As Oedipal wreck Buster Bluth on the Emmy-winning Fox series Arrested Development, Tony Hale played a character whose hand was bitten off by a seal, whose mother enlisted him in the Army at the urging of a Michael Moore look-alike, and who had an affair with his mother's best friend, played by Liza Minnelli.
Hale was in Raleigh last Sunday for a special charity screening of his new film, Stranger Than Fiction, to benefit Interact of Wake County, a nonprofit private agency that works with victims of domestic violence and rape/sexual assault.
In Fiction, Hale plays Dave, a friend of Will Ferrell's character who longs to attend Space Camp. The film, which opens on Friday, offered Hale a chance to play a character opposite of the 11-months-in-the-womb Buster. "It's funny, because Buster, all he wants to do is be safe," said Hale, who loves the character's passion for space and science fiction. "Dave just loves life, and he is so adventurous."
Fiction screened at the Rialto Theater, where more than 200 people showed up to applaud Hale's scenes and ask him questions about his work afterward. About 150 members of the audience attended a cocktail party with Hale after the screening, which raised more than $11,000 for Interact.
"They do very valuable work, and they desperately need funding," Hale said of the organization, for which his sister, Kim Andraeus, is a volunteer. (She helped organize the event.)
Hale, who told the Rialto audience he's embraced "weird sidekick" roles, will next appear on screen in Unaccompanied Minors, a comedy from Freaks & Geeks creator and occasional Arrested director Paul Feig. He also has a regular part on the upcoming NBC series Andy Barker P.I. with Andy Richter.
Stranger Than Fiction opens this Friday in theaters throughout the Triangle.