LEXX Interview: Jeff Hirschfield is interviewed by FX
(Moderator/Administrator – SadBOARD Forums)
Date: February, 2002
Where: By email
The following represents interviews by email that took place during January and February of this year (2002). I first contacted Mr. Hirschfield ,with much fear and trepidation, in December. Along with being very gracious and willing to help, he was buried with holiday issues and family. JH has recently become a father again , as most of you know, so between new baby and work and the silly season, we had to defer until January to get started. I have simpered and begged for some of that infamous poetry,all to no avail, but i think you will agree that Jeff’s prose is as outrageous and entertaining as alterego 790 at his best. Again, thanx to Splarka for making this possible, and to all of you for sending in your questions.
Here you go. As far as jpegs and all that sort of stuff, I’m afraid you’re on your own to dig those up. For all the time I spend in the sci-fi world, I’m actually pretty much a Luddite. No scanner, no dig cams, nothing but a lot of shitty diapers.
Many of the fans perceive less ‘strangeness’ in Lexx this season, and particularly season 3, and they attribute that to less input from you as a writer…is that the case or is it more that you were all moving in different directions as writers?
I WOULD ACTUALLY ARGUE THAT, APART FROM BEING SET on FAMILIAR EARTH, THIS SEASON OF LEXX IS EVERY BIT AS STRANGE AS OTHERS. I AGREE THAT SEASON THREE –OF WHICH I WROTE NOT A WORD– TRIED A MORE MAINSTREAM APPROACH. I DON’T KNOW WHY PAUL CHOSE TO GO THAT DIRECTION– TO BROADEN THE APPEAL OR SOMETHING? IN ANY EVENT, SEASON 4 RETURNED TO THE DIRECTION WHERE I BELIEVE LEXX THRIVES. IF FANS PERCEIVE THAT I CONTRIBUTED MUCH OF THE STRANGENESS TO LEXX, I TAKE THAT AS A COMPLIMENT. I CERTAINLY LIKE TO WARP THINGS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
People believe the ‘sillyness’ comes more from Lex G…
LEX G. IS A SILLY BASTARD, NO DOUBT. BUT WITH EPISODES LIKE LOVE GROWS, 791, XEVIVOR, FLUFF DADDY, BAD CARROT AND PRIME RIDGE WRITTEN BY ME, I’D SAY I’M NO SLOUCH IN THE SILLY DEPARTMENT.
How do you view the roles and the contributions of the various writers?
MY CONTRIBUTION IS FOR OTHERS TO JUDGE, BUT I IF I HAD TO CHOOSE ONE THING I WOULD SAY I ADD HUMOUR– AND A LOT OF SEXUAL INNUENDO. LEX OFFERS UP ALLEGORY, ESPECIALLY POLITICAL ALLEGORY. LOTS OF SATIRE AND THE LIKE. PAUL COOKS UP THE OVERALL VISION AND DIRECTION. HE’S ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR REMINDING PEOPLE EVERY EPISODE THAT KAI IS DEAD, STAN IS HORNY, XEV GREW UP IN A BOX, AND THE LEXX IS THE MOST POWERFUL DESTRUCTIVE FORCE IN TWO UNIVERSES. FINALLY, HE TAKES A SPECIAL INTEREST IN THE SHOW’S HOMOEROTIC ELEMENT, BUT YOU SHOULD TALK TO HIS WIFE ABOUT THAT.
How do you all compliment each other?
THEY CALL ME MR. WONDERFUL. I TELL LEX HE LOOKS GOOD WHEN HE DROPS A COUPLE OF POUNDS, AND WE BOTH TELL PAUL WE LIKE HIS MOUSTACHE. (FX note to self; do not provide any more straight man opportunities to this guy…)
What are the major things you have agreed on?
WE AGREE THAT I’M THE CUTEST, THOUGH LEX GETS HIT on MORE. HOWEVER, THIS IS MOSTLY FROM THE OVER SIXTY DIVORCEE CROWD. BOTH LEX AND I AGREE THAT PAUL IS NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER.
And what were the things you disagreed on or thought should have been different along the way?
