Don’t worry, it’s not an illusion. In this edition of Celebrity Overtime, we ask Arrested Development and The Millers star Will Arnett about his love of the game, the Maple Leafs, and his role reversal with Henrik Lundqvist.
Stars like hockey too, and everyone once in a while they’re more interested in chatting up last night’s game than they are in pontificating about their latest TV or film projects. In our weekly “Celebrity Overtime” feature, we take five minutes with various celebrities to discuss their love of the good old-fashioned game.
Will Arnett is a renowned fan of the game. Since leaving Toronto to star in series like Arrested Development, Up All Night and most recently, CBS sitcom The Millers alongside Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale, he’s carried his Leafs love loud and proud. He even has a friendly behind-the-scenes rivalry with The Millers creator Greg Garcia, a hardcore Caps fan.
Now Arnett is hoping his fandom translates onscreen to his character, Nate Miller, and in real life via his kids.
Q: So are your kids playing hockey yet?
A: No, not just yet. But we live most of the year in Southern California so it’s kind of hard on the hockey front. But they’re getting into an appreciation of the game. And they’re full on Leafs fans. Oh yeah. Full on Leafs fans.
Q: You used to play a lot. What about now?
A: Yeah, I did, but I don’t really get to play that much these days. I was at the Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Sports awards in the summer though, and I wore a Leafs jersey and Henrik Lundqvist took shots on me—that was pretty epic.
Q: How are you feeling about the Leafs this season?
A: I think the Leafs are in excellent hands. They’re with one of the smartest, most brilliant minds the hockey universe has ever known. He’s one of the greatest guys on the planet. Mind you, Brendan Shanahan is also my buddy.
Q: All-time favourite Leaf?
A: Without question, No. 17, Wendel Clark. That is my man.
Q: Aside from Toronto, you’ve lived in New York and Los Angeles, so who did you cheer for in the Final last year? Did you have a tough time?
A: I did. I did. I got to go to a lot of Rangers and Kings games in general too, so I was very torn, very, very torn.
Q: What’s it like having to wear Washington garb for The Millers?
A: Ha. Well, Greg and I have talked about it … I think I did wear a Caps shirt last season. It is an issue. He and I have discussed it and his whole thing is that he’s the boss and if he wants me to wear something with Caps stuff on it I’m going to have to do it.
Q: Do you think Nathan could ever become a Leafs fan?
A: Maybe! Maybe I’ll like, threaten to walk out if Greg doesn’t shoehorn that in.
Catch Will Arnett in The Millers, Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET on CBS or Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on CTV.
Amber Dowling is a freelance lifestyle/entertainment writer, yoga and wine enthusiast and all-around player of sports. She currently serves as the vice-president of the Television Critics Association and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows across North America. An advocate for Canadian Television and a lover of the medium in general, Amber founded TheTVJunkies.com as a spot for fellow enthusiasts to connect and collaborate. She previously spent almost eight years as the EIC for TV Guide Canada.