When "Arrested Development" premiered in 2003, the standout character was Buster Bluth.
Buster was memorable for being far stranger than the typical Fox sitcom character. Although his personality was aggressively harmless, there was certainly something deranged about actor Tony Hale's portrayal of the youngest Bluth brother on the show. It was almost as if the character existed in the uncanny valley, where only some great evil could have turned him into such an eccentric, humanoid figure: in other words, the New York City subway system and its riders.
After Hale appeared on a HuffPost Facebook Live segment, we caught the actor in the hallway (hale-way?) to talk about "Arrested Development." In this conversation, Hale revealed the basis for Buster Bluth ... a typical, neurotic New York City subway rider.
"He’s just anxiety-ridden," said Hale of his character, explaining that the character was modeled after subway riders who have to deal with "the awkwardness of having people on a subway and just the anxiety." Buster Bluth is simply a man who has been aggressively beaten down by the MTA.
As Hale said in a previous Reddit AMA, he lived in New York City for eight years and observed various subway characters he apparently would later draw inspiration from. "New York was so tense," Hale told HuffPost, "That I could just watch people and how they dealt with the anxiety, and [Buster] was just a combination [of these personalities]."
Hale also said that the character was a "9-year-old trapped in a 32-year-old’s body," which also doesn't sound too dissimilar from the cliché trust fund New Yorker. Now, if you're ever riding the subway, you can worry about turning into the real-life incarnation of Buster Bluth.