I wish I could have put you all in my pocket for this set visit. While in L.A. on a recent press trip, we stopped by the set of Grandfathered and had the opportunity to sit down with the cast. It was nice because we broke out into small groups and interviewed two cast members at a time. Sort of like a round robin and it worked really well because it was a more intimate setting and gave us time to actually have a conversation and not necessarily a formal interview.
[Tweet “Tune in to @Grandfathered Tuesday, 1/5 at 8:30 PM ET/PT on FOX. #Grandfathered “]
While we were there, we had the opportunity to walk around the set and take some pictures. You’ll see pictures of Sara’s house and a couple of the bar throughout the post.
Ravi Patel and Kelly Jenrette
Our group of bloggers sat in one of the couch/table groupings in the bar area of the Grandfathered set and the first set of actors to join us were Ravi Patel (Ravi) and Kelly Jenrette (Annelise). Hilarious is how I’d describe Kelly. She made these faces while Ravi was talking and I couldn’t help but laugh. I know we were supposed to be talking about the show, but Ravi wanted to give us the scoop on his project, this bar saves lives.
Ravi told us that this bar saves lives is a company that he started with other actors, including Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell, and Kristen Bell. “For every bar that we sell, or that you buy, we donate a lifesaving meal packed to a child in need. The kids are days away from dying of hunger and they take this meal packet that we donate.”
They have flavors like Wild Blueberry Pistachio and Madagascar Vanilla Almond and Honey (that sounds fabulous!). Plus Ravi says that they just launched a nut-free kids’ line exclusively at Target.
[Tweet “Save on @thisbar with coupon code GRANDFATHERED. @showmetheravi #Grandfathered “]
Ravi was feeling “terrible not talking about Grandfathered.” So, we threw a few questions their way to get the conversation started. Kelly started talking about her “love/hate relationship” with Ravi. Ravi says that he messed with Kelly constantly. Kelly responded with “All the time. And they continue to pair me. No matter how many times I ask them to stop.” They were totally joking and they were laughing through this entire conversation.
Ravi told Kelly to share what she said to John [Stamos] in her audition. “First of all, I thought that I would be working more with John. […] The casting director of the show called me in and they wanted to test me. When I found out that it was going to be a chemistry read I was going to say to John, from the moment I watched Full House, I knew that he and I would work together, even though that was only four months ago, it still doesn’t make this any less special.” Four months people! That was funny. But, maybe you had to be there.
Kelly continued “When I got to the test, I was sitting in the lobby and I was really nervous. I [decided] I’m not going to say that. That’s so stupid! And then I was like, Kelly, say it! So, I go in. John pops up, and I say John! Chris Koch (the director) was like, well, you passed the facial recognition test. Then I [said] John, from the moment I watched Full House…He said, you knew we were going to work together? I said, yeah! And even though that was…He said, four years ago? It’s four months ago. It still doesn’t make this any less…He was totally in on it. He hugged me. He said let’s hire her and I was saying let’s do it! So we did the audition together. We did it three times. The third one was the charm. Then I got a call a couple days later that I booked it.”
Ravi told us that he was actually auditioning for a different pilot and they were casting this role and that they were looking for someone who was “50 or 55 years old to play John’s buddy.” They hadn’t found that person and were looking for someone funny, so the casting director asked if he would come audition. They may have said “you’re not right for it, but if you do well…maybe they’ll rewrite it for you. And then that’s actually what happened.”
The banter and chemistry between Ravi and Kelly is so much fun. They went back and forth on who keeps the other in line and on track. Ravi mentioned while they are shooting and they are off camera they have a tendency to prank each other, or get in each others way. “Trying to mess each other up at our jobs.” Kelly says that she never does that to Ravi, but he gave us another example where he missed his cue because she was messing with him.
How do they get anything done on set with all this comedy? Kelly said that “we do get focused at times. It’s such a great energy on set.” Ravie added, “We really like each other and I think it helps the scenes quite a bit, actually. Everyone is genuinely good people. Fun to be around. We’re joking around between takes.”
Ravi and Kelly both agree that the writing on the show is really good. And they don’t need to improvise much, if at all.
