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“He was really wonderful and inspiring to work with,” Novak said about Asner who recently died on August 29 at age 90. “He would rest between takes. We asked a lot of him. It was quite a role, but he wanted to do it.”
Novak explained that the late actor’s assistant would wake him up for each scene. “We’d feel bad bringing him back to set. But once he started, he would not stop. He would do improv after improv and take after take. It just shows you that someone of that level, doing it that long — you just have to love it. It’s only love that can make you do that.”
Throughout his decades-long career, Asner was known for his work on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Lou Grant, as well as voicing Carl Fredricksen in the 2009 animated film Up. His episode of The Premise, which airs on Sept. 23, will be his first role shown posthumously.
The Premise, created by Novak, is a five-episode anthology series where each chapter focuses on a particular character dealing with a current world issue. Lucas Hedges, Kaitlyn Dever, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. will also appear in the episode with Asner which airs on FX on Hulu.
Novak joked with Meyers that he compares the series to a bunch of “short movies because short films suck.” He said The Premise showcases comedy, drama, an interesting subject, and good actors in half an hour. He continued, “You could watch an intense little movie, and then the next one. So, that’s why I wanted to do this show.”
Watch the clip below.
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