While you were preparing for an unforgettable (and perhaps unrememberable) New Year’s Eve, David Cross was dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s on a lengthy screed defending his role in Alvin And The Chipmunks, an appearance just a little higher profile and less indie credible than say his turn on “Fitter Happier” for OKX. Not that we’re passing judgments on the Alvin’s hipster cred: that comes by David’s admission, after addressing some snide shots from random bloggers (damn Google Alerts) and not so random bloggers (Patton Oswalt, for one). In an essay entitled “Allllllviiiiin!” on the Bob and David site, David writes:
Hello, David here. I’ve internally debated the merits of addressing my appearance in, (and thus tacit condoning of) “Alvin and The Chipmunks”. I am not stupid nor unobservant. I knew going into this movie that I would be eating a lot of delicious shit for it. Usually I wouldn’t give a shit about what everyone’s feelings are about it, but I wasn’t prepared for the level, or amount I should say, of vitriol that’s been flung about like so much monkey poo. But then I read Patton’s snide comment in his blog about how he and Brian were offered the part and how they then chucked the script in disgust only to have it hungrily intercepted from it’s intended trajectory into the incinerator by me, a money hungry whore sell out, (I’m paraphrasing) … So now I will speak my piece and move on (I will move on, I can’t speak for the rest of you. You might harbor ill will towards me for a lifetime, or at least until you have kids who actually enjoy the movie).
The Crossian apology unfolds in four “Mitigating Factors,” each’s thesis laid bare and excerpted here, but each one requiring a full reading ’cause he’s funny.
[Cross shot from Bonnaroo 2007]
MITIGATING FACTOR #1
I have not seen the movie so I can’t really comment to whether it’s an “evil” or “dangerous” “piece of shit “or not. The reason I haven’t seen the movie is because I am not eight years old. I am an adult and don’t see children’s movies.
I was too young to enjoy the original “Alvin and the Chipmunks” because I wasn’t born yet. And I was too old to enjoy the later incarnation in the 80’s, so it holds no precious memories for me to defile.
I like to work … Up to working on “Alvin” I had not worked in six (SIX!) months. That is an eternity if you’re an actor. Think about not working for two months with no hope of anything on the horizon. Now triple that. It was the longest period without work since after “Ben Stiller” got cancelled (the show, not the man) and I was going nuts.
I love Patton and think the world of him and his talent. That will never change, no matter how many times he chooses to wear a kilt and hungrily guzzle sugary sweet, Sierra Mist (Oh snap!!) in an unintentional metaphor for everything being discussed here. What Patton doesn’t know (I’m assuming) is that the part was originally offered to me, I said, “no way!”, then it was offered to Patton, Brian, and I don’t know who else. Then, months later, after everyone turned it down, they came back to me with a much more generous offer. I then said, “yes way!”.
The final point comes with a corollary: David’s long sought and finally found a country home to get away from his 1100 sq ft East Village apartment.
I asked the owner if he’d take some of my credibility as payment. He looked at me as if I was an alien with A.I.D.S. speaking some intergalactic gobbledy-goo. I had to patiently explain to this country bumpkin about my indie hipster cred, and I would now like to cash it in. This rural rube was so backwards and ignorant that he couldn’t even conceive of how financial markets work and simple free market capitalism. I tried again to explain the concept of the value of “credibility” and “artistic integrity” but he refused to take it in exchange for the house. This guy was a fucking idiot! But what could I do? He wouldn’t take no for an answer. If I wanted that cottage I would have to pay him money. Sigh. So I used my “Alvin and the Chipmunks” money to pay for the down payment. Seriously, I totally did.
Lest you think this is all a big suck up to the film studio, D says Jason Lee “brings an empty void … to the film.” Also worth noting, while David was out in L.A. working on the Chipmunks flick, he and Bob polished a pitch for a new HBO show, and the two teamed up with Brian, Scott, and B.J. to get working on a new movie. That’s a promising bit, but this is even more fascinating (if you come to Stereogum for your real estate trends news): With David buying his retreat and the Munson Diner opening there, it looks like Sullivan County is the new Manhattan.