We were interested in finding out what their favorite episodes have been. Kelly said the episode where her character wanted to be a soul singer is her favorite. “She says that she grew up and got a real job. She sings in this episode […] It’s not good singing. At all. But I do sing. So it was challenging to sing bad…as badly as I was supposed to be. It’s supposed to be really bad and I do not disappoint at being bad. I remember rehearsing over the weekend and my fiance was saying ‘that doesn’t sound bad.’ I was saying that it does! It’s horrible! When I got here Chris Koch was saying that it needed to be worse than that. So, when you watch it you’ll see what I’m talking about.”
Ravi added, “I just watched it and I think it’s really good. I thought it was really funny. I feel like each episode is getting better and better. It’s taken me a while to kind of settle in to understand my guy and […] consistency in how I perform. I feel like I see the tone of the show as settling in more as I see more episodes. The chemistry just seems to be improving. It’s cool to see. I hope we are around for a second season because I feel like every episode is so much better. It’s got so much heart, too.”
I have to agree that as the season has progressed, each show has just a little more heart that the last and that the chemistry between the cast of characters is really nice. Ravi and Kelly were so fun to interview, but I’ve got more to share!
John Stamos and Paget Brewster
Can I tell you a secret? I love, love, love Paget Brewster. Seriously. Love her. And the fact that I was sitting down with both Paget and John at the same time? Okay, a little over the moon. Let’s get started.
Once again, it comes down to chemistry. If you’ve watched Grandfathered, you’ve seen the chemistry between John [Jimmy] and Paget’s [Sara] characters and it’s no different in real life. They have a friendship and they both have a unique sense of humor that’s kind of dry and really funny. One of the blogger’s hair was a pretty shade of purple and John commented that he liked it and that Paget should dye her hair that color. 😉
When asked about being cast as a grandparent John explained, “When we came up with the show it was first pitched as ‘this swingin’ dude,’ and I thought about a kid. Then we added the grandkid part of it. But, the most interesting character to me – and I think I was right because it’s turning out how it is, is the woman that I got pregnant. Here’s a woman on television, who’s single, in her mid-forties, and she’s not afraid to say it. Not afraid to call herself a grandmother.”
He continues, “I think women across the United States are really loving this, and the best actress we could ever find to do it is this one (Paget). Seriously. We had some little issues about women that maybe were afraid of playing that age. Or they had a little to much stuff going on. And this one came in.” John says that Paget’s character “plays great against me because I don’t want to be called grandpa. Call me anything but grandpa. And I don’t want to be my age.”
Paget adds, “I thought, assuming the worst about Hollywood, I auditioned thinking I’m not going to get this. They’re going to hire a thirty-two year old blonde chick and pretend she’s in her mid-forties. Like that’s TV in Hollywood. Then I came and auditioned with him and had a blast. I was saying that I wish this would work out. It’d be great.” John agreed and so it was.
[Tweet “.@pagetpaget tells us why she didn’t think she’d get the part on #Grandfathered”]
Paget doesn’t have kids and says that Grandfathered is “so well written, as a real women, a whole adult women with a point of view. It’s not a typical grandmother. That’s not what TV and movies usually read for. This is great. What’s funny about it is the idea of him [John] as a grandfather. I just love that part. I’m thrilled that I get to be a grandmother. I get to have a baby, but I don’t have him all day.”
Adding more about the character, John says “another thing about this character that helps me and that also sends a good message is ‘hey, you old guy, stop chasing these young girls. Get over that. Especially in this case and probably happens in a lot of people’s lives. Maybe the one is right in front of your face, but you have to compromise a little bit. Maybe it’s not twenty-five, […] but what you get in return is a real woman, who’s smart, who’s beautiful, who’s funny. We have a lot in common in this particular case. Those themes are important for me to get out there. This character really helps show that.”
Paget says “it’s risky. They get close. What if they mess up what they have now? Which is, they get along and they goof on each other, but there is an attraction there and there’s a history there. So it seems like Jimmy and Sara start to get close and that feels good. It feels right. And he’s really fun to do scenes with.”
We were interested in the slow build up between Jimmy and Sara. Will it continue to be a slow build up? John says yes. “We always try to throw obstacles in…an old boyfriend shows up. I’ll just get jealous because he’s kind of a second father to Gerald [Josh Peck].”
John mentioned that the names he wanted when he was developing the show were Gerald Lewis and Jimmy Martino. Martin and Lewis!
