Portia de Rossi returns to the role we love

When Portia de Rossi started sporting a cropped new ‘do last year, it was because her Arrested Development character Lindsay Bluth is going through some life changes.

“My character actually goes through a bit of a transformation so I have several looks that go along with that,” Portia said during the Netflix TCA day. “Because you have to remember too the time span is from 2006 to 2012. So many different hairstyles and looks. It was part of the character. It’s part of Lindsay making a change in her life.”

Portia was frightened to say too much more (“Mitch is gonna kick my ass!”) but she did say that Lindsay Bluth will become “enlightened” when Arrested Development premieres on Netflix this May. There will be 14 new half-hour episodes and each episode will be from one character’s point of view, which means Lindsay will have one all her own, as well as being a part of the other Bluth family stories. This was the only way, creator Mitch Hurwitz said during the show panel, all of the actors could participate in the resurgence of the show, as he joked they are all too expensive now.

“It was really amazing,” Portia said of getting back together with her Arrested Development castmates. “I don’t think we really talked about that enough today how incredible it was for all of us to be together, to play these amazing characters again, just relive something that was such a special time for us and to have the opportunity to go back and do it all again, and to me it feels very similar to the original series, although everyone’s saying it’s different, it just didn’t feel different to me.”

In case you’re not an AD fan, the show originally aired on Fox from 2003-2006 but was ultimately cancelled because of low ratings. But the show found a viewership on DVD and fans demanded more. In the last six years, the creators and cast have fielded questions about a possible movie and a return to TV which finally culminated in the Netflix agreement that will bring us the new installments all at one time, which is how a lot of the show’s fans came to watch it in the first place.

During the panel, Portia said she marathoned Breaking Bad all summer, but her current favorite is Homeland, which she watches at home with wife Ellen DeGeneres. Because both of those shows are heavy dramas, I asked what kind of comedies they enjoy.

“Honestly, my top three comedies, and I have to include Arrested Development because it really is my favorite, I’m very lucky,” Portia said, “is the original Office with Ricky [Gervais] and Flight of the Conchords. I loved Flight of the Conchords so much. I can rewatch that I just love it. They’re great guys.”

Portia and Ellen will be watching the Golden Globes from their couch this weekend (“which is always the best way to watch any of these things,” Portia said) but the pair stepped out this week for the People’s Choice Awards where Ellen won her 13th award for Favorite Daytime TV Host. The couple both donned black, and they frequently match hues when going out together. Portia holds up her end as part of the power couple by consistently appearing on television shows, most recently the shortlived Mockingbird Lane.

“I have to admit that I was very sad it didn’t go because it was a great group of people,” Portia said. “There was a fantasy element for me, not only as the character but being able to work with Bryan Fuller and Bryan Singer. It was kind of wonderful.” Now Portia is looking at scripts for pilot season, so she could be back on our screens sooner than later.

In the meantime, Portia said she’s open to doing film work but hasn’t actively pursued any, and could also see writing another book in her future. (Her first, a memoir called Unbearable Lightness, came out in 2010.

“I loved it,” Portia said of writing the book. “I wrote it completely on my own. I absolutely loved it. I would love to write a novel at some point if I had an idea, which I don’t. Which is very sad. But I would love to. It’s something I would love to do.”

Arrested Development will debut on Netflix in May.