YIKES. WHERE DO I BEGIN on THAT ONE? THE FACT IS THAT THE PROCESS OF WRITING SIXTY FIVE HOURS OF A SHOW IS ALL ABOUT NEGOTIATION, COMPROMISE, DOZENS OF AGREEMENTS AND DISAGREEMENTS on A DAILY BASIS. IT COMES DOWN TO THE BEST IDEA OF THE DAY AND/OR WHAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH ON THE SET AND/OR EXECUTIVE FIAT WHEN WE HIT A JAM. THERE’S SO MANY FACTORS. I REMEMBER ONE BIG THING IN SEASON TWO IS THAT LEX AND I ARGUED WITH PAUL THAT KAI SHOULD HAVE A BIG OVERRIDING MISSION FOR THE SEASON. SOME OBJECT HE HAD TO FIND OR SECRET OF HIS PAST HE HAD TO SOLVE. (THIS IN ADDITION TO THE MANTRID ARC.) PAUL SAID NO. WAS THE SEASON BETTER FOR IT? YOU DECIDE…. BUT ALL IN ALL, THOUGH THERE WAS MUCH DEBATE on A DAILY BASIS, THERE WAS REMARKABLY LITTLE DISAGREEMENT on THE BIG ISSUES AND ARCS.
Here’s a standard question, ‘what are you doing now?’
MY BIG THING NOW IS A SHOW I’VE CREATED FOR THE 9-14 SET, NOW CALLED ‘PHUNKEE ZEE G.D. (FOR GALACTIC DETECTIVE) IT’S A HALF HOUR SCI-FI/ADVENTURE/COMEDY WITH A GAMING ELEMENT. THE HERO IS A FOURTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL WHO’S ACTUALLY AN ALIEN. IT’S BEEN IN DEVELOPMENT FOR TWO YEARS, WHICH IS (UNFORTUNATELY) NORMAL. HOPEFULLY THIS YEAR IT WILL GET FINANCED AND FLY. BELIEVE ME, IF IT DOES ALL LEXX FANS WILL KNOW…. I’M ALSO WRITING ONE EPISODE (TO DATE) OF ANOTHER SERIES CALLED STARHUNTER 2300, ABOUT A BOUNTY HUNTER IN SPACE, AND AN EPISODE OF A KID’S CARTOON. I WANT TO DO MORE KID’S STUFF, SEEING AS HOW I’VE BRED SO MANY. I WROTE AN EPISODE OF ‘THE OUTER LIMITS’ WHICH WAS SHOT LAST YEAR. THEY CHANGED MUCH OF THE STORY AND EVERY SINGLE LINE OF DIALOUGE. I HATED IT, BUT THE MONEY KEPT UP MY onLINE SUBSCRIPTION TO MY FAVORITE PORN SITE– ‘STINKYFINGER’– PAID UP FOR YEARS. THERE’S A FEW OTHER THINGS IN THE FIRE THAT I CAN’T DISCUSS FOR FEAR OF JINXING THEM. NO JOBS EXISTS UNTIL THE INK IS DRY on THE CONTRACT…
And how about, ‘what do you have planned in the next few years?’
DRINKING, WHORING, BEING A LOUSY FATHER AND NEGLIGENT HUSBAND, SNIFFING GLUE, PASSING OUT, SELLING OUT… ALL THE FUN STUFF.
Will you be working with Lex and/or Paul in the future?
I’LL WORK WITH LEX AGAIN IF THE CHEAP PRICK INVESTS IN BETTER QUALITY HAND LOTION. THE STUFF HE USES on ME NOW HAS LEFT A HORRIBLE RASH on MY INNER THIGHS. I’LL WORK WITH PAUL AGAIN WHEN HE AGREES TO WEAR ALL THE LACY THINGS I BOUGHT HIM. HE’S BEING SHY AND COY, BUT I JUST KNOW ONCE HE SLIPS on THOSE GARTERS AND CROTCHLESS CREATIONS THAT HE’LL BEGIN A VOYAGE OF SELF DISCOVERY WHICH WILL MAKE HIS JUICES –CREATIVE AND OTHERWISE– FLOW MORE FREELYTHAN EVER.
And who else?
I’LL BE WORKING VERY CLOSELY WITH MY ATTORNEY TO BEAT THOSE CHARGES. I WASN’T THERE, I NEVER TOUCH THE STUFF, SHE’S JUST TRYING TO BLACKMAIL ME, YOU GOT THE WRONG GUY. I’M INNOCENT, GODDAMNIT.
After abasing myself and making appropriate fawning noises, I inundated the ever-gracious Mr. Hirschfield with a few more questions. The questions may not have been particularly inciteful, but they did give the Bean more opportunities to be his usual twisted and funny self.
Some more questions for you (ha, you thought you were done eh?!)
