The Lion King is finally hitting theaters everywhere tomorrow, which means the star-studded cast of the film has been busy promoting it. Billy Eichner, the actor known for his roles on Parks and Rec and American Horror Story, will be voicing Timon opposite Seth Rogen’s Pumbaa. In addition to starring in what’s expected to be one of the year’s biggest money-makers, Eichner’s series, Billy on the Street, just earned its fourth Emmy nomination, this time for Best Short Form Variety Series. Before the nomination occurred, ComicBook.com’s Brandon Davis got the chance to interview Eichner during The Lion King press junket and asked the actor who his dream guest for Billy on the Street would be.
“Meryl. Meryl Streep. We always try to get Meryl. We will get her one day, hopefully. Big Little Lies season five,” Eichner replied.
While Streep is certainly a big ask, it wouldn’t be completely out of the realm of possibility for the comedian. The show has had an array of A-List celebs and even managed to get First Lady Michelle Obama for an episode. While five seasons of Big Little Lies seems unlikely, we hope Eichner gets his wish.
During the interview, Eichner also discussed stepping into an iconic role like Timon:
“You know, I didn't want it ... it wouldn't be worth doing unless we could bring something new to it. And Timon and Pumbaa are iconic characters. So we wanted to find ways to nod to the original so that people weren't disappointed because I think people would be a little disappointed if we completely changed the tone of the character. So we didn't want to do that. And so we tried to find a balance,” he explained.
“We ended up improvising a lot, which at the time seemed like just an exercise. But when you watch the finished product, a remarkable amount of the Timon and Pumbaa dialog was improvised. And it ended up in the movie. And honestly, you can tell because it feels conversational. You can tell we're in the same room together and that we're listening to each other and playing off each other. And you know, I think it gives it this very organic conversational tone that matches the photorealism of the movie," he added.
In addition to Eichner, the new version of The Lion King stars Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen, John Oliver, John Kani, Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, Alfre Woodard, and James Earl Jones.
The Lion King hits theaters everywhere on July 19th.