There are certain entertainment staples that allow for repeated exploration and Fox Ghosted, which debuts on Sunday, merges two of them, combining a buddy comedy and a dive into the paranormal. Whether the show will succeed with fans of those staples has yet to be determined, of course, but its two leads (Adam Scott and Craig Robinson) have great chemistry and the show is ambitious, embracing the grand scope that its genre affords it.
We spoke with Scott via email to discuss the challenges that come with operating in the same space as Ghostbusters, X-Files, and Men In Black, his rapport with Robinson, whether the time has come and gone for more Party Down, and how his love of Simon & Simon informed his choice of a career and maybe speaks to why Ghosted appealed to him.
When you got the script for the pilot, did you look at the prospect of establishing a genre show that may inspire people to compare it to X-Files, Ghostbusters, Men In Black — these major franchises — as an interesting challenge or as something to be wary of?
We never set out to be compared to any of those franchises, but I guess it’s inevitable. Ghostbusters is an obvious touchstone since they were able to so perfectly meld comedy and the paranormal without lifting too far off the ground. Aside from the guys and Rick Moranis, everyone else in that movie is in a drama, so the danger felt real — the stakes legitimately sky-high.
How does the show carve out that unique space for itself in the supernatural/paranormal/sci-fi genre in these first few episodes? Is there a villain of the week kinda thing or is it going to be focused on this central mystery in the early going?
There’s an overall mythology we’ll weave in to the villain/monster of the week episodes early on. But the breadcrumbs are there. Max’s wife, Leroy’s former partner and exactly why and how these two were chosen will come into play.
Can you talk a little bit about your past experiences working with Craig Robinson and how that helped impact your on-screen chemistry?
Working with Craig is dreamy — he’s so much fun. We have an easy chemistry in real life that carries over onto the show. We couldn’t be more different, but in real life, we’re able to immediately see why that’s valuable. Max and Leroy, not so much. But watching them figure that out and become friends will hopefully be fun.
Ghosted hits the ground running while covering the broad strokes of Max’s life. It works but I’m curious if the idea is to backfill a little more. Are flashbacks a possibility?
Flashbacks are definitely a possibility. My favorite West Wing episode is early in season 2 where we see the origin stories of the main characters and how they became involved in Bartlett’s campaign. Look for us ripping this idea off. Not too early, though. Wouldn’t want to be presumptuous and give people back stories they don’t want yet.
There’s a really great slap war between you and Craig in the first episode. Curious how many takes you went through getting slapped and slapping him and if it was equitably distributed or if you got the short end there.
I slapped the shit out of Craig. We must’ve done it 20 times. But by the time we shot him slapping me, the angle we were shooting called for him to fake it, so he didn’t touch me. So, in a way, he still owes me.