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#Nick Offerman’s Glorious, Indiana Jones-Like Return Explained by Andy Siara

“Nick Offerman’s Glorious, Indiana Jones-Like Return Explained by Andy Siara”

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for The Resort Episode 7, “La Pubertad Matrimonio.”]

The Resort cast Nick Offerman for a reason. The seventh episode of the trippy Peacock comedy sees Offerman’s Murray return after multiple-episode hiatus (15 years in the world of the show). And the episode opens with the reveal of Murray’s new Indiana Jones-like persona. If you’ve been craving a Ron Swanson-like character from Offerman in recent years, complete with the actor’s delightfully absurd humor, this is it.

Here, The Resort creator Andy Siara (Palm Springs) breaks down the return of Violet’s (Nina Bloomgarden) father: how director and co-star Ben Sinclair pitched the role to him, how the character developed from there, and more to TV Insider ahead of next week’s finale. Plus, learn how the show’s score pulled from John Williams scores to give a true Indiana Jones feel behind Murray’s addition to the jungle-perusing team.

Nick Offerman is back. I’ve missed Murray. With his specific comedic background, did he improvise anything during takes? And if so, did any of those improvised moments make it into the final cut?

Andy Siara: There was definitely stuff like that. That’s the greatest thing about Nick. When we pitched this to him, Episode 7 and 8 hadn’t really been written yet. I had ideas for them, and this was like in January or February. Ben had just gone on a on a hike with Nick back in LA and pitched the show to him. Then we sent him the first four scripts, and then I said, “but this is where the character goes.” I basically said, “I know the bar to do this at, and this is how I want to bring Murray back.” And that’s the whole opening scene [in Episode 7], where we see that, oh, of course, he comes back.

That’s all that we had at that point. And so, once he signed on and I was like, “OK, we have Nick, I’m now writing it for Nick, for sure,” that was a very freeing and helpful thing to do, but also knowing that what I ultimately want to have happen with all the actors is they end up knowing who this character is better than I can and trusting their instincts on it.

A perfect example of that is actually one of his first lines of the whole show. At that point, he already knew that whole fedora part of it would be the first thing we’ll see in Episode 7. It’s like, “Oh, you are now back as our Indiana Jones or my Michael Douglas character.” But he threw out that Indiana Jones quote in the big, long shot at the end of Episode 1 where he says, “Snakes, I hate snakes.” [Laughs]

Nick Offerman as Murray Thomas in The Resort Episode 7


I didn’t put that together!

The whole setup payoff stuff, I was very happy about that, because it was properly set up by him.

In [Episode] 7, he was really good at giving different versions of the same line. The first time that he and Baltasar (Luis Gerardo Méndez) see each other again, after 15 years, what’s in there now is just a fraction of what they ended up doing. We had to think that in a perfect world, we could have had an hour-long episode and took five minutes of it. It would’ve been them hurling insults at each other. [Laughs] Baltasar’s line was like, “You look ridiculous, you look like a piece of s**t,” and then they go back and forth, like, “No, you look like a piece of s**t.” They started talking about the conditioner that he uses and all that. Ultimately, we had to really scale it back because again, we had still a half-hour show.

Please release that as bonus footage. I’d love to see that so much.

Yeah, we should. Everything has to kind of be streamlined just because of the time of it all, but the greatest moments working with Nick were almost the between takes. He’s just a true joy to work with, and his Murray is a really, really great, kind of like a different ingredient to throw into these last two episodes. Every episode kind of throws something different at you, and then bringing him along for these last two — anyone who’s watching closely will assume that he’s coming back.

I did miss the kind of kookier elements. We had that with Alex (Sinclair) in the first four, and then with Illán Iberra in Episode 6. Luis Guzmán, by the way, I loved him so much in this. I was so sad we only got one episode with him. But then we get Nick back, which is great, too. It’s like there’s one character dedicated to the kookiness in each section of this, which is fun.

That’s the thing: We have several characters that are like big swings. On Nick’s final day, I gave this little goodbye speech for him and I said, “This show is about taking some big swings. Hopefully, the swings aren’t bad, but we take a lot of big swings.” And as wild as Alex and Iberra are, I feel like Murray is one of the biggest swings we take.

Luis Gerardo Mendez as Baltasar, Luis Guzman as Illan in The Resort Episode 6

Luis Vidal/Peacock

There’s a grand, very John Williams-esque musical moment when Murray steps out of the helicopter and sees Emma. What did you want the music in this series to feel like in this episode and throughout the series at large?

We start with a bunch of needle drops in the first episode with the first song, David Byrne’s “Strange Overtones,” lyrically kind of setting the stage. And then, the Bridge at St. John’s song intentionally like telling the audience what’s to come. Lyrically, it’s kind of just hitting you over the head a little bit, because we’re in the first seven minutes of the show and we have the freedom to do that a little bit. So much of that first episode are these needle drops that I always felt like start primarily in that world, and then have some score. And when the score comes in, it should go big. We’re doing this handoff, so that throughout the whole series, we do less and less needle drops and then more and more scores until the finale is all score until the final song of the show.

As we jump into these different modes of the show — which I look at like a trilogy — musically, I always felt like it should be that, too. We are intentionally moving in and out of some other genres. And so, the end of the first episode is this big, sweeping, John Williams-esque kind of score for that big, long shot where we’re introducing the Oceana Vista with some elements of creepiness in there. Our composer, Andrew Carol, is incredible. I should have said that at the top. He poured everything into the show and into the score. None of it was possible without him. I think he’s really gone above and beyond.

I remember specifically in Episode 3, there was a version of something he did in there and it was just before we hit the mix stage. I think he and I were both like, “It’s just not right yet.” And then he throws out this kind of Bernard Herrmann/Hitchcock meets John Williams score for a piece for the end of Episode 3. The score kind of evolved into 5 and 6 from there.

Nick Offerman as Murray, Cristin Milioti as Emma, Parvesh Cheena as Ted, Luis Gerardo Mendez as Baltasar, Gabriela Cartol as Luna, Michael Hitchcock as Ted, William Jackson Harper as Noah in The Resort Episode 7


For Episode 7 specifically, yes, we always knew Indiana Jones was gonna be one of the touchstones, but in our little sound spotting session where we’re going through and talking about a sound to achieve, I said to look at The Lost World: Jurassic Park score. Specifically, when they land on this new island, they’re traveling across this new island in these big trailers, and they go find Julianne Moore with stegosauruses. From that point on, this whole team is moving through the jungle to try to find this abandoned, old visitor center. I feel like that moment when Nick gets out of the helicopter, I was like, “Oh, Andrew took the note.” [Laughs]

The coolest thing was Andrew had an orchestra to do Episodes 1, 2, and 3 cues that are in the end of each one of those. And then we got an even bigger orchestra to do Episodes 7 and 8. That’s part of why it sounds like we just went for it. This is the episode where yes, there’s our indie sensibilities and stuff, but let’s just go big, let’s have fun. We are in the jungle with these characters that we have been wanting to all be in one place at one time together, so let’s sell a feeling here. Especially if it’s all about nostalgia, let’s make sure the nostalgia hits on all levels. The score is especially part of that appeal.

Part of the whole, I guess, hypnotic process of making a show about the dangers of nostalgia is we also need to make sure we hit these nostalgic cords pretty hard. I think that’s what Andrew did with this one, and I feel like in Episode 8 as well.

The Resort, Thursdays, Peacock

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