Tony Hale Talks 'Weird' Return to 'Arrested Development'

'This whole thing was very surreal,' Buster Bluth actor says

Tony Hale
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Tony Hale
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Returning to Arrested Development for a fourth season after so long away was a jarring experience for Tony Hale, though the Buster Bluth actor didn't take long to settle back into the role. "This whole thing was very surreal," Hale told Vulture. "It's like being in a time warp. It was even weird coming back to Buster."

When asked why, Hale replied, "Just because in your mind you're thinking it's been years. People have an idea of Buster, and you think, 'Can I match that expectation?' I will say once I heard [Lucille Bluth actress] Jessica Walter's abusive, demeaning voice, it just all clicked in. It was like flipping this immediate switch."

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Although Hale has yet to see any of the completed new episodes, he is especially excited about the element of surprise that was a trademark of the spontaneous and unpredictable show. "I remember when they'd come up to me, like, 'By the way, Liza Minelli's going to be your girlfriend.' 'A seal's gonna bite off your hand.' 'You're going to go into the army.' Like, what?" he said.

He had the same feeling when reviewing storylines from creator Mitchell Hurwitz for the new season. "To be honest, while we were shooting this new season, I'd be reading the scripts like, 'I have no idea how this is all going to mesh together,'" Hale said.  "I know Mitch has this big plan all in his head. I can't wait to see it put together."

Though Arrested Development's long-awaited fourth season will be released at all at once on May 26th, Hale was unaware of the unusual premiere. "Is that what they're doing? I hadn't heard that," he said. "Oh man, I haven't even thought about it! I think [Michael Bluth actor] Jason [Bateman] said it's all like a big puzzle? I don't know man, it's all a mystery to me."