Netflix‘s new, zany animation series Inside Job takes its viewers on a whirlwind of government conspiracy theories, loud-mouthed extraterrestrial beings, and the wildest antics. It stars actors Lizzy Caplan (Mean Girls), Christian Slater, and Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine) in lead roles.
Inside Job is a comedy that follows a dysfunctional team of government employees who are tasked with tackling the most ridiculous conspiracy theories in the world— an oddly topical subject matter that’s best combined with immature humor and cartoon characters.
The acclaimed actor and ’90s heartthrob, Christian Slater, voices the irritating-yet-lovable alcoholic Rand Ridley, father to the lead protagonist Reagan Ridley.
Rand is a genius and previous head of the shadow organization Cognito Inc., however, he was fired after adopting the same behaviorisms of the conspiracy theorists. While he’s self-destructive and unpredictable, Slater brings an awe-factor to the character with his brief moments of sincerity and quick wit.
Speaking about his character, Slater told Monsters & Critics, “I gravitate towards characters that tend to be a little bit outspoken, somewhat outrageous, and have strong opinions. I was thrilled. I took this a line at a time and it just seemed to build on itself and created its own momentum.”
He added, “The creator was able to piece it all together in a way that is a lot of fun and outrageous. As much as this guy believes he’s the smartest guy in the room, there is a real, genuine likability to him and his relationship with Reagan does continue to develop and they do get closer and closer.”
Monsters & Critics had the opportunity to chat with Christian Slater and his co-star Clark Duke about their characters in Inside Job and their personal thoughts on conspiracy theories.
Clark Duke introduces Brett Hand
Comedy legend Clark Duke, best known for starring in Greek and Kick-Ass, joins the cast as Brett Hand — Reagan’s “Business Family Forever” friend-not-friend. While his character seems very straightforward, there is a lot of complexity at play. Brett desperately craves acceptance and companionship, due to having a rough childhood that is heavily addressed in Inside Job’s standout episode The Brettfast Club.
Duke leaned heavily into his character’s “desperation” in order to bring him to light. He shared, “Brett’s just trying really hard. He comes from this tough family of these rich, overachieving people that don’t really love them that much and he desperately wants their validation from everyone around him at all times.”
Later in the interview, Duke highlights how he was able to tap into his character through his relatability. “[He’s] somebody that wants validation and is cripplingly insecure, that’s a pretty universal relatable thing to wrap your head around. In that way, it’s like anybody else, you just got to find that germ of the character that you can wrap your head around and sink into,” he expressed.
“For the most part, everybody can relate to having problems with their family and trying to make friends at work, and adapting to a new job, so you just kind of latch on to this stuff.”
Clark Duke and Christian Slater talk conspiracies
Turning it up a notch, it was time to talk about conspiracy theories — the heart of the show. Talking about whether or not the show’s dialogue pushes the boundaries in our current world of anti-vaxxers, microchip-obsessors, and Pizzagate, Slater expressed that he was pleased that Inside Job was ahead of its time.
He said, “It’s interesting, as you know, we started doing this show three years ago, maybe two, but well before conspiracy theories became mainstream.”
“There was a moment where we were looking at this and I went, ‘wow, this is really close, all of a sudden, to what’s happening in real life.’ So, certain tweaks needed to be made in order to to make it more digestible — to a certain degree. But, that’s one of the other great things: You can go back with animation and you can adjust it, have more fun with it, and even make it a little bit more topical than it might not have originally been,” he continued.
Diving into Slater and Duke’s personal encounters with conspiracy, especially at their time of recording, Duke shared that he did some research on the lizard people conspiracy which argues that reptilian creatures control the planet by gaining influential power in human form.
The comedian said, “I actually did look up the lizard people thing one day. I always heard about the lizard people, but I didn’t know like where it came from or what it meant, or that kind of thing. Pretty wild. Pretty wild stuff.”
Chiming in, Slater commented that “the fact that people actually believe this stuff is equally wild and horrifying at the same time.” The two actors then agreed on the conspiracy theory that shocked them the most: “flat-Earthers.”
Slater joked, “Instead of William Shatner going up [to space], send one of those guys up there and let ’em see the d*** curve of the Earth. Take the top guy that thinks the earth is flat and send them up, Jeff [Bezos].”
Check out our full interview:
Inside Job is currently streaming on Netflix.