On the first evening our conversation was scheduled for, I was scrambling to get organized. Let’s not make this a pattern, David. This man has created one of the most outstanding and exceptional animated series of the year, so let’s show some respect.
To my luck and disappointment, I discovered I was not alone in my lack of preparedness. The gentleman I was set to speak with needed to reschedule.
A week passed. I was greeted by a familiar voice. Perhaps I had heard it before on Gravity Falls, Adventure Time, or most recently on Rick and Morty, or perhaps it was familiar because he and I are merely aspects of a single, timeless organism made up of all the motion and energy in the multiverse. No matter. The host of this temporary flesh vessel was none other than the great…
David Luna: How often do you draw?
Justin Roiland: Not as much as I used to. I always say I need to be drawing more than I do. I go through periods where I’ll spend full days drawing for weeks at a time, and then I just won’t draw for months and months and months. When I’m working on Rick and Morty, the drawing is mainly characters or scenarios that I’m drawing on the dry erase board to illustrate or reinforce a pitch or an idea or a character or whatever. The thing I don’t do often enough is comics—just freestyle, freeform, even if they’re bad. I used to keep idea/sketchbooks constantly. It’s kind of sad because the digital world has sort of completely taken over that. Like now I have Evernote on my phone, and then I’ve got my Cintique, and I’ve been just drawing stuff on the dry erase board and then taking pictures of it on my phone.
DL: A lot of people involved with Farscape have had guest appearances on Rick and Morty. Are there people you’ve tried to get on the show but couldn’t? And if you could have absolutely anybody’s voice to your disposal, who would you want on your show?
JR: Season 1, we tried to get David Bowie. It was a very pie in the sky, very unlikely thing, but we were like, “You can never be told no if you don’t ask.” And that didn’t happen, obviously. We got very lucky with Season 1. For the most part, everybody we really wanted ended up coming through and happening. Going into Season 2, again David Bowie; we’re going to try again. I would love to have him do a voice.
Now that we’ve aired and people are familiar with the show, it’s going to be really interesting to see what kind of leverage that gives us when it comes to casting guest voices in Season 2. The thing that’s always cool to think about is what people am I a fan of that I could get to meet as a result of casting. There’s a lot of musicians that I would love to meet. That world has always been the most distant to me. I don’t go to concerts a lot, so I have all these bands I love, but that musicians’ world just seems so foreign and far away. I’m probably going cast some people from Battlestar; I love the idea of casting people from like awesome sci-fi shows, or just TV shows in general that I love, and, if possible, doing them in pairs. We have an episode coming up with Virginia Hey and Claudia Black, and they literally talk to each other and they’re together as characters in this episode, and it’s just so cool because I’m the biggest Farscape fan.
And in regard to the high school kids, I love casting Degrassi kids. As we continue to expand and develop other high school-centric characters, I’m going to keep going back to Degrassi because I love that show so much. Like, I love it ironically. It’s so bad, but I just love how bad it is. And it’s like one of my favorite things ever. It’s just appalling how one-dimensional some of the shit is on that show. I love that no one is calling them out or giving them notes. They just fucking write their scripts and shoot it—who gives a shit—and it does well, thank God. I want to be 70 years old and still see that show going. If they cancel that show I’m going to be so heartbroken. There’s such a sea of talent that has come out of that—good, bad and otherwise.