Ed Asner as FDR: Event presents Hollywood star

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Fredricksen in the 2009 Pixar film “Up.”

Asner, 83, channeled the grumpy yet playful spirit of Lou Grant most of Monday afternoon, challenging his audience by saying, “I bet you’re trying to figure me out. Keep at it.”

The audience kept at it.

The question and answer session, which ran a little over an hour and was moderated by Pacific’s political science professor Jim Moore.

The session covered as wide-ranging of topics as dream roles, advice for up-and-coming actors and stories about his time on the 1950’s Hollywood blacklist.

When asked about his views on current trends in the movie and television industries, Asner expressed dismay at what he called the “crash-bang” of special-effects-heavy productions.

“What cacophony of noise,” he elaborated. “The finesse of human beings is lost.”

Responding to a question asking about his favorite comedian to work with, Asner said that “Ted Knight [his colleague on The Mary Tyler Moore Show] was the funniest man I’ve ever known,”he added jovially that “was a little nuts.”Asner saved the most praise, however, for Will Ferrell, with whom he acted in “Elf.”

Regarding his performance as former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Asner remarked “I wanted to see if I could do a one-man show,” continuing with a wry “I think I can.”


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