"This last film was literally, without question, the most unpleasant experience I’ve ever had in my professional life," he says of 'Chip-Wrecked,' where he reprises his role of record executive Ian. Without naming names, he says, "It’s safe to say I won’t be working with some of those people ever again. Not the actors. And the director [Mike Mitchell] was great. We got along. There were a couple of people, though…it was just a really awful, unpleasant experience." Which isn't to say the entire 'Chipmunks' experience has been rotten for him. "I got recognized in China," he says, listing off the places 'Chipmunks' has taken him. "I got recognized in a teeny tiny town in Mozambique. In Zimbabwe. Botswana. It’s crazy."
'Margaret' mixes the bizarre and the mundane into a series of complex comedic storylines, though Cross is mostly happy to be working free of studio interference. "They haven’t really given me too many notes," he says of IFC. "Some of their notes about story structure were actually good, which is not always the case. They would say things, and we’d go back and forth, and I’d be like, 'Are you fucking kidding me? There’s no way I’m doing that! And eventually they’d let me get my way.' " But creating, producing, writing and starring in his own series has given him a new appreciation for his other acting jobs. "It’s way more work, but it’s more satisfying at the end of the day," he sighs happily. "Not that I’m not proud of my work in other things, but the writing is fun, shooting is fun, editing is fun. I love all aspects of it, and they all satisfy different [interests]. It allows me to treat acting in other jobs the way it should be approached by any actor, which is, this is like a paid vacation. Unless it’s something like 'Alvin and the Chipmunks,' you don’t bitch about it. You’re so thankful to be there, y'know, they feed me well. You’re getting paid to have fun."
In the film, "Dirty bombs are going off in the downtown area, you don’t see it, you just hear it," Cross describes. "You hear cop sirens, helicopters, you see a guy in a hazmat suit, and [the characters are] just not putting two and two together. It’s a very talky, comedy indie. And it was a character I don’t get to play very much. Kind of a straighter guy who has a little secret that’s revealed at the end."
What most 'AD' fans don't know is that apparently Cross, who memorably played noted "never-nude" and accredited "analrapist" Tobias Funke almost had a shot at playing one of the infamous Bluth brothers. "When I read the script, Tobias was the one where I got him immediately," Cross says. "I said, 'I know exactly who this guy is, I know how to play him.' And that was the deal, that it was recurring. I had just moved to New York after living in LA for nine and a half years. I had been here for three years and was like, 'Man, I’m not going back there.' And, we were shooting maybe the second [episode], and I called my girlfriend, and I told her, 'This thing is fucking great, I have to do this.' So I jumped on right there."
"The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret" begins its second season January 6th on IFC. Meanwhile, you can get more Cross when 'Chip-Wrecked' opens this Friday.