'Who am I married to?': Dan Bucatinsky interviews his 'Marry Me' co-star Tim Meadows
When I got the call to come join the cast of Marry Me, it was the week my character’s bloody final episode was about to air on Scandal. I was in a tense and uncertain place – yes, I’d even say sad. What was to become of me? Well, after I’d read David Caspe’s hilarious script – I knew I wanted to spend the upcoming year laughing if at all possible. I never quite imagined I’d be laughing this much. And on a show that’s come to be among the most diverse shows on the network right now. In a time where audiences are as diverse as ever – and they seem to be craving it on TV: Almost half the cast on Marry Me are playing roles of ethnic, gay, or people of color!
Now, I had never met Tim Meadows before. And he and I were cast as husbands of over 30 years, with Casey Wilson as our daughter! I remember that first all-nighter we had to shoot in downtown Los Angeles. A bunch of rowdy drunk revelers kept threatening to ruin our shot. Tim was pissed—and not afraid to tell them, either. I was impressed at his courage. Curious about. After all, I didn’t know the guy.
What I’d come to learn after a season of working together, collaborating, laughing: Tim and I are about as different as two guys could ever be. He’s straight. I’m gay. He’s black. I’m white. He’s quiet and thoughtful – spends a lot of time on set reading books, both classics and contemporaries. I… don’t. He rides a motorcycle. And I know how to knit. And yet, we’ve become friends. In fact – perhaps it’s our differences that contribute to the on-screen “chemistry” so many talk about. Either that, or the fact we’re both dedicated dads, playing dedicated dads. And we both wear, more or less, the same size sweater. Oh, and we’re both gluten-free. But recently, I wanted to find out more about my colleague Tim Meadows. So I interviewed him.
DAN BUCATINSKY: So, Tim. Are you, in fact, a ladies’ man? I mean, I know I’m not.. but shouldn’t you let others call you that? No. Seriously.
TIM MEADOWS: I’m not a ladies’ man. I have been divorced and I will probably never get married again. I do like ladies and I am a man. That part is true.
BUCATINSKY: I don’t think I ever asked you this, bbut what appealed to you about doing a show like Marry Me?
MEADOWS: The most appealing thing about doing Marry Me was working with David Caspe and Casey Wilson and Ken Marino. They were the only two that I knew would be on the show when I was in talks to do it. I was a big fan of Happy Endings and really enjoyed that show, so the prospect of being able to work with him was very thrilling.
BUCATINSKY: Had you ever played gay before getting the role of Kevin 1?
MEADOWS: I like to think that all of my characters were gay including Ladies Man, but seriously, no. Oh wait! I did play a gay neighbor on that Fran Drescher show [Living With Fran]. Her second show, the one that didn’t last—not that first show that was a bit hit.
BUCATINSKY: Don’t be bitter. Kidding. How have your friends and family reacted to your doing this role?
MEADOWS: My friends and family really love the show and they don’t really comment on the aspect of the character being gay. They think that it’s funny and they’re used to seeing me do a lot of different things so they don’t take anything too seriously.
BUCATINSKY: You’ve been an important presence in this business and in comedy for many years. Do you feel any pressure to represent—or be a role model in the black community—or gay community ?
MEADOWS: I do feel I should be a better role model in the gay community. But then again, I should be a role model in a lot of different things. I really slacked off my “role modeling.” I used to role model all the time. I was a black role model. I was that improv role model. I was a nerd role model and then I took on the gay role model and I just felt like I was doing too much. I really needed to spend more time with my kids and less time with my gay role modeling. In fact, my New Year’s resolution was to role model even less.
BUCATINSKY: [A la Tyra Banks] “Good news: you’re still in the running to become America’s Next Top Role Model. Just. You know, work on that smoky eye! Damnit! Now, Tim, here’s the hard-hitting question: You’d never worked with me before this show. Were you intimidated? Be honest. By my looks and youth and my relationship with Olivia Pope?
MEADOWS: First of all, who is Olivia Pope?
BUCATINSKY: What? Shut up.
MEADOWS: I really don’t know. I could Google it…
BUCATINSKY: Don’t bother. Even Google will roll its eyes…
MEADOWS: I was not intimidated to work with you because I had not seen your previous work. I didn’t know that you’d won an Emmy or was on the show called Scandal.
BUCATINSKY: Now you’re just being hurtful.
MEADOWS: I didn’t even know there was a show called “Scandal”.
BUCATINSKY: Okay, okay. I get it. You’re too busy reading Nabokov and Somerset Maugham. You win. You’re smarter. And you have a 29” waist. I hate you.
MEADOWS: I’m really not into a lot of stuff. But I eventually heard about it and I heard it was very good and that women liked it and I realized that I should probably check it out so that I can have something to talk to the ladies about. [See “ladies’ man” references above.]
BUCATINSKY: I know you love working with me. I know it’s your favorite thing about this job. Some things don’t need to be said. But how do you explain what has been called an obvious “chemistry” between the Kevins?
MEADOWS: No, I do think it’s a lot of fun working with you. I look forward to going into work every day and it is because I know the people that I’m working with are funny, friendly and really sweet. I can’t explain our chemistry. How can you explain something that’s magical. Can you explain how bird flies? Or an airplane? Or a kite? I can’t. And neither can you.
BUCATINSKY: Are you mad I’ve never seen Ladies Man?
MEADOWS: I’ve never watched Scandal.
BUCATINSKY: I know! I get it!
MEADOWS: So, no. I don’t mind if you haven’t seen The Ladies Man. But I did love The Comeback. But I’ve only seen the first season. Because you haven’t given me the new season on DVD.
DAN BUCATINSKY: It’s on HBO Go. And now… I’ve got to go. Thanks Tim!