'Wilfred's' Elijah Wood on Potential Ending and Putting on the Dog Suit

The star of the FX comedy addresses Ryan's possible mental illness and why Wilfred is important to his character's life.

Elijah Wood has returned with season three of FX’s Wilfred, and things are as wild as ever.

In last week's season premiere, ex-lawyer Ryan (Wood) questioned whether mental illness may be at the root of why he sees Wilfred (Jason Gann). The ever-obstructive Wilfred offers an alternate theory, claiming to be an immortal spirit. The pair tracked down Wilfred’s old home in Sacramento, with Ryan determined to find a baby picture of the dog. If such a picture existed, Ryan claimed it would lend credence to his theory.

In classic Wilfred fashion, there was no definitive answer. But Wood says he has an idea of why Ryan sees Wilfred as man in a dog costume.

“I’ve kind of made up my mind as to what I think Wilfred is. I don’t know that that’s reflective of what the character has decided though,” Wood told The Hollywood Reporter during a conference call with reporters.

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When Ryan first meets Wilfred, he “accepts Wilfred’s existence,” Wood says, and on a deeper level he understands Wilfred is a force for positive change in his life -- though one with strange methods.

"[Wilfred tries] to get him to open his eyes to a specific, I don’t know, lesson or something that he’s not seeing,” Wood told reporters. “As much as it’s sabotage, it’s really about kind of trying to push him forward in a good direction, albeit in a sort of screwed-up way."

The actor said he tried on Gann’s Wilfred suit for the first time this year for a behind-the-scenes video. He had never done it before because he felt “there’s something a little bit sacred” about it. Wood described the experience of wearing the dog suit as “surreal,” and led to a discussion of doing a dream sequence in the future in which Ryan wakes up as Wilfred.

“There’s something there in his exploration of what ‘Wilfred’ is. Potentially, there’s a sort of melding of the two,” Wood said.

The star said that Wilfred is a show that must have a definitive end date, rather than going on indefinitely.

“It’s about a guy who is essentially in recovery, and trying to figure out what his path in life is. This manifestation of Wilfred has provided essentially a push for him to kind of figure that out,” Wood said. “That can only really last for so long to believe that we are dealing with a man who is kind of struggling for answers to these questions, and in this sort of existential question period of his life and in recovery. I don’t know that we can believe that for 10 seasons.”

Wilfred airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX.