'Reno 911: Defunded' Stars Talk 'Unbelievable' and Unrehearsed Jamie Lee Curtis Cameo (Exclusive)
Reno 911!: Defunded, the newest season of the hilarious cop-comedy series, features several impressive cameos, not the least of which is one from Hollywood legend Jamie Lee Curtis. In an exclusive conversation with PopCulture.com, Reno 911! cast and creators Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Kerri Kenney-Silver dished on Curtis' unrehearsed and "unbelievable" performance as a superior officer tasked with evaluating the Reno Sheriff's Dept. "Not only is Jamie Lee Curtis' stuff, never scripted... I think everything we talked about doing was like two or three emails that were a two or three sentences total," Lennon revealed.
Offering more background on how Curtis' cameo came to be, Garant explained, "She pitched to us. She was a fan. She wanted to come on and be somehow in charge of us from a different department. She wanted shorts like [Lt. Jim Dangle, Lennon's character] and an eye patch. So, we not only didn't rehearse it, we didn't write it, and we didn't discuss it. She came into the briefing room and just started yelling at us. And actually, we did one take; it was wonderful."
Kenney-Silver offered some high praise for the Halloween Kills actress, saying, "The balls on her to show up and that, and on that day, the first thing she came up to each of us, she's like, I just realized she's standing there in an eye patch and short shorts and she's like, 'I just realized I'm really nervous.' She goes, 'What if I really like, can't improvise?' And I was like, 'I think you're probably going to be okay, Jamie Lee Curtis, 'cause you're Jamie Lee Curtis.' And then she just was like, boom, took charge, nailed it. And we just sort of were her, you know, her playthings and yeah, just unbelievable."
Garant then shared, "If you look at that scene, you can tell it's hard to take your eyes off her, but the second time you watch the scene, look how on our toes everybody else in that scene. Everybody else, we have no f—ing idea where this is going, or when is she going yell at us?" Lennon chimed in, "That's also, it's also our happy place. Like we truly love when someone all great improv games are usually about status in some way or another. And when someone's going to yell at us..." Finishing his sentence, Kenney-Silver said, "It's the best."
Reno 911!: Defunded continues the misadventures of the faux-Reno, Nevada Sheriff's Department, find the officers facing off against parodied celebrities, ANTIFA, Hatzolah, and lawn gnome thieves. In addition to Lennon, Kenney-Silver, and Garant, the new season also brings back Niecy Nash, Cedric Yarbrough, Carlos Alazraqui, Ian Roberts, Joe Lo Truglio, Mary Birdsong, and Wendi McLendon-Covey. All episodes of Reno 911!: Defunded is now streaming on The Roku Channel, which does not require a Roku-specific streaming device, as anyone can download the Roku app and stream the series for free.