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Why Freddie Prinze, Jr. Has Quit the Big Screen for TV

Freddie Prinze Jr. is famous for a few things. He's the son of groundbreaking '70s comedian Freddie Prinze ('Chico and the Man'), he's married to Sarah Michelle Gellar and he played bleach-blonde Fred in the live-action 'Scooby Doo' movies.

Now add TV star to that list.

Prinze Jr. is the star and executive producer of ABC's new comedy 'Freddie.' He plays a chef living in Chicago with his niece, his sister-in-law and his grandmother.

The actor recently spoke with AOL Television's Sean Doorly about his famous dad, big studio movies and why he married 'Buffy.'



What drew you to television?
I worked very hard for 11 years to clean up the image of my father's name. Initially, this was a test to see if I had done a good job and to see if families would be comfortable with that name in their home. I understand this may sound insane to some people.

Why would it sound insane?
The whole "man with a mission" philosophy. Every time I read something about my father, it would be so negative. We share the same name and it bothered me to no end. I wanted to reach as many people as possible and show them something different. That is initially where it started, but it has rapidly transformed into something else. Now I have this family away from my family. I'm with the crew and the cast every day for 15 hours a day and I love them all.

What is it like working with the "Notorious B.A.G," aka Brian Austin Green?
(Laughs) I just love him. I'm so glad people have responded so well to him. The first time he read for the show, that was it. Everyone knew who was getting the part. He was so funny and had such an interesting take on what this guy's philosophy on life was and then some.

What is in store for the show and your character the rest of this season?
We have a great story arc coming up where I have a steady girlfriend on the show. My grandmother on the show... finds this girl who is basically the last virgin in Chicago. Former Miss Universe, Denise Quinones, plays the character. Over the course of the next six weeks, I fail miserably because it is too much pressure for me to date a virgin. That is where Freddie's immediate future is -- finding that first relationship. He may get a lot of women, but... he doesn't know what love is yet.

Is it difficult each week playing a guy looking for love when in real life you have the love of your life at home?
It's acting and acting is not rocket science. You have to play things for real and if you don't believe it, no one else will. I know what love is, but there was a time in my life when I thought I knew what love was and I was so far off. I think that's where Freddie the character is at in this point in his life.

Your character is a chef, but who does the cooking in your household?
That is all me. Food is such a big deal in my family. My mother was magical in the kitchen. I was single for the first time in my life before I made the movie 'Boys and Girls.' And in order for a girl to get a second date, I would take her to this restaurant and depending on how many course she made it through that decided if she got a second date. Sarah made it through all seven courses, so I married her. That's how big food is in my family and we try to make it that big on the show.

What about Sarah doing a guest spot on 'Freddie'?
Yes, we chat about it all the time. She would love to be on the show. The first season would be so obvious, so I think season two at the earliest. I will put her in Emotions Anonymous with Allison.

What is the difference between working in movies and TV?
A movie is a marriage with a guaranteed divorce. You have to fall in love with all these people and then never talk again. [In TV,] people are all committed to each other and they all have committed to spending their time and giving part of their lives to something. I assure you that there is not a person on that stage that doesn't care for this show as much as I do. That is amazing to me. I did it for my dad not for their dad. I see how hard they work and how much pride they take. It blows me away every single week.

Would you ever go back to doing movies?
My answer today is that I will never make another studio movie ever again. I never enjoyed the experience. The only fun I ever had was working for Miramax and making independent films. I made a movie last fall in New York for like three dollars and I'm so proud of it. I had such a great experience, so it was the opposite of the last two studio movies I made. I've only made three studio movies in my life. I didn't have fun making 'Scooby Doo.' I didn't have fun making 'Summer Catch.' I didn't have fun making the second 'Scooby Doo.' I was thrilled that kids liked them, but the amount of nonsense that went on -- like getting one script and landing in Australia, receiving a completely different script and being told that is the one you have to shoot. If I'm not passionate about doing something than I don't want to do it. TV affords me control, freedom and fun.