Documentary Now Season 4 Shooting “All Over Britain,” Won’t Feature Bill Hader, Says Fred Armisen

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The post Documentary Now Season 4 Shooting “All Over Britain,” Won’t Feature Bill Hader, Says Fred Armisen appeared first on Consequence.

All three of its creators have pretty steady day jobs (starring in an HBO dramedy, hosting an NBC talk show, guest-starring in every other TV show being made), but that or even a global pandemic won’t stop Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and Fred Armisen from continuing to produce new seasons of Documentary Now! And when Armisen recently spoke with Consequence regarding his role in the Netflix original comedy The Bubble, he did so from London, where production on Documentary Now is currently happening.

“Now that everything’s starting up again, as soon as Documentary Now started, you know, I couldn’t get here quickly enough,” Armisen says, while offering a few details about what to expect from the new season, which will include these three “documentaries,” as described in the official IFC release:

• Paying homage to fashion documentaries “3 Salons at the Seaside” and “The September Issue,” TWO HAIRDRESSERS IN BAGGLYPORT is a fly-on-the-wall portrait of a hair salon owner and her staff in the small coastal village of Bagglyport as they prepare their yearly stylebook.

• In the vein “When We Were Kings” and other great explorations of sport, HOW THEY THREW ROCKS chronicles the Welsh sport of Craig Maes, also known as “Field Rock,” and the iconic 1974 bout dubbed “The Melon vs. The Felon.”

• Drawing inspiration from “My Octopus Teacher,” MY MONKEY GRIFTER follows a filmmaker who forms a deep, emotional, and financially taxing relationship with a monkey who may have ulterior motives.

Armisen says that shooting for the series isn’t limited to London, but “all over Britain. Wales, Manchester, all over the place.” One reason for shooting abroad was that some of the (unspecified) actors appearing in this season were working out of the U.K., but he also added that, “We like to shoot in different countries. It turns out it just makes it look better. So little by little, things came together that were like, it looks like it’s gonna be England and Wales. It just turned out that way.”

While six episodes were greenlit this season, Armisen notes that, “We barely have it together. Sometimes it’s six. Sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less. It’s always very last minute. We sort of throw things together via email and it somehow works. Every season we’ve done has been like this — it’s just complete chaos. And I think, for some reason, the chaos makes it feel more like a documentary. I almost feel like we do it on purpose without realizing it.”

Armisen confirms that like Season 3, executive producer Bill Hader’s duties on HBO’s Barry will be keeping him off-camera this season. “Bill can’t even make it here, but he’s a producer and a creator and writer on it. And we’re all in touch about it — we have a good text thread going,” he says.

Even Armisen (who only appeared in three of the episodes in Season 3) isn’t in this season this much. “Somehow this turned out where I’m also not on camera as much. I’m in maybe three episodes or something like that, but I was away in Romania shooting something else, so I couldn’t do them all. So this to me was like, oh, I could do some of it, and help with the writing and producing part of it.”

For him, staying off-camera more helps contribute to one of the show’s ongoing missions: “I think it’s another thing we kinda like, if it doesn’t look too much like a TV show — the goal always was for it to look convincing, for someone to happen on it by mistake and to go, I think this is a real documentary. So I don’t mind, you know, not being in it all the time.”

Adds Armisen, “If something doesn’t ring true, it’s not gonna be as effective. And we really do want the show to be effective. I really do want someone to mistake it for the real thing.”

No release date has been set for “Season 53” of Documentary Now, hosted by the returning Helen Mirren. Seasons 1-3 are streaming now on Netflix.

Documentary Now Season 4 Shooting “All Over Britain,” Won’t Feature Bill Hader, Says Fred Armisen
Liz Shannon Miller

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