Over a long and varied career, actor and comedian David Cross has been a part of many hugely popular franchises, from Arrested Development to the Scary Movie series. Cross also has had his finger in the pie that is tween entertainment. The actor was a part of the 2007 live-action adaptation of Alvin and the Chipmunks, and its two sequels. In an interview with Justin Long, Cross revealed making those films was far from being all fun and games.
“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 fucking thing forty times and at least you’re funny’ and at least this, you know – I’ve gotten that 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 shitty 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.”
Wow. Clearly, whatever happened on the sets of the movies, particularly Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chip-Wrecked, left a bad taste in Cross’s mouth. It is unsurprising, therefore, that the actor chose not to return to the franchise a fourth time for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Trip, which also turned out to be the last film in the series.
Interestingly, while David Cross has his problems with the franchise, a section of its audience had their own problems with the actor as well. Patton Oswalt even went so far as to publish an essay online where he revealed that he and Brian Posehn were first approached for Cross’s part in the films, and “we both threw the script across the room in disgust. David Cross caught it.
Following Oswalt’s remarks, Cross himself wrote an essay in response, in which he admitted that he had only signed on for the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies was because he was in need of money, not out of any particular love for the cartoons that gave rise to the films, and he hoped that coming clean about that fact would “lessens some of the sense that I’m some kind of whore sell-out who doesn’t care about anything but making money.”