Danny Pudi plays the meta film and TV buff Abed Nadir on NBC's cult-hit show "Community." His character revolves heavily around his relationship with Troy Barnes, the character played by Donald Glover who announced he would be leaving the show half way through the fifth season. When IGN caught up with Pudi on the set of the fifth season this fall, he opened up a little bit about what Troy's departure means for Abed.
"That's a lot to deal with. Man, that's the first time I thought of it... No! [Laughs] In some ways, like you said, it's a little overwhelming. At the start of the season, there is a little bit of a reset, where we all come together again. You see that not everyone is in the best place. In many ways we realized that this group has been the best experience for a lot of us. For Abed, certainly, it's been the best experience of his life. It's been the first time he's had a truly great friendship with Troy. It's the first time he's been accepted unconditionally by a group, in a social setting. He's learned a lot, but I don't know how much he's grown outside the walls of Greendale, that kind of thing. So we start to deal with that a little bit this year, which is really nice. There's a lot of simple lessons, going back to simple lessons, honest reflection. Honest reflection is how we start," Pudi said. "The big thing that we started with and we just finished up was addressing the loss of Troy in Abed's life, which is a big thing. I think for most people it's always been such a great component of our show, such a fun part, not just to watch, but as an actor, I love being with and playing with Donald, because we would show up to set, and they'd be like, 'What are you guys gonna want to do today?' It was always fun, because it was pretty easy. We would show up, and they'd give us Bert and Ernie and some sweaters, and we'd have fun making stuff up. The writers would give us great, great material to work with, and that was fun. So losing that aspect of the show I think was something that I was definitely scared of, and it was hard, but Dan and Chris and the writers did a great job of writing that story honestly and giving it a really good ending. It's a really nice, sweet ending, so I was excited about that. I guess the first third of the season was spent doing that."
Pudi was also willing to address the return of the show's creator Dan Harmon.
"It's amazing. I think that's a big part of why I'm saying these things, with Dan and Chris McKenna. It just breathes new life. It's another way to bring new life back to this group, which is so nice. The thing about our show is week to week it is so new and different. It feels spontaneous. It's good to keep having new energy here. It's just exciting. From the beginning, this all spawned out of Dan's twisted and funny and beautiful view of humanity. Especially for me personally, playing Abed, there's no one who's written dialogue for Abed in a way as honestly and as personal to me as Dan. So having that back is just exciting. It's really, really exciting. And with everything that's happened this year. It's been a really weird year, with Chevy leaving and now with Donald leaving, us never knowing if we're going to be on the air or not. It's just nice to have Dan back, because there's a little bit of 'we're starting again from the beginning.' We're re-grounding ourselves, and it's really good. The thing that I love about our show is I get to say that we're in our fifth season, we're starting syndication, and I still feel like we're just starting. That's really, really exciting. It's been really, really good -- and weird, which I love. It's very weird this year. It's a really fun, weird year."
You can read the full interview with Pudi HERE courtesy of IGN. Community Season 5 premieres Thursday Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. on NBC.