Getting in touch with what’s important. After wrapping 10 years of How I Met Your Mother, Jason Segel was ready to look for his next project but was in search of something new.
After leaving Los Angeles, he took time to develop Dispatches From Elsewhere. Segel, 39, wrote, produced and stars in AMC’s upcoming drama about a group of four people who discover a puzzle behind the lives they’ve been living every day.
Mostly, Segel just wanted to write about real life.
“My starting point was who pulls a flyer and why? I was really interested in picking four versions of isolation, feeling separate, feeling like the other and slowly bringing them together until we realize that we’re all the same,” Segel told Us Weekly and other reporters at the Television Critics’ Association’s winter press tour on Thursday, January 16. “So, that’s where I came up with these four characters. At that point, I know how to write a love story. It’s something I’m good at, and I felt like I don’t plan too much ahead. So as I was writing, our two characters started to fall in love.”
Segel also wanted to dive into this because it was so personal — similar to two other roles he did that were close to his heart for other reasons.
“I would say Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Muppets were both equally as personal in their own ways. I mean, I did full-frontal nudity in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, that’s about as personal as it gets,” the Freaks and Geeks alum said with a laugh. “I guess I would say, funny enough, that this is the version of full-frontal nudity at 40 when you learn to be a little bit more sophisticated about baring yourself. It is my attempt to be as honest as possible.”
The End of the Tour actor also revealed why his career changed a bit from doing certain projects that he wasn’t as connected to — to projects he more passionate about. In fact, he recalled a thought he had that “really bothered him” when he was trying to figure out his next step.
“[I thought] I don’t know if I have the guts, at 34, 35, to write the Dracula Puppet musical that ended Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” he told reporters. “Somewhere along the way, a sense of play and adventurousness and a lack of strategy had sort of been thrown out the window, and I was trying to figure out what might be successful.”
He continued: “For Dispatches From Elsewhere, I approached it strictly creatively. What do I want to write about and how honest can I possibly be on paper? And that was, that was an exciting challenge. I was scared I didn’t know if I could do it well anymore.”
Dispatches From Elsewhere on Sunday, March 1, at 10 p.m. ET.
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