NO I DIDN’T. LEXX FANS ARE NOTHING IF NOT SHIFTY, DUPLICITOUS, AND PRONE TO PUSHING THEIR LUCK. (HA TO YOU)
Being called shifty and duplicitous is quite a complement from you, however I must take exception to being called a Lexx fan; I just like mouthy little robot heads…the rest of the people were there to carry the head around…
YER WELCOME, AND THANKS FOR REALIZING WHO THE STAR OF THE FUCKING SHOW REALLY WAS…
Where do you work/live mostly? Toronto? Halifax?
I LIVE AND WORK IN TORONTO. I WAS IN HALIFAX FOR FOUR YEARS, BUT LEFT BEFORE SEASON THREE.
Do you ever work in the USA? Would you?
I HAVEN’T, BUT SURE I WOULD. THEIR MONEY IS WORTH SOMETHING. I’VE GOT AN ANGLE OR TWO INTO THE STATES AS I WRITE THIS, BUT AGAIN I DON’T WANT TO JINX ANYTHING.
Do you see the other Lexx people much? Which ones?
NO. NOT SINCE THE WRAP PARTY IN OCTOBER. I’VE SEEN MICHAEL MCMANUS A COUPLE OF TIMES, BUT HE FRIGHTENS MY KIDS SO I DON’T BRING HIM AROUND MUCH. I’VE ALSO SEEN LOUISE (LYEKKA) WISCHERMANN A FEW TIMES, BUT DON’T TELL HER BOYFRIEND.
one fan wants to know if you ‘went without pants’ for Fluffdaddy(?) …I guess she’s asking if you were nekkid on set 😉
LET’S JUST SAY I’M A METHOD ACTOR. I DID RESEARCH. LOTS AND LOTS OF RESEARCH. I’M STILL DOING RESEARCH, BUT DON’T TELL MY WIFE.
Which was the most enjoyable episode or scene for you?
AS AN ACTOR, MY BIG BOY BANDO SCENE FROM LYEKKA AND MY FLUFF DADDY ROLE. LOUISE WISCHERMANN IS A LOVELY ACTRESS AND A GREAT PERSON. IT WAS FUN TO WORK WITH HER. AS A WRITER, MY FAVORITE SCENE WOULD HAVE TO BE THE ‘SCHLEMMI DOES 790 IN THE WHOREHOUSE SCENE’ FROM LUVLINER. I CAN’T SAY WHAT MY FAVORITE EPISODE IS.
Do you agree with ending lexx now, and do you agree with the ending?
We understand that McManus lobbied for that particular outcome, were you at that meeting?
WE TRIED NEVER TO LISTEN TO MICHAEL, CUZ IF YOU GIVE ACTORS AN INCH…. I TRY NEVER TO GO TO MEETINGS WITH ACTORS, BECAUSE JUMPING OUT THE WINDOW STARTS TO LOOK TOO TEMPTING. IN TRUTH NOT MUCH LOBBYING WAS REQUIRED AS THERE WAS AGREEMENT ALL AROUND. onLY THE SEQUENCE PARTICULARS SPARKED ANY KIND OF DEBATE, AND EVEN THEN THINGS FELL INTO PLACE EASILY.
You are named as one of the writers, along with Lex, for the Lexx spinoff being talked about …said spinoff, if it exists, would consist of Priest, Bunny and Stanley…any comment?
I’M NOT HOLDING MY BREATH FOR A SPINOFF (I onLY HOLD MY BREATH FOR FUN, A LITTLE THING I DO THAT INVOLVES SNIFFING GLUE AND TYING A NYLON STOCKING AROUND MY… OH NEVER MIND) IT WOULD BE SWELL IF A SPINOFF HAPPENED, BUT A MILLION FORCES BEYOND MY CONTROL HAVE TO COME INTO PLAY, SO I CONCENTRATE on WHAT I CAN CONTROL, WHICH, COME TO THINK OF IT, IS ALMOST NOTHING. SIGH…. OF COURSE I’D WRITE IT IF THEY’D HAVE ME. WERE THE SPINOFF TO HAPPEN, PRIEST, BUNNY, AND STAN WOULD BE WELCOME. BUT I THINK IT SHOULD BE A SERIES ABOUT A ROBOT HEAD, LIKE THE LAST onE WAS. I SEE A LOT OF HOUR LONG MONOLOGUES, JUST 790 HOLDING FORTH FROM A COMFY CHAIR. IT WOULD BE CHEAP TO SHOOT, ANYWAY….
You mentioned in your answers wanting to give Kai some sort of purpose in season 2, what was your idea for that?
