EXCLUSIVE: The Hilarious Flula Borg Talks BOSS BABY Season 3, THE SUICIDE SQUAD & DIE HARD Spinoff Hopes
Following last week's launch of The Boss Baby: Back In Business season three on Netflix, DreamWorks Animation granted us an exclusive opportunity to sit down with one of the series' funniest stars.
After a lengthy hiatus, The Boss Baby: Back in Business is finally back for its hysterical third season, with all eleven episodes now available to stream on Netflix worldwide. To mark the occasion, Dreamworks Animation was more than kind enough to grant us an exclusive opportunity to sit down with one of the series' funniest stars, Flula Borg.
The series began in 2018 and picks up a short while after the events of the 2017 movie, continuing the adventures of Boss Baby (JP Karliak) and his older brother Timmy (Pierce Gagnon). The new season will see them thrust into an all-new adventure, as instead of getting the promotion he's always dreamt of, Boss Baby suddenly finds himself out of a job when Baby Corp fires him.
Borg, with his trademark wit and charm in tow, returns as the voice of the fan-favorite Mega Fat CEO Baby, who played a big role in the first two seasons and has another major role to play this year as he transitions from friend-to-foe-to-possible hero?
In our lengthy chat, he talks about the new season, very colorfully describes his experience working with James Gunn on Warner Bros.' highly anticipated The Suicide Squad, his hopes for a Hans Gruber-centric Die Hard spinoff, developing a relationship with Conan O'Brien, his love for NBA Legend Charles Barkley, being one of the earliest YouTube stars, his hit podcast and a whole lot more.
ROHAN: You’ve done a good mix of live-action and animated roles now. How does your approach differ for roles like Mega Fat CEO Baby versus a project like Pitch Perfect or Curb Your Enthusiasm?
FLULA BORG: For animation, you can really play very much. I mean, number one, you can wear any wardrobe you like. So, sometimes I would just wear a crazy shirt and maybe some MC Hammer pants. And then also, with voice, you can try anything because it’s just your voice. You don’t have to look at a new camera or try a new lense or anything. It’s just, “Oh, let’s try this thing, so you can very much experiment, which I love.”
ROHAN: With you having already done two seasons of this show, what was your experience returning for the third season? Did you find that with the writers having gotten to know you, that they were able to cater to your strengths more? Or was it more or less the same as the first time?
FLULA: No, you are exactly right. It feels like they have entered my brain while I'm sleeping and have learned exactly what I would say and do and so, when I wake up, they have this wonderful script and it’s already dope. I still like to play around and do things, but I feel like we are mind-melding, we have welded our brains together to make Mega Fat magic.
ROHAN: When you’re recording, do you usually record alone or do you record opposite someone? I know different directors like to do different things.
FLULA: I have found it’s really a tough schedule challenge because everyone on this show, many times are working other jobs, so if we can work in a group, it can work and it can be very fun to bounce things around. It’s like on the basketball court, I can throw you a regular pass or I can get fancy and throw it under my legs and you must react.
Many times though, you are alone and you just have to imagine you are in a very crazy world surrounded by adult babies, which I guess that’s how the Earth is anyways, but you know, it’s just animated.
ROHAN: This season, your character gets a very big standalone episode that helps fill in a lot of the blanks of what’s happened to Mega Fat CEO Baby over the hiatus, and he exits the episode essentially a changed baby.
It’s rare that we get to see this level of character development on a children’s show, especially nowadays, but this show pushes to be different and has done a really great job. What was that like for you, seeing this character evolve so much through these three seasons now?
FLULA: I loved it. I fully agree with you. I think because they knew that we were going to be telling a story in a long way, for a whole season, they really wanted to make it interesting and felt like giving this character, who’s designed to be more fun than the others, a little more depth would make him even more fun.
It’s especially a lot of fun for someone like me seeing my character experience growth and change. It’s like the Wonder Years when Winnie’s wearing glasses and I was like “Whoa, this is cool!”
ROHAN: Mega Fat also plays a big role in the finale where he essentially becomes the driving force behind the babies reuniting with their parents. It’s a very big moment, so what was that like for you? Just conveying that emotion through animation?
FLULA: I think every time you have that kind of responsibility, first you think “Am I allowed to do this? Am I good enough for this stuff?,” but then it’s like cooking a nice delicious chili con carne with your mother. If she says “ground the meat,” it means you’re allowed to do it, that you know how to do it, so it gives you confidence. I can ground the meat, I can do it.
ROHAN: I’ve seen you on Conan multiple times and you always kill. He’s someone that comes across as a genuinely good guy that seems really supportive of the comic community. Could you maybe speak on developing that relationship and rapport with him?
FLULA: Yeah, we very much clicked. It’s like the first time I purchased chocolate covered peanut butter pretzel bites. I just knew I would like to munch on them every day, as long as I can forever. This is how it was when I met Conan, I felt immediately we had a very tight connection. He would like to be friends, I would like to be friends and he checked the yes box. I’m very excited he let me do that.
ROHAN: Next year, you’ll be tackling arguably your biggest film and role yet with The Suicide Squad where you'll reportedly play Javelin. Is there anything you’re allowed to share about that film?
