What if the fate of the world depended on a mid-level tech support employee? That’s the question of Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone’s new Netflix comedy, God’s Favorite Idiot.
Falcone’s Clark realizes that God has bigger plans for him once he starts glowing. Along with his crush Amily (McCarthy), their coworkers, and angelic allies, he must outwit Satan herself (Leslie Bibb). Yanic Truesdale, who starred on Gilmore Girls with McCarthy, plays one of those angels, Chamuel, and here, he introduces his character and talks about that reunion.
I love your character’s entrance. Talk about reading that in the script.
Yanic Truesdale: I have to say my manager, when he saw the thing, said, “I believe this is one of the greatest entrances in Hollywood history.” [Laughs] It is a good one. I cannot lie. It is a good entrance. I had never really done anything with CGI. I had never really done any stunts. So when I read it in the script that the angel was coming flying, I was like, “Oh, OK. I guess they’re just gonna do that on a computer or something.” I didn’t think about it too much. But then of course, when I got to Australia and I started having coaching on how to be rigged and lifted up in the air, by a crane, I was like, “Oh, you actually have to do this for real.” [Laughs] Yeah, it was quite a thing.
The way I took him and his role is that he is God’s righthand man. And without his help, God’s favorite idiot wouldn’t know how to execute this mission. So I’m kind of there to guide, to support, to protect, and to nurture these lovely, simple people that have been chosen by God to save the world.
What appealed to you about the character?
I know Melissa obviously from Gilmore Girls and all of our scenes during the eight seasons were always together and [with] Lauren Graham. Michel’s character was very standoffish, sarcastic, cold, and detached, and the fact that they reached out to me to play opposite them, but with this character who is completely the opposite of that, I thought was very, very exciting and fresh for us to do that together. That was a big appeal for me.
Speaking of that, talk about working with Melissa again, because like you said, these are very different characters from Gilmore Girls.
I do understand why Melissa and Ben keep doing movies together because once you know someone through work, it’s a very comfortable place to go back to because that’s where the friendship or the love or whatever it is started. It’s a feel good place. We got to know each other while working and discovering each other’s sensibility and talent and hanging out on set for 16 hours a day. So for me, the idea of reteaming and going back to that happy place where we got to know each other was very, very thrilling. Also obviously because over the years, Melissa is Melissa now with the big career that she has, it was intriguing for me, who had known her for 22 years when Gilmore Girls was her first TV show, to see how it would be on set with her now that she’s done all this work, this body of work and this experience. She was also producing the show with Ben, so I was curious to see how she was as a producer. It was very fun for me to see her in action.
Is there anything from your time working together on Gilmore Girls that you two found yourselves doing on set on this show?
She’s from the Midwest, I’m French Canadian. We love chatting. We love hanging out. And when you’re friends with people — and I’m sure you are the same — you get to see them for lunch or you go to a dinner and you spend a couple hours together, but I’m never satisfied. It never feels that it’s enough. That’s why I love going to country houses or a beach house with people and friends because you wake up together, you have breakfast, and you can hang out and actually catch up. So for me to be on set with her long days and all day, we were reconnecting at a deeper level, and you talk about things and you’re like, “Oh, you, you never told me this.” It’s like, “oh, I thought I told you.” So it was quality time for me on set.
What does Chamuel well think of Clark?
He’s not 100 percent not sure of God’s pick, but he is determined to make the best out of the people that were cast and chosen.
And what does he think of Amily?
Chamuel is a good-hearted guy and a good-hearted soul, and I think he’s on board no matter what. I think he finds her intriguing and fun. And even though she’s a bit of a mess, I think somehow he trusts her a bit more, that she has a little more drive and has it somehow a little more together than Clark, who is a little bit weaker as a person.
What do you think his biggest challenge of the series is? Dealing with these humans that he has to deal with?
Oh, yeah. I always write backstories for my characters, and for me I was like, “OK, what is it for him when he has to go on Earth and talk to humans?” I created a reality where it’s like going to Disneyland. It’s a wild place with wild souls and people are not at his level, but it’s fun. It’s all kinds of food that he can’t have in heaven. For him, it’s like an amusement part. It’s like a vacation. It’s like going to Brazil for us. It’s fun. I don’t think he looks down on humans. I think he cares for them.
Talk about the Chamuel-Satan dynamic.
I can’t remember what’s left because we shot much more than what ends up on the screen. But as a backstory, Satan and myself had dated and she was very bitter about the breakup. The backstory between those two is a very dysfunctional relationship and they dated and then she turned evil and then we split.
After Gilmore Girls came back with the Netflix series, it’s impossible not to wonder if it could come back again.
I am with you on that in the sense that I am surprised that to this day we haven’t done a movie or something to follow because millions of fans want to know who’s the father and this and that. And so I wish we could have given them a little something after, but for some reason that I’m not aware of it didn’t happen. Also we’re all busy, and so for sure that would require some sort of magical synchronicity to all be able to do it, but no one called and tried. So I’m not quite sure. I think it might be over. Who knows?
God’s Favorite Idiot, Series Premiere, Wednesday, June 15, Netflix