IT NEVER GOT DOWN TO A SPECIFIC IDEA. IN GENERAL WE WERE TALKING ABOUT HIM SOLVING SOME MYSTERY FROM HIS PAST, PURSUING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING FROM HIS PAST THAT WAS HAVING AN IMPACT on HIS PRESENT. A ‘VLAD’ TYPE ARC ACTUALLY, THOUGH NOT A CHARACTER LIKE VLAD AT THAT TIME.
Is this the discussion McManus alluded to, about not wanting to change Kai’s character, that he is dead and without motivation, and should remain so?
YES. BUT HE’S AN ACTOR AND BEST IGNORED.
How did you like working with the various actors? Feel free to share embarassing stories and outright libel…
I DIDN’T WORK WITH THE ACTORS A LOT. 790 WAS RECORDED SEPARATELY. I KNOW ALL WERE EXTREMELY JEALOUS THAT MY LIPS COULD ACT BETTER THAN ALL OF THEM PUT TOGETHER, BUT WHAT CAN I SAY? WHEN YOU GOT IT, YOU GOT IT. WHEN YOU DON’T…. EACH OF THE ACTORS HAD A DIFFERENT APPROACH WHEN THEY CAME TO ME AS A WRITER AND WANTED TO CHANGE THEIR DIALOGUE. BRIAN USED HUMOUR, XENIA USED CHARM…. BUT I LIKE TO TREAT EVERYONE EQUALLY, SO I TOLD THEM ALL TO SHUT THE HELL UP AND SAY WHAT WAS WRITTEN. SERIOUSLY, I LIKED EVERYONE JUST FINE, ESPECIALLY THE EXTRAS PLAYING SCHOOLGIRLS.
Thanx again for doing this, this is going to be a great addition to the website….
MY PLEASURE. SOMETIME IN FEB/MARCH FOR A CHAT SOUNDS FINE BY ME
Contact: Penny Noble
LEXX: THE DARK ZONE STORIES
Co-Developer, Story Editor
Co-Writer: 4X 90 minutes Science Fiction MOW
Producers: Showtime (USA) Salter Street, CHUM (Canada) TiMe Film (Germany)
Broadcast/Distribution: World Wide
LEXX: SERIES 2
Sole/Key Writer: 8 of 2Ox1 Hour Episodes
LEXX: SERIES 4
Sole/Key Writer: 8 of 24×1 Hour Episodes
Producers/Broadcasters: Sci-Fi Channel (USA) Canal + (France) Channel 5 (Britain) Sci-Fi Channel(Europe) RTL 2 (Germany) CHUM (Canada)
Broadcast/Distribution: World Wide
THE OUTER LIMITS, SERIES VII
Writer: One Episode: “Flower Child”
Producers: Trilogy Entertainment (USA) Alliance Atlantis (Canada)
PHUNKEE ZEE, GALACTIC DETECTIVE
Youth Adventure/Science Fiction/Comedy
Series Creator, Writer: Series Bible, First 3 episodes to date.
In development: YTV (Canada)
I WAS A SIXTH GRADE ALIEN, SEASON 2
Youth Science Fiction/Comedy
Writer: One Episode: “Hevi-Hevi Beat Craze Catastrophe”
Producers/Broadcasters: Alliance Atlantis, YTV, Fox Family, Disney UK
OLLIE’S UNDER THE BED ADVENTURES
Writer: One Episode to date– in production 2001/2002
Producers/Broadcasters: Collideascope, Teletoon
Hirschfield Resume Continued. Page 2
EL MUNDO DEL LUNDO
Series Co- Creator , Co-Director, Co-Editor, Performer
Co Writer: All 65 X 30 minute Episodes. Each episode was done in a single day.
Producers: Comedy Network (Canada) Salter Street Films
Broadcast/Distribution: Canada, Australia, Britain
STARHUNTER 2300 SEASON 2
Writer: One episode to date– in production 2002
Producers: Danforth Studios, CHUM, TMN
Writer: 16 of 65×30 minute Episodes
Producers: Red Apple Entertainment (Canada)
Story Editor BLOOD AND GUTS THEATRE
3×30 minute Animated Series Pilot In development : Adner Animation, CTV
Script Doctor DAILY TIPS FOR MODERN LIVING
6×30 minutes Comedy Producers: CBC, Salter Street Films
SCREENPLAYS IN DEVELOPMENT
Writer GEEKS IN LOVE
The Nightingale Company (Canada).
filmwerk berlin, Buena Vista (Germany)
Black Market Pictures (Canada)
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The LEXX names, characters, pictures and everything else associated with the series are the property of SALTER ST FILMS & TiMe Film-und TV-Produktions GmbH in association with Screen Partners. All rights reserved.
This interview is © 2002 FX.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission