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Tony Hale on Andy Barker

Published March 12, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of NBC.
Tony Hale Tony Hale
Andy Barker, P.I. is a return to television for many underdog favorites. Star Andy Richter gets another chance to prove he can make it on his own, and Arrested Development's Tony Hale bounces back from the loved but unwatched show. Hale wasn't hesitant to get back on the TV horse.

Tony Hale Talks Andy Barker, PI

"To go from a fantastic group of people to another fantastic group, that’s a huge blessing," said Hale. "I’ve got a mortgage and a baby and all actors want to work. I’m thankful to have been put with another smart, great group of people."

Barker is an accountant who starts taking cases. Hale plays one of his sidekicks, a video store clerk who's seen a lot of crime movies. "And I used to be a film student and I kind of live out my fantasies in the crime. People that work there just love film and this guy loves film, but also he hates mainstream movies. He makes fun of all those sometimes."

Since it's a comic crime caper, Andy Barker will put its actors in a little bit of harm's way. "Car chases, we’re running a lot and we’re not the most in shape people. There’s one shot of us doing slow motion walking and it’s kind of these awkwardly nerdy guys doing it, but it’s really a blast."

Finally, Conan O'Brien's sidekick gets a sidekick of his own. "I’m Andy Richter’s sidekick, so Andy Richter who’s been a sidekick actually gets a sidekick. Mainly I kind of get him in more trouble. He’s the brains of that operation."

Hale is becoming an expert at dysfunctional characters, with Buster's mommy issues and playing the ultimate mental patient in Because I Said So. But the actor sets his TV roles apart. "I think Buster, the difference, I guess, would be Buster probably just wanted safety in his life and then he just wouldn't leave his mom. This character wants adventure. I think he's just kind of excited and will do anything for adventure because he was a film student and now getting into these kind of detective things gives him a chance to live out all these fantasies that he's had. Buster was just a mental job. He was crazy. So that's quite a contrast."

Andy Barker, P.I. premieres March 15th on NBC.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of NBC.

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