Scott Grimes & Jay Lee Interview: Orville, Season 3


“Orville” Seth MacFarlane is a tribute to Star Trek, which centers on the life of the crew of a titled starship exploring various parts of the galaxy. MacFarlane leads the cast along with Adrianne Palicki, Peter Macon, Jessica Zohr, Scott Grimes, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Penny Johnson, Gerald and Ann Winters.

The series has been in limbo for some time, despite the fact that Fox renewed “Orville” for season 3 back in May 2019. But after all the trials and tribulations, the film crew returned to “Orville: New Horizons”, and fans could not wait to catch up with all their favorite characters.

Related: What to Expect from Season 3 of Orville

Ahead of the show’s return, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with stars Scott Grimes and J. Lee to discuss season 3 of “Orville,” the transition from Fox to Hulu, Lee’s past as a Fuzzy Door administrator, and more.

Screen Rant: I’ve been a fan of “Orville” since the beginning, and “New Horizons” is no different. Jay, I find it so exciting, your journey from working as an administrator at Fuzzy Door to where you are now. What was it like for you, this evolution in your career working with Seth and Scott?

J. Lee: It’s a great blessing. When I first came to Los Angeles, I went out to play, I was young. I had a theater education, so I just knew that I would come here, explode and become a star. But that’s not how it works, right? 30 days after moving to Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to work as a secretary at Family Guy, and I had never seen the show, didn’t know who Seth was, but it was part of my journey. I took it and said, “Well, you know, we’ll see what happens.” I met Scott, he starred in “American Dad”! It was the first year of the release of “American Dad”, “Family Guy” was returned, and I became friends with Seth and many people.

If you had told me then that this would have been my trajectory, I would have laughed. I never could have thought that this would happen. It was an interesting trip. I think to close it, I think, just trusting myself and putting one foot in front of the other, and believing that the doors will open and be kind to everyone, because you have no idea who you’re going to work with.

Scott Grimes: I have to do this very quickly, what’s good about J. Lee is that, yes, he was a receptionist at Family Guy and American Dad. When I heard that he was ready for this, I wasn’t surprised at all, because I knew that he was an actor. Everyone else is like, “Is Jay Lee at the table in this place?” What Jay Lee had to do because of that, I think the obstacles you had to overcome to get this role were even bigger because Seth wanted you. But you still had to persuade 20 other people to hire you, who knew you were working in reception, just because they went. “Oh, so he’s not an actor?” and it was like, “No, he’s an actor!”

J. Lee: This is a great moment. And, very quickly, it’s Seth MacFarlane, and it’s a show, and it’s huge. I’m sure anyone who’s my type or who can play John Lamarr has probably tried to get that. I’m sure every agent has tried to get this from their clients. But luckily, Seth, when he told me about it, we were already buddies. He’s like, “Hey, I don’t know if you want to do that sci-fi thing that I got, but I got this role.” I’m like, “Okay,” and here we are.

It’s amazing, it’s a real inspiring story for many others in the industry. What was it like for the two of you to watch the evolution of your characters and this series throughout the seasons?

Scott Grimes: First of all, I think all three seasons seem like one season to me. We’ve been doing this for so long, and since it’s not like traditional television, we’ve been working for long, long, long days and months on 10 episodes, right? I’m just so happy that we have the chance to do three seasons, the first season is obviously more comical. I knew Seth wanted to make the show the way it is this season. He kind of connected the second season with what Fox might have wanted and what he wanted, and then it’s Seth MacFarlane. So I’m just happy that we got the opportunity to do the show he really wanted.

J. Lee: Yes, no, I 100% agree.

Scott Grimes: Also, I’m just proud and happy to work. I’ve said this a couple of times, but a lot of shows haven’t survived the pandemic, and quarantine continues or something like that. Because of Seth and Hulu, and all the producers and people who are working really hard to make this safe, we have to stay at work.

I’m glad you did it too, because you’re right, there were even series that Netflix renewed, but which were retroactively canceled. A lot of people I talked to today mentioned that they received the scripts before closing, Adrianna and Penny said they hadn’t read them, they wanted to wait until production started. Was it the same for the two of you, or did you just dive in as soon as you got them?

J. Lee: No, I’ve been waiting, I’m just like them. I didn’t even want to watch the episodes they sent out to people to watch. Seth even ha