Netflix’s “Space Force” will be the first posthumous role for Fred Willard, who passed away Friday at 86.
“Extra’s” Renee Bargh spoke to his co-stars Lisa Kudrow and Diana Silvers, who opened up about Fred and the series.
Diana said, “We had phone call scene work primarily. Everyone spoke so highly of him and we all kind of wish that we could have been able to actually interact with him. I’m just glad everybody gets to witness his brilliance onscreen on our show.”
Lisa recalled meeting Fred years ago, saying, “Right after college… I was doing prospective student interviews. We interviewed his daughter. Fred came out afterward to say hello. I almost died. I knew exactly who he was. I was so excited. He treated us like we were important; we had just graduated college. He was so good, so funny.”
“Space Force” was inspired by President Donald Trump’s newly created military branch of the same name.
Lisa plays Steve Carell’s wife on the show, and she explained how she got involved. “First, it was Greg Daniels is doing a show he created with Steve Carell, and a text from Steve saying, ‘Come be my wife. It will be fun,’ then it was, ‘All right, I should read it.’”
Diana plays Lisa and Steve’s daughter. She recalls, “I was thinking I was excited to see it, and then getting the call I was going to be able to audition for it because there was a role for my age, I was like, ‘Well, that would be really, really cool.’”
Lisa gave her pitch for why folks should watch, saying, “It’s funny… It’s really nice to see someone in power who actually makes decisions and they are a decent person and they bring that decency to their decisions.”
Another project coming up for Lisa is the “Friends” reunion, which was pushed back until fall. Lisa is not catching up on the episodes in quarantine, saying, “No, I haven’t… I should, because it’s funny. The times I watched it, I really enjoyed it.”
“Space Force” debuts May 29 on Netflix.