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[This story contains spoilers for Avengers: Infinity War.]
Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict, it didn’t work out — not exactly.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, the actor who brought Tobias Funke to life said the directors tried a number of times to recruit him for the moment in their film when Tobias makes a split-second, glorious appearance. It takes place at The Collector’s (Benicio Del Toro) museum on Knowhere as members of the Guardians of the Galaxy attempt to retrieve the Reality Stone from Thanos (Josh Brolin).
“They had called me when they were shooing the movie,” Cross explained to THR. “I was actually in London working on a different show, except I was directing, so there’s no way I could get over there. But they certainly didn’t take no for an answer. They called and emailed multiple times. They even offered to send a plane. I certainly appreciate their trying, and of course I would have done it under any other circumstance, and that is saying a lot because it meant I would have had to shave.”
The captured Tobias who appears in the film is completely blue. It’s an homage to a 2004 episode of the comedy titled “The One Where Michael Leaves,” in which the quirky, awkward, aspiring actor attempts to join the Blue Man Group as an on-call understudy. (Cross mentioned that he hated wearing the paint, which required three showers to remove).
Before joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Russo brothers did Emmy-winning work on the small screen, including directing episodes of Community and Arrested Development, which originally aired on Fox and is now a Netflix property.
Their most recent box-office-record-breaking Marvel installment is the duo’s third time behind the camera for the MCU, previously having helmed Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Captain America: Civil War (2016). Civil War also had an Arrested Development Easter egg; the infamous stair car made a background appearance during the airport battle. Lee Shallat Chemel directed “The One Where Michael Leaves.”
Taking time out of preparation for his upcoming, 46-city “Oh Come On” theater tour, Cross told THR he is not planning on seeing Infinity War as those types of films are not his cup of tea, but he is pleased others are having fun with it.
“I like the idea,” he says. “And I like that fans of both series are tickled. I want a piece of the backend,” he added with a laugh. Infinity War earned an estimated $258 million in its first weekend, the No. 1 opening of all time in North America.
“Oh Come On” kicks off June 1 at the Chicago Theatre and runs through Aug. 26. Tickets are now on sale.
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