Tony Hale talks about working with Beyoncé on a Verizon Super Bowl commercial

Beyoncé sent a shockwave to her fans on Super Bowl Sunday, using a Verizon ad to announce “Renaissance Act II” and dropping two brand new country songs. But BeyHive members with a penchant for half-hour comedies got a two-for-one deal, with the pop star appearing in the commercial opposite an unlikely partner: “Veep” and “Arrested Development” star Tony Hale.

Hill has spent years of his career playing eccentric beta men overshadowed by strong women: “It's my forte,” he says, pondering what his newest collaborator might have in common with Lucille Bluth (Jessica Walter, “Arrested Development”). ) and Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”). He felt at home next to Yoncé, but he wasn't quite sure how much she knew about him in return. “We didn't have much time to chat,” he laughs. “I didn't ask her: 'Have you seen my work?'

Verizon first began hinting at Beyoncé's announcement in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. In one teaser, Hill works hard at the lemonade standSaying, “Wait, she wants me to squeeze all these lemons myself?” In reference to Beyoncé's 2016 album “Lemonade” and the song “Hold Up.” In another, He starts chatting with ReNeighthe giant crystal horse featured on the 2023 Renaissance World Tour.

Then on Sunday night, viewers got to watch Hill try to keep up with Beyoncé's continued attempts to “break” Verizon's 5G network — a Beyoncé robot reveal, a Beyoncé concert in space, a Beyoncé Twitch account and more — before they decided to give the people what they wanted. “Okay, they're ready. 'Drop the new music,'” she says at the end of the commercial, at which point “Texas Hold 'Em” and “16 Carriages” have been released on streaming services.

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Hill spoke to diverse Exclusively about being there for Beyoncé's big moment.

I can't say you and Beyoncé are a couple I've ever imagined, but I'm obsessed.

We are the obvious pair!

I see that now.

I love the contrast between the strongest icon, and then… me! The man who usually plays the role of the castrated sidekick!

How did this come together?

It happened very quickly. I got a call from my agent, like, “There's a possibility of doing a Super Bowl commercial.” I was like, “This is great.” Then they said it was Beyoncé, and I said:What?My daughter went to her concert and told me all about it. I didn't go, but we had just seen the movie “Renaissance.” Obviously I'm a fan. The whole thing was incredibly cool and exciting.

The hard part was that I couldn't tell my daughter. My wife is a makeup artist, so she worked with me on the ad and for three weeks after that we couldn't mention it. “This is killing us,” we said. I asked her, “What are you guys doing?” So I said, “Oh, we're shooting this industrial film for a tech company.” She didn't think twice about it.

When did you finally tell her?

They've been sending out these teasers all week. I get this text. You go, “Dad?” I said yes?” “I'm with my friend, Lola,” she says, “and we're going to sort this out, and… Dad?” It's so encrypted. She's a big fan of Taylor Swift too It's all about hints and coding. picked up on Lemon and I say “hold on” at the beginning of the teaser. I didn't want her to see the teaser, because I wanted to record her watching the Super Bowl, but these teens are so smart.

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But I had one friend [who saw the lemon teaser] And he said, “Is it Martha Stewart?” I'm like, “Dude, you are road on.”

How was meeting Beyoncé on set? what did you talk about?

She's just the nicest person. She's obviously incredibly talented, but she couldn't be more humble. That's what's great about this work: when you meet these symbols, you see humanity. It's very casual and sweet.

We shot a lot in one day. She's had seven or nine costume changes — from a Barbie outfit to a presidential outfit — and she's been very busy. I would wear the same outfit, sit down and have craft services. But in the time I spent with her, she couldn't have been kinder.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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