Comedian David Cross starred in three of the four Alvin and the Chipmunks movies, but it was making the third entry that he found intolerable.
Actor and comedian David Cross has opened up about his terrible experience filming Alvin and the Chipmunks 3. Based on the iconic 1950s novelty record, the three chipmunk brothers have gone on to international fame, with everything from television programs to toys and films to their credit.
After maintaining a well-known persona throughout the 1980s thanks to NBC’s successful Alvin and the Chipmunks animated series, it took almost two decades for the IP to gain another major foothold on popular culture. The concept, in which three chipmunk brothers (Alvin, Simon, and Theodore) are taken in by a struggling songwriter and end up achieving music industry fame, was prime for a reboot. As a result, the first movie arrived in 2007 and was soon followed by three sequels. To date, every entry in the franchise has done considerably well at the box office, though reviews have not always been favorable. For his part, Cross, who plays the villainous Ian Hawke, did not return for 2015’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, as his contract only stipulated he star in three Chipmunk films.
While speaking with Chipmunks co-star Justin Long on Long’s Life is Short podcast, Cross revealed that although his experience filming the first and second movies in the franchise was fine, filming the third entry, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked was awful. Cross seems to have conflicted feelings about having been involved with the franchise, and his time on the third movie definitely left a bad taste in his mouth:
Doing the third Alvin and the Chipmunks movie, was so, uh, they we were so disrespectful of me and so mean, like just petty and weird and I could tell you a bunch of different anecdotes of like – it was really strange because when you think of, and let me put this through the… to preface this by saying I can’t tell you how many parents over the decades have been like, ‘Man, thank you for doing that because I had to watch that f*ing thing forty times and at least you’re funny’ and at least this, you know – I’ve gotten than comment a million times, it always makes me feel better. That in conjunction with kids who are like ‘Hey! You’re uncle Ian!’; kids loved it, and it was international, I mean I got recognized in Mozambique, on a beach in Mozambique, but, it was nuts. But, yeah, they were so shiy to me and I always like, you know, the stuff that’s funny, that’s not in the script. That’s stuff that I’m working on and I’m a professional and I come in and I know my lines and I’m there when I’m supposed to be and I come up with new things and I pitch things.
For fans of Cross, it always was a little strange to see the fearless comedian star in a movie series as kid-friendly as Alvin and the Chipmunks is. But the reality of life as a working actor is that sometimes the roles that arrive aren’t always the most ideal ones. As Cross related to Long, his fame has grown substantially since doing the movies, but while it’s great to be recognized internationally for his role in a children’s film series, what fans really want from Cross is his familiar brand of humor without the hassles of having to keep things kid-friendly.
But of course, for those Cross fans who have children, the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies are a blessing – or at the very least, Cross’ involvement in them is. It’s somewhat hard to believe that Cross’ relationship with the series lasted three films, given his notoriously outspoken nature. However, the comedian’s involvement was contractually based, and it seems that his treatment during Alvin and the Chipmunks 3 was actually the final straw for Cross.