Tell us about your
new show, 'The Class.'
Basically, its about a group of people who were in the same third
grade class, but theyre all randomly brought together for this 20th
anniversary. For some of these people its been 20 years since theyve
seen each other. Running around and playing with everyone in third grade,
you have no idea the life that is waiting for you. Everyone is in different
places and the show is about all these different lives. When you see someone
that you knew from that long ago youre forced to think about how
your life has gone and has it gone in a way that makes you happy or not
so happy. Its a funny show.
Why should people
tune in? What makes this show different?
Its really funny, but the jokes have some room to breathe. Its
not setup, punch line, setup, punch line. Its not that sort of exhausting
sit-comy feeling of Oh my God, I cant believe the studio audience
is being forced to laugh every three seconds. Theres a lot
of humanity in there. The different thing about our show is that theres
no central location where we hang out every week. The show follows our
individual lives and the characters intersect here and there. I think
thatll be interesting for audiences to see a sitcom that has elements
of a drama.
Tell me a little
bit about your character, Ethan.
Hes very optimistic. He was an over-achiever in high school and
college and life in general. Everythings has gone his way. He has
this plan to be a doctor and have a beautiful wife and dog and house.
In the first episode, its starting to fall apart. His fiancé
leaves him. All of a sudden, his idea of this perfect world has been broken.
Its fun for me to be able to go through this journey with this guy
of discovering what the world is like for most of the rest of us.
Where did you go
to grade school?
I went to this place called Crossroads in Santa Monica.
Do you keep in
contact with anyone from there?
Most of my friends are from elementary school or high school. I have a
couple of college friends too. One of my best friends from kindergarten
just produced this pilot that won the Audience Award at the Independent
Television Festival out here. Its really helpful to have someone
whos known you for that long. You cannot really pull anything.
In the movie 'Stand
by Me,' the narrator says "I never had any friends later on in life
like the ones I had when I was 12." Do you think thats true?
I think youre unaware of yourself as a child. Everything is out
in the open and when you watch someone go through the transformation of
a teenager into an adult and you see them start to harden and cover up
their insecurities and their weaknesses. You know something about them
that is so sweet and innocent and it pulls you inside to all their actions.
Whereas, if someone else just saw that same person, they might say, God
that guys just a total jerk without knowing them. You've got
insight into whats really going on underneath the surface, a sense
of their history. But it can be a good thing and a bad thing. A lot of
people really like to completely reinvent themselves so they leave all
of their old friends behind. Theres nothing wrong with that, but
its been nice for me personally to remain grounded with my friends
who have seen me skin my knees and fall out of a tree.
In the first episode,
your character is head-over-heels in love with the girl. Have you ever
Yes. I met my girlfriend in sophomore year of college. Weve been
together for almost seven years and, yeah, at first I didnt think
I had a chance in hell with her. But once I realized she liked me and
I really liked her back, it was very crazy for both of us. We both fell
very hard for each other.
When you go to
an audition, does your famous last name help you or hurt you?
Im positive that it has some effect, but I feel like most of the
discussion about that is done when Im out of the room. From my point
of view, I feel a sense of both things. In one sense, I feel like when
I go inside an audition, people will be predisposed to be nice to me.
Especially since my dad was such a nice guy. It would be different if
he left a bad taste in everyones mouth. He was a really genuinely
nice guy, so theyll give me the benefit of the doubt at the beginning.
But at the same time, Ive gone into rooms where they expect me to
be able to do exactly what he did. Which I can't. And I know I cant.
No human can. Unless I spent all my life working on an impression of my
father, this would be kind of sad. I know that I wont be able to
deliver exactly what they want, so that can be kind of difficult.
If you could one
day magically play any other character on television, which one would
I would love to have played Eddie Haskell on Leave it to Beaver.
The bully guy that turns all nice whenever Mrs. Cleaver is around. Just
his shameless two-facedness. On a dime, hell go from threatening
violence to Oh, Hello Mrs. Cleaver!
What do you remember
about the third grade?
That was the year that I got my favorite hat that Ive had now for
almost twenty years. I wore it all the time. And people hated my hat.
It got to a point where people started to appreciate that I still have
this hat for some reason. I wore it to the Emmys a couple of years
Who gave it to
My parents got it for me. We went on a trip. My dad had to do something
for work in Florida so we went to Walt Disney World and I got it there.
But its not any Disney characters; its just these weird cartoony
What are some of
your favorite TV shows?
Recently my girlfriend and I have been getting into Columbo.
I would have to say the British Office. I watch it with my
jaw wide open every time a new episode comes on.
What do you say
to people who think the sitcom is dead?
Centuries ago, they decided that every idea that will ever be thought
has been thought. I think thats dangerous because you can always
reinvent something and make it better.