THR Emmy Roundtable: Jim Parsons, Adam Scott and More Comedy Actors on Failed Pilots and Mean Fans
It's playtime (and the chance for a never-ending penis joke) when six funny dudes -- including Matthew Perry, Jake Johnson, Eric Stonestreet and Fred Armisen -- share the craziest thing they've ever done for a laugh, how much attention they pay to ratings and what they would change about show business.
THR: A lot of your characters are becoming iconic. Do you worry about being typecast?
Parsons: No. It wouldn't be fun to work under that worry. It can't matter, if that makes any sense. Are you supposed to backpedal and do less of a character? I don't know. I'm sure some people have a hard time seeing me in different roles. And that's OK. It's my job to keep doing other things, too; that's the only way around that, you know. Having that hurdle is fine.
Stonestreet: I always see it as reflective of the person. When people tweet me when they've seen me on American Horror Story or on a TV show I did well before Modern Family like, "Cam's in this episode of NCIS!" I can't take it seriously. I think: "You're stupid. You don't understand that's not Cam?" It's hilarious.
Perry: Just get ready. (Laughs.)
Scott: I was kicking around for like 15 years before having any semblance of success, so if I'm typecast, I'm like, great, fine. I'm just psyched to have a job. I feel kind of excited to be in danger of being typecast.
Stonestreet: Yeah, it's true.
Johnson: If you're typecast because you've done such a good job with a character that everybody loves it, you're awesome.
Perry: That's a hilarious way to think about it. Somebody goes, "Yo, Chandler!" and I just go, "[I have my own] Red Bull machine!"
Johnson: That's hilarious. That guy's going to be so confused.
THR: What are some funny or strange fan interactions you've had?
Armisen: I was going to the movies, and this woman came up to me and said, "I work at this bakery, here's a loaf of bread. I couldn't dump it. That would be rude, so I just had to take this bread with me to the movies. And it wasn't teeny, it was long.
Stonestreet: That's really sweet when you think about it.
Armisen: It's great.
Stonestreet: You give me laughs, I give you bread.
Scott: Did you end up eating it?
Armisen: Part of it. I couldn't do the whole thing.
Scott: It's a lot of bread.
Armisen: All carbs.
Parsons: Not what you would normally take into the theater to watch a movie.
Scott: Well, you don't, maybe.
Parsons: I was given a knit cap at a taping. We were in the middle of a scene, or between scenes, and so I was on the stage. I heard someone say, "I made a knit cap!" And I thought, "I'm not hearing this right," and it finally kept making its way down, and I had to kind of walk off the stage, get the knit cap and say thank you.
THR: Did you put it on?
Parsons: No, I was in show hair. I didn't want to cause anybody more work. But I thought that was very funny. I didn't know my character or I were big into knit caps.
Stonestreet: Because of the character I play, I register a tremendous amount of disappointment on people's faces when they meet me. Honestly. They're like, "Do Cam!" As lovely as I think you all think I might be, I'm nowhere near as lovely as people hope.
Scott: Well, that's fun for you.
Stonestreet: It is.
THR: And how do you "do" Cam?
Stonestreet: I don't!
Armisen: (Chanting.) Do it, do it, do it!
Stonestreet: I love it the most when people come up to me -- I can't imagine it happens to any of you guys because you're all extremely traditionally handsome -- but they tell me that I'm much better-looking in person and I'm not as heavy as they thought I would be. I usually tell them to go f--- themselves.
Perry: Do you?
Stonestreet: No, of course not. No, I'm always nice. "Well, thank you very much. That's so sweet."
Johnson: It could go the other way. "You are fatter, uglier and lamer in person."
Stonestreet: OK, Jake, stop it.
Johnson: The first season of the show, it really spooked me because I'd be in a supermarket, and I make eye contact with somebody. I'd register that they just recognized me, but they wouldn't be clear about it. And you're like: "If you're going to kill me, just do it. Whatever you're planning, just do it!"
Stonestreet: As actors, we're aware of people. I think the reason we're probably actors is that we're investigators, we're upward thinkers, we're paying attention to things. My nature is to say, "Hey, I see you circling me."
Johnson: That's right, and then all you're thinking about is, "I was on a nice train of thought."
Stonestreet: I was thinking about bread.
Johnson: And I was in a nice zone.
Stonestreet: But how do you do it?
Perry: Well, one thing is, you don't go to the grocery store anymore.
Stonestreet: Yeah, but I want to go to the grocery store. I like it there!
Parsons: I like grocery stores, too.
Perry: Then you guys have a real dilemma. (Laughter.) I go to L.A. Kings games all the time, and people can turn really fast. They're like, "Wow, I can't believe I'm meeting you, can I take a picture?" And I say: "It's nice to meet you. The only problem is, with so many people around, if we take a picture, it's going to start a whole thing." And they go, "Well, you're an asshole."
Armisen: So does that change the way you handle it or do you continue to say, "I can't do a photo right now?"
Perry: Yeah, [I continue to say no] because it's also such a different time. You never know where that picture's going to go.