We were interested to find out if it was a conscious decision to make the cast ethnically diverse. John answered “It was conscious. We’re socially conscious about that. The bottom line to me really is the best actor for the role. I wanted at least half of the cast if not more diverse. It wasn’t specific. There’s a real movement in Hollywood to make that happen.”
“When we started thinking about this show, Full House was one of the early unconventional family shows. Single parent family, raising three kids. Three men in San Francisco. Straight men – raising three kids. That was 30 years ago. As the years go by, every year there’s more divorce. More single parents. So that is part of the staying power of that show. This is an unconventional family show. We’re all over the place, and not married. But we’re learning to be a family.” Paget adds that “we’re a whole family, but all of us are single.”
She continues, “Gerald has a baby with Vanessa because they got pregnant by surprise. I sort of judge her. First, she’s wrong for my son, but that’s exactly what we do. And I didn’t tell him [Jimmy].
John adds, “I think that overall it’s about learning how to love your family or your mate, or kids. I’m learning how to be a father and a grandfather. There’s tools that I think a lot of people can learn from.
[Tweet “”It’s about learning how to love your family or your mate, or kids.” – @JohnStamos #Grandfathered”]
John on what it’s like to work on set with toddler twins again. “When we came up with this show, I wanted to do a family show. I like the unconventionality of it. I fought for the show to be on and I’m not doing this for my health. I want to be on TV, I want to keep going. And if people want to see me with a baby, I’m going to give it to them.” We were totally laughing at this. 😉 Then he starts talking about how he took the twins to Disneyland last week. Before the interview was over, he pulled out his phone to show us the pictures from Disneyland. Super cute.
Paget said the twins are “so much fun, and their mom and dad are wonderful with them.” John was saying that “I’m super protective and I’ve gone over to the parents […] I don’t know much about being a parent, but we all have tried to make this a happy environment for them.”
Those 15 minutes went by way too quickly! Last, but not least is one more interview.
Josh Peck and Christina Milian
When asked about the chemistry on set, Josh had this to say. “It’s magical. I think we’re just so incredibly luck to have brought this group of people together and that we all like each other so much and there’s a mutual respect. We’ve all gotten to see each others characters really grow.”
[Tweet “”I feel like we’re all rooting for each other.” – @ChristinaMilian on #Grandfathered”]
Christina mentioned that “I feel like we’re all rooting for each other. It’s fun because I feel like when we’re watching a scene or we’re watching a show, we’re almost admiring each others acting and ‘wow, I could do this better or oh my goodness, she did that so well. There are moments when Ravi has had me laughing my ass off, same with you [Josh], and John.” She says that they’ve become a little team and a real odd family.
Josh says “It’s true because we all come from totally different worlds and we’re not alike.”
Since Christina is a parent, but Josh is not, we wondered how it challenged them. How has it challenged Josh since he’s not a parent in real life. He let us know “it’s a real trip. It can’t even be as close as challenging as it is for John to be a grandfather. I don’t mind it at all. People keep saying ‘are you getting a baby soon or are you going to be a dad?’ I’m like I want to be an uncle. I want to be able to love them and eat them up and then hand them off. The girls we have that play our daughters – it’s really hard not to fall in love with them.”
Christina added that “I have to say between him and John, I really admire the way that they are with the kids, considering they don’t have children. The same chemistry that the guys have with the girls when we’re not shooting, they’re playing with them, they took them to Disneyland. They’re real grandfathers, and it’s super sweet. It’s not some photo op. It’s very refreshing.
We asked Christina how she balances life and work and children. She had a great answer. “It takes a village. It really does take that. My mom and my sisters are very helpful, as well as I do have a nanny. I do full time filming plus promotion and music and it could be quite difficult. Somehow I balance it. I’ve got two phones, so I’m on two phones all the time, I handle a lot of business on my phones and I started to invest my money into people that could help me when I can’t do everything. Or to help me get those things done instead of trying to handle it all. I’d rather do it that way, invest right back into myself and my time so I can have my time as a mom. I do bring Violet to work, sporadically if she’s not in school, I’ll have her come by the studio. She’s five and she just started kindergarten.”
Christina fancies herself a dreamer and likes to have ideas and think them through. She says when she became a mom she realized “lists are important. I’m able to get those things done whether I’m writing it down or it’s in my head, because that what it becomes when you have a kid, it’s a balancing act. You’ve got to remember everything especially for them.”
