will bump some Recoil in your honor

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        We are of one mind. Can you believe it’s been almost 20 years? I guess in some area of our lives we are all waiting for Jessica Tate to wake up from that coma.

  9. Amanda G says:

    I suffered through the first one because I wanted to support Jason Lee, but really, what was he thinking?

  10. wunder says:

    He needs to stop complaining for being paid (probably waaay too much money)to act.

    He has a J-O-B, and that’s more than what many Americans have right now, so just SHUT UP, annoying entitled ChipPunk!

  11. JaneWonderfalls says:

    I’m sure it’s not that unpleasant once he cashes the check…I’m not saying actors don’t have the right to complain but just remember the general public has way more shyte on their plate and less money so, people really don’t want to hear about your unpleasant experience…he probably made more money on that one movie than I do in a year. I’m sure it’s actually a million time more.

  12. Str8Shooter says:

    He will always be known as Tobias Fumke, the ‘Analrapist’…LOL

  13. Clara says:

    Remember when he played Allen Ginsberg? Awesome.