•• Elizabeth Perkins and Brad Garrett star on the new ABC comedy HOW TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS, premiering tonight Wednesday, April 3rd at 9:30/8:30c.
The actors play eccentric parents Max and Elaine whose recently divorced daughter Polly (Sarah Chalke) moves back home. The transition has not been easy as Polly and her parents look at life through different generational lenses. Polly aspires to be organized and together, while Max and Elaine live a free-flowing, improvisational life-style.
BWW: You two play very unconventional parents on the new series. Can you talk a bit about your characters?
Elizabeth Perkins: Well Elaine is sort of a former flower child, party girl, pot-smoking sort of wild lady who had her daughter very young. She doesn’t really remember raising her daughter, kind of remembers just bits and pieces, and now her daughter has moved back home along with her granddaughter and she’s really at a loss as far as what to do with them.
Brad Garrett: Yeah, see we went through a mid-life crisis in our 20′s and just held on to it. We’re an unconventional couple on TV because we’re happily married and once in a while I even get to have my way.EP: Yeah and you even get to walk around naked.
BG: True, and we love our empty nest and I think usually when we see parents on TV they can’t wait to have everyone move back, but that’s not the case with Max and Elaine. We’re starting to really enjoy our mid-life if you will, and all of a sudden our lovely daughter is back home which is fine…EP: In small doses! But this is kind of permanent so we have to change the whole way that we live and that’s very difficult for us.
BG: We have to wear pants.
EP: Can’t have sex in the kitchen anymore.
BG: Well I can, but not with Elaine.
BWW: Brad, on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ you played a son who reluctantly lived with his parents. What is it like to be on the flip side of that situation now?
BG: Well, Marie loved having her boys around, whereas we’re kind of the opposite. What really attracted me to this show was playing a guy that really enjoys his life, he’s really the antithesis of the Robert character. He loves his marriage, he loves his career, even though he still pines away about being an actor, but he has a Comedy Club so…
EP: He’s really kind of full of himself, but in a really great way.
BG: Well full of myself but out about it, you know what I mean. I have reason to be full of myself.
EP: Absolutely, cause he’s fan-tas-tic!
BG: Yes I am. And you know Robert was on the ledge all the time.
BWW: You seem to have such great chemistry. Is this the first time you’ve worked together?
BG: Yes, but we’ve slept together before. No, I’m kidding, you know I was grateful about this chemistry that we had immediately.
EP: Max and Elaine will sort of finish each other’s sentences…
BG: Yeah, or interrupt each other which is aggravating…
EP: Yeah, it’s hard to get a word in edge-wise!
BWW: With the comedic experience you both bring to the show, do the writers allow you to ad-lib?
EP: No. Not at all actually. None. (laughing) No we do, we play.
BG: We play. I think in the beginning it’s kind of set up a certain way to where, especially in single-camera, where ad-libbing is not as much…
EW: It doesn’t allow for that much freedom, you’re playing in front of an audience.
BG: But I would love that. We ad-lib in rehearsal a bit. But I love improv and so does… uh, give me your name again.
BG: Elizabeth, Elizabeth Perkins, thank you. We feel like we’re married, I mean we really do. In a good way. The chemistry I think is key in any comedy and it’s rare. And Sarah Chalke is so wonderful and so available and generous as an actor too, so we got very fortunate.
EW: You mean we were very fortunate, not we got very fortunate.
BG: Did I say we got very fortunate? That’s because we were talking to Witchita earlier…
EW: Yeah, and then there was Milwaukee before that.
BWW: Well you got New York here now so…
EW: (laughing), Yes we do!
BG: Well anyway, we got fortunate. Wouldn’t that have been a good name for the show, ‘We Got Fortunate’.
BWW: Well best of luck to both of you. I think it’s going to be a big hit.
BG: Thank you. And we love Broadway by the way!