Louis C.K. Ups Star Quotient for New Season

Melissa Leo, Jerry Seinfeld and Robin William join third season of "Louis."

Comedian Louis C.K.’s critically acclaimed FX series has always delivered an adept and sometimes uncomfortable blend of hilarity and realism. To up the stakes in the new season the show’s lured in dramatic heavy hitters like Melissa Leo, comedy superstar Jerry Seinfeld and another performer who straddles the line, Robin Williams. The star/writer/director provides a taste of the upcoming travails of his onscreen alter ego.

On the decision to introduce Louie’s previously unseen ex-wife Janet:

“I’m introducing new elements each year. I try to do something new that’s new to the show. The stories that I wrote really led me to her. The show has really broken off into fiction much more in the last year and this year, and so it’s really not drawing from my life so much anymore. This ex-wife character is completely not anything like my real ex-wife. And the actress [Susan Kalechi Watson] was so good…I really liked what this woman did, so I decided to stick with the character.”

On this season’s guest performers:

“I got a lot of great people this year. I won’t tell you all of them, but Melissa Leo is in the second episode…I love Melissa Leo very much as an actor, and so she was in my head. When I wrote the thing that she’s in, I wrote it in my head for the kind of women I knew in Boston growing up, and then it just hit me Melissa Leo would be amazing. She really approached it the way I wanted her to as an actress, you know?...F. Murray Abraham comes back; he’s one of my favorite guys ever.  Robin Williams does a thing on the show later in the season. There are a lot of guest stars that are piling up, and I’m excited about it.”

On Jerry Seinfeld’s extended guest stint:

“The tenth, eleventh, and twelfth episodes of this season are going to be a whole story of their own. It’s going to be basically a three-part story, and it’s what we put the most effort into, and Jerry is in that. I don’t want to say anything about any of it because it’s got a lot of guest stars, and a lot happens.”

On why standup comedians so frequently have great acting skills:

“I do love standup. I love comedians. They’re my community. And also, I guess, because I know so many of them, I know the value of them. I know what they can do. Comedians work great as actors because they’re good under pressure. A lot of actors you have to sort of make them feel like everything’s going really well to get a good performance out of them. But if you have a comedian on the set, you can tell them, “Hey, you really are screwing this up,” and then they just get better.”

On the reaction of his real-life daughters to be depicted, kind of, on the show:

“My show is an adult version of the same humor that I share with my children. They know whenever they see me on the show or onstage acting really angry, they just think it’s hilarious because I’m not really like that. If I was an angry, detached, jerk of a father, then my show would probably be some kind of a nightmare for my kids, but they just think it’s funny because Daddy’s not like that. I mean, I get mad like anybody else does, but being able to laugh about getting mad is very healthy, and my kids know that. We share a lot. And really, I can only speak for them to a limit.  They are my kids, but when they turn 18, you can ask them.”


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