Interview with Alphonso McAuley & Executive Producer Adam Goldberg from Breaking In

I recently got the chance to talk to Alphonso McAuley (who plays Cash) and Executive Producer Adam Goldberg, from FOX’s newest hit comedy, Breaking In. Both were so much fun to talk to (& listen to!). Alphonso obviously loves his character and the show, and Adam seems like exactly who you would think was behind the crazy fun that is this new show. They answered questions about Alphonso’s character, the rest of the cast, and tonight’s Comic-Con Goonies themed episode. Check out the great questions & answers below!

On what Alphonso likes best about playing Cash, and how much like his character he is

Alphonso McAuley: Let’s see. I like that Cash is quirky and he’s a nerd, and also he’s a Fanboy. Those three things are pretty cool because they’re different from other characters that I’ve played before. And so I kind of – I get to have fun with that you know.

And I would say probably about – yes, somewhat like Cash because I have a few figurines, a few comic books, things like that.

Adam Goldberg: Go on. Tell them about your Legos. Tell them about your Star Wars Legos. Tell the right now.

Alphonso: I do have some Star Wars Legos, and used to have some Superman briefs. Those were pretty cool, but they just – those got worn out, and I don’t know. I’m looking for some new – I got to get some like Chewbacca briefs or something. Or like – or maybe like a Han Solo – like an ascot or something like that. That’d be nice.

Check out the rest of the interview after the jump.

On why they chose Goonies for the Comic-Con episode

Adam: Well, that’s strictly me. I know when Peter Jackson was doing King Kong, he said like that’s the reason he became a director. For me, Goonies is the reason I became a writer. You know, that was the movie from my childhood I saw a trillion times, know every line.

And when we were doing this episode, which is about you know a movie being stolen. It was roughly based when – off of when Wolverine got stolen and went online. We thought, piracy was a cool kind of thing for the group to take on.

The studios were really hesitant. We tried to get Green Lantern and a bunch of movies coming out. But I think understandably, the subject matter of a moving being stolen and going on line was a little iffy for them. So I thought well, what’s the one movie that I feel like should be made and it’s not in current active development? And that was Goonies 2 for me. So it really became a way for me to have Goonies kind of play out to the group as this whole adventure happens for them.

So it worked out so well and I got to keep a lot of the Goonies props and signs. They’re all over my office right now, which is sweet.

Alphonso: Right. Right. And me, I’m just from the Goon Docks, so they were like, “Hey, Alphonso, get in there.”


On why they chose Comic-Con as the setting

Adam: I mean, for me – it’s funny. I’ve been going to the San Diego convention for man, 15 years, and just watched it go from a thing where my friends would make fun of me for going to now having them go with me and having to show them around and stuff. So it – I just love that it’s become very mainstream. I mean, I prefer some of the smaller conventions personally, because I get to shop more.

And I love that – even though this wasn’t specifically the San Diego Comic-Con, that’s kind of what we wanted to do. Just – it’s just big and fun, and kind of – like you said, the Mecca for movies and now TV. It just seemed like a great way to do caper and kind of explore all the things that I love.

We – just the episode is packed with you know Avatar, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; just all that stuff is really fun. I think for Fox, I think they were surprised at the tonnage of just how much stuff was in there, and I don’t know that they understood all of it. I don’t know that they get the Sloth or the Truffle Shuffle references. But you know all I can do is what I think is funny. What I want to – what I believe in – will work on TV, and just hope that there’s someone out there that will respond to it.

If not, like you said, it’s just me and my wife laughing at it at the very least. And getting Alphonso in ridiculous costumes is always fun.

Alphonso, tell them about who you play – your character in Comic-Con.

Alphonso: Oh. Yes. Yes. Yes. Comic-Con people are going to get a kick out of this. He’s a super hero of comics that Cash has made up himself, and his name is Black Zeus. And I…

Adam: He’s a rapper by day, super hero by night.

Alphonso: Super hero by night. And I’m sure people will be quoting me on the theme song. “Black Zeus”.

Adam: Yes. We love it. I love that Cash is self-publishing his own super hero comic, and that’s why he goes to Comic-Con to try and set it up somewhere. Find someone to publish it.

Alphonso: Exactly. He’s looking for a deal. He’s looking for a record deal. Or some (MC) display. He’s looking for that.


On Cash (Alphonso) stalking anyone at Comic-Con

Adam: I mean right now, I think – well, the episode now is about how the Comic-Con job causes a falling out between Cameron and Cash. So he’s – you know, so that’s really the thrust of the episode.

I kind of – it’s funny. In our first draft, we had a whole runner where he was stalking Gil Gerard. And Gil Gerard was ultimately his alibi when Cash was accused of stealing the movie. So that kind of unfortunately fell out. I really wanted to focus on the character story and not make it about Gil Gerard as much.

So – it’s so funny that you asked that question because I was defiantly there in many drafts, but ultimately kind of opted for having it be a little bit more about the character and not so much about having him stalk a Sci-Fi guy. I just wanted to meet Gil Gerard. That’s what it was.

Do you remember, Alphonso, the line or something like you were harassing Gil Gerard because it’s supposed to – Buck Rogers was supposed to take place in the future, but he had ‘70’s sideburns, and that’s what you were like…

Alphonso: Yes.

Adam: You remember that? You were chasing him and asking why? Why?

Alphonso: I remember that. And there was another reference – I thought Christian came in with some reference that was in there dude, that was so hilarious.

Adam: Yes. Yes. And then Gil Gerard gave Cash an autograph that said, “Go away. Gil Gerard.” That’s what the head shot said.


On the cool outfits Alphonso gets to wear

Adam: Alphonso, give them a spoiler from the finale. Spoiler from the finale.

Alphonso: Okay. A spoiler from the finale. Spoiler alert! I actually get to wear a full Voltron suit, which is like the…

Adam: It’s so amazing. It is unbelievable.

Alphonso: Yes.

Adam: I wrote for the Voltron TV show, so I know the whole gang over that’s doing the new Nickelodeon show. And first, I wanted it to be an Optimus Prime, and it cost – it was like they wanted $30 grand or something, so I called my Voltron buddies and they were like – they immediately FedExed out this giant like suit. I don’t even know how you were able to walk around Alphonso. It’s so ridiculous. But it’s just unbelievable. So, I’m really excited about that one.

For all those Voltron fans out there, and everyone else is going to go, “What? What’s Voltron?” So – but they made me happy.


On the premise and the cast

Adam: Yes. The cast is amazing. I mean for me, I wanted to do a workplace comedy. Happy Madison and I were going to do a show together, and I met up with the Director, Seth Gordon, who did the King of Kong, which is one of my – literally one of my favorite movies ever. And he just knew about this world.

He’s really into doing documentaries on quirky kind of offbeat people, and he got to know a lot of these hackers who specialize in Internet – in cyber security, Internet security. So, we just got talking about – and these are kind of the people that I know in terms of you know geeks and it’s a culture that I love that I’ve written about in movies. And I am one, so it just seemed like a great match.

So for us, we pitch it to Fox as like the A-Team meets The Office. It’s just a group of oddballs. You could have the fun office story mixed in with a caper and just have a really fun fast half an hour of television. It just seemed like something that really hadn’t been done.

And you know its big challenge every week to mix an office story with a caper. But yes – but you know, that’s how it kind of came about. Just meeting Seth and him introducing me to this world, and me kind of taking the people that I know and kind of putting – setting up the characters.

And then of course, the cast. You know, Alphonso bringing – you know, the cast – just we got really lucky that everyone really pops and every character feels distinct and different, and their voices are really specific. So it’s – I got really lucky that way.


On having a specialist on staff

Adam: We do. We have a guy named (Eric Cabadus) who’s a – he’s a hacker basically. And he contacted us because he saw the pilot and he was like, “I just want it to feel real. And in the same way that you’re doing shout outs to the Goonies fans and people who know the Internet memes, like I want to give shout outs to my friends who have program.” So he basically reads every episode.

And it’s so funny. He’s amazing. Sometimes – you know, we just don’t have time to – it always ends up I’m going to hack the firewall. That’s like the big joke. And you know, we want it – but if you want to make it sound real, it ends up taking about 45 minutes to explain. So, we really want to put forth that effort. I think we meet somewhere in the happy middle.

But especially all of the programs that they run, those are real hacking programs. Some of them are his friend’s programs that they’ve made. So it’s – yes. We defiantly – in the same way that Big Bang wants to keep – I know on their boards it’s all real, so we wanted to do the same thing.

And we’ve had to change some stories because he’s like, “There’s no way you – they could do this thing. What you’re talking about just doesn’t exist in reality and we want it to seem real.” So we’ve had to – it makes the stories harder to break because it’s harder to outline just because sometimes it – you want it to feel easy but that’s not how it exists in reality.

So hopefully, it should feel a little bit more real than the average show, because we do have our guy. Our super hacker.


On ad-libbing lines

Alphonso: Yes, as Adam laughs.

Adam: I’m laughing. I’ll answer for him. Yes, he ad-libs like crazy, and yes we use it. I mean, man; everything – especially Rosenbaum – actually everybody has their ad-libs. And you know on this show, I’ve told them if – I’m not down on stage all the time, so I said if you guys come up with something really funny, email it to me and we’ll put it in the show.

So yes, Alphonso is an amazing improver and we are using a lot. And as the writers, we’re all taking credit for the funny stuff that he says, and the other actors. So it’s awesome.

But – I mean, “You’re tapping the grave dance,” I guess that was something you did with your friends or something? What was that story?

Alphonso: That actually came out of – I was doing this film for – some of the geeks who know about Fat Albert and all of that. We were – so we were doing Fat Albert and that thing just came out of this – we were talking about R&B singers and how they moved their pelvis toward the audience, you know while they’re singing.

And so it just came out of like this – like R&B like movement that I kind of like did. And then we kind of evolved it into like this entire thing on the set. And we would just always do it like – sort of like really, really fast and it just – it grew out of that.

Guys like Marques Houston, Kenan Thompson; we were just all doing that move like throughout the film.

Adam: That’s awesome. Did they even call and say, “Hey. You did the dance from Fat Albert.”

Alphonso: No. No. I don’t even know if they know I’m on a show.

Adam: That’s fair. That’s fair.


On seeing Jennifer Irwin (Crazy Carol) doing something creepy

Adam: I mean, it’s so funny because Jen – I worked on a sitcom called Still Standing with her for four years, and she’s a very close friend. And I wrote the character for her because I think she’s so funny. And the creepiest stuff we’ve written for some reason, like it doesn’t make it in because I want to – I want people to learn to love her first before we get totally creepy.

So for the first six, it’s the weird stuff like her eating the banana like a corn on the cob. I think that was my favorite thing. In last night’s episode, I loved how she peed herself, because Alf scares her.

I think second season she’s going to get creepier and creepier for sure. Right now, I don’t want alienate too many people.

[to Alphonso] And watching you guys make out for that Star Wars thing was so funny, and there’s so much of it. Like, it just – in the editing, it started out, it was like a 20 minute make-out scene, and then we just kind of whittled it away until you know – so you guys were good sports on that.

Thank you to both Alphonso & Adam for such a great time! If you haven’t caught Breaking In yet, please watch the new episode tonight on FOX at 9:30/8:30c. It is supremely funny and more than worth your time!

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