[Tweet “”I really respect that Gerald is so comfortable with who he is.” @PortableShua on #Grandfathered “]
When asked about their favorite aspects to each of their characters, Josh jumped in with “I really respect that Gerald is so comfortable with who he is. The fact that he doesn’t make any apologies for being a little odd or eccentric at times. He’s ultra smart and totally secure in who he is. He’s like a bigger picture guy and he’s not really about the small talk impressing people. He’s like no, I’m a good person and that’s all that matters. I’d love to have a little bit more of Gerald’s confidence and his fashion sense. Sometimes the shoes he wears are rough, I call them birth control.
Christina agreed that “they’re so rough like old boat shoes.” When talking about her character, she says there are so many things she loves. “She’s feisty, she’s quirky, I think she’s super quirky. She’s a free spirit and she says what she wants. She says what she feels bu there’s no ego or anything about it. She’s not looking to fit in and she says what she wants to say – whatever is on her mind. You’ll get to see this as it progresses, but I love her sense – her personality is just a little bit out there.”
“The quirkiness. She’s a real girl, so her hair is a little messy, it’s not all giant lashes and all this stuff and that’s what I love. I’m a real girl in real life and I want a girl that’s watching this show that relates to it and she’s like ‘oh my gosh that’s so me.’
We have to talk about Grandfathered for a minute. We were wondering if Vanessa has any clue that Gerald is into her? Christina says that “I think she does. She just knows he’s there.” Then there was discussion between Christina and Josh asking if Vanessa used Gerald, Christina did say she thinks so, but that it was all good. 😉 “I think their friendship gives her comfort, it doesn’t make her feel she has to do anything else.”
Of course, the big question. What was it like when you found out you would be working with John Stamos? Christina said “that was cool. I was excited. I was a big Full House fan and I had a huge crush on him…had a couple dreams about him.”
Josh says he met John about 11 years ago while he was eating dinner with someone who worked on Drake and Josh. Someone that had worked with John and introduced them. When I told him the story last month that “we’d met 11 years ago, he’s goes, really? Was I nice? I said, you were lovely, you were just a dreamy and charming as you are now. It’s really cool and it sounds funny, but it’s so true in this business, that people vet each other they want to have a really comfortable working environment. You just can’t find anyone who’ll say a bad word about the guy and as soon as I said I was part of the new show, they were like, ‘oh, John Stamos is the best’ and he’s totally proven to be that every time.”
In talking about his Drake and Josh character, he says “I this in a weird way is sort of a grownup version of my character on Drake and Josh. John and I had spoken about this, too. Whereas him leaving Full House and me leaving Drake and Josh it was like we were both eager to do something else and maybe play counter versions of the characters were were known for. What I think is great with this show is it is a re-introduction of us downing what we’re good at – being funny, and sweet, and charming, but just in a new sort of higher concept way. It’s great. I’m having a good time.
More Grandfathered Set Pictures
Tune in tonight!
JIMMY IS TRICKED INTO GOING TO THE DOCTOR ON AN ALL-NEW “GRANDFATHERED” TUESDAY, January 5, ON FOX
Guest Starring Dr. Phil McGraw (“The Dr. Phil Show”)
After hearing that Jimmy hasn’t been to the doctor in over ten years, Sara and Gerald trick him into seeing their family doctor (Dr. Phil McGraw) for a routine physical, which results in an unsettling discovery. Meanwhile, Gerald and Vanessa stress over Edie’s upcoming surgery and Annelise and Ravi stumble upon Jimmy’s secret safe in the all-new “Perfect Physical Specimen” episode of GRANDFATHERED airing Tuesday, January 5 (8:30-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (GF-111) (TV-14 D, L)
Cast: John Stamos as Jimmy Martino, Paget Brewster as Sara, Josh Peck as Gerald, Christina Milian as Vanessa, Kelly Jenrette as Annelise, and Ravi Patel as Ravi.
Guest cast: Emelia and Layla Golfieri as Edie, Brandon Sornberger as CJ, Dr. Phil McGraw as Dr. Melvoy, Abby Walker as Cindy, AJ Rivera as Victor, and Laura Krafft as Keener #1.