FLULA: I have no idea what I’m doing or who I’m playing, but I can tell you the snacks were delicious on set. Consistently tasty and plenty of napkins and there were toilets always close by so if I had to use a toilet, that was available to me as well. Oh and they had water. I think, at this point, the only thing I can tell you is that it was a very dope time and a very great adventure that I’m very excited for people to see.
ROHAN: I know a lot of actors have really loved working with James Gunn, what was your experience getting to work with him?
FLULA: Wonderful. A very wonderful director with very 20/20 vision... or 20/80? Whatever is the best vision for pilots, that is what James has. He could be a very delicious fighter pilot/director because he knows what he is wanting and then he is so scared also making sure he gets what he needs. It’s a very exciting experience.
ROHAN: You’ve been very successful on YouTube and I believe were among the first wave of talents to actually get their start there. YouTube started in 05 and I read you began posting in 07. Today, you see a lot more young people attempt to do the same with varying degrees of success, trying to get their big break on one of these social media platforms. What advice would you give potential future comedians or actors or whatever that are trying to get noticed?
FLULA: It’s a very interesting time. YouTube has changed so much in these years and when I first uploaded a video, it was to show my quiet cousin Jurgen some techno beats and now, people are doing unboxing videos. I mean, if you told me what unboxing videos were in 2007, I thought it would be watching a Mike Tyson fight in reverse.
So, things have changed so quickly, but I have to tell you, I think the most important thing to do is to make things. If you have something, it must come out of your brain and onto a screen or onto a sidewalk or any place. You just must make it. So, that is my only advice, you must make things, so people can discover and enjoy you.
ROHAN: I think by now the vast majority of young people have posted things on YouTube... I know I have myself. You’ve been doing this for a long time, do you still find yourself getting that sort of performance anxiety before you upload something and get that feeling of “will people like this? Will they not like it?”
FLULA: Absolutely and I can tell you Rohan, it’s not even just YouTube. It’s anytime I’m putting something into the sky. It can be Instagram, it can be a silly retweet, or anything. There’s always that anxiety of how will people receive it. Usually, it’s many times irrational, but, as you said, I think it’s hard to get away from that fear because you don’t know what will be the reaction. Will it receive 50 million views or will it receive just one thumbs down from your mother with a message that says “Try better, son!” You just don’t know.
ROHAN: You’ve guest starred on a lot of my favorite shows, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Silicon Valley, The Mick and so on - what was the most surreal project that you found yourself working on?
FLULA: That’s a difficult question to answer because every time something comes up, I’m confused that it’s happening to me. I’m usually looking around to see if there’s another Flula living with me in my same house and that these are the roles for him. The role I’m most surprised about is just the role of working in Hollywood. I’m very confused and actually should probably be teaching electrical engineering or baking nice, tasty biscuits somewhere in my hometown in Germany. I’m always surprised and always very excited when I receive employment.
ROHAN: Is there any show or movie out there that you’d love to get into the world of? I’ve heard you love Die Hard.
FLULA: Oh yes, my goal is to be in the Die Hard prequel GRUBER, which is about Hans Gruber and of course, I want to play Gruber. That is my #1 goal. My #2 goal is to become the German Rock, which in German, Rock means “Stein,” so I want to be Flula der Stein Borg.
ROHAN: Who were your comic inspirations growing up? I know, for me, I was born and raised in the States, but still looked up to Bollywood actors from India. I know you grew up in Germany, so were your early inspirations more local or did you look to actors and comedians from the United States?
FLULA: Yeah, you said it, I looked over to the United States and I just released an audiobook called Wanderlust, USA and I go to these different events in America, but the reason I go to them is because I was watching people, observing people from Germany and seeing them in movies and television shows. So many people that I really did love and I loved sports and things like that. Charles Barkley, I loved him, I found that he was a wonderful entertainer. Steve Martin or Bruce Willis. For me, it was not only just comedy, but it is really anything that was dope and exciting. Anything wonderful.
ROHAN: I know you also host a podcast, Boom Time. How’s that experience been for you? It’s an industry that’s just booming (no pun intended) right now, do you find it to be a more freeing medium to some extent?
FLULA: It is more freeing, yes. Anytime when you’re working with just audio, it can be a lot of fun. Podcasting, however you do it, can be even easier because you can do it whenever and wherever. You can do it while you’re in a lovers’ spat or when you’re just eating brussel sprouts and someone will listen to it and enjoy it. There are probably 35 brussel sprout fans out there that would download your podcast right now.
ROHAN: Boss Baby just debuted on Netflix and you have Suicide Squad coming up next year. Is there anything else you have coming up in the pipeline for this year or next? I know everything’s shut down right now…
FLULA: I know, very weird times. But, yeah, Trolls: World Tour will be out the second week of April, my audiobook Wanderlust USA is available now, just released last week, and then, on Netflix, something called Brews Brothers - Like you’re drinking brews, not like a “bruise” after you hit me in the head - it’s a Netflix series directed by Jeff Schaffer, created by Greg Schaffer. Jeff works on Curb Your Enthusiasm too, which is how we met. Great dude.
When Boss Baby is summoned to the Board of Directors for what could only be the culmination of his corporate journey – to finally be named CEO – he’s instead fired and dragged back down to earth when he’s blamed for every bad thing that’s ever happened to Baby Corp. Now surrounded by regular babies (gross!), Boss Baby must get his mojo back and assemble a new field team in order to return to the top of the corporate ladder.
The Boss Baby: Back in Business is now streaming!