From the Creator Steve Levitan (modern family), the original comedy series from Hulu reboot follows the stars of an early 2000’s family sitcom called step to the right, as they reunite for a reimagined reboot. Actor Reed (Keegan-Michael Key), Bree (Judy Greer), Volume (Johnny Knoxville) and Zack (Calum worthy) must confront their own dysfunctions and unresolved issues if they are ever to get their lives and careers back on track.
During this interview with Collider, co-stars Greer and Knoxville talked about what drew them to this series, what they found most enjoyable about playing their characters, like the show’s laughs, but also has a lot of heart, like Knoxville’s Frontier and Crazy is offbeat like no other, the dynamic between Reed and Bree, the genuine relationship between Clay and Zack’s mother, and how much fun the cast have in playing one another.
Collider: What was your reaction to this concept? Did it seem a little crazy? Does Steve Levitan’s involvement help make something like this more intriguing?
JOHNNY KNOXVILLE: I was like, ‘Steve Levitan is involved? I’m in.” That was my reaction to that. If anyone can pull this off, it’s him.
JUDY GREER: Yes, and if anyone has enough material to poke fun at the making of a television show, it’s him.
What did you enjoy most about playing this character from day one? Are there any fun aspects you can play and explore with them?
KNOXVILLE: The execution of the words, the dialogue that the writers make up, is pretty amazing on this show. Steve and all the writers just blew it out of the park.
GREER: My favorite was our table readings. I usually say, “Ugh, do we have a table reading?” But they were so funny and so funny. It was just fun to hear the script all at once. When we’re shooting, it’s not a sitcom, so we’re shooting bits all day long. But hearing it all at once, all together, was always a treat.
Johnny, it’s interesting that you say the words were fun to say because on a show like this you could just focus on the jokes or find the funny and not worry so much about the specific words. And I think what makes this show work is that it’s about more than just finding the joke.
KNOXVILLE: Yes, it has a lot of heart too. There are so many fun moments, but there are also many moments built with a lot of heart. That way it finds a nice balance.
Does playing the role of an actor on a television series make you look at or re-evaluate anything in your own life and career, or does it help you create a space to clarify things you’ve had to deal with because no one else has will you know? re aimed something at you?
KNOXVILLE: I don’t know if I look to TV to sort things out in my life. But I have therapists who earn a lot of money with me.
GREEN: I don’t know. I feel like likely, a little bit. Fun to visit some of the things I have in mind. Bree and I are very alike in many ways, but also not in many ways. Shut up, Johnny. But it was fun saying things through Bree and being scared of things that I might be.
You don’t have to name the project, but have you ever had an acting job where they wanted you to do something completely crazy and offbeat in the name of comedy?
KNOXVILLE: No, I’ve never experienced that.
GREER: Or a career where they want you to do something fancy in the name of comedy.
KNOXVILLE: You’re talking to the wrong person.
GREER: I’ll cover that. Not for me to think of, it wasn’t already on the site when I signed up for the project. That’s what they usually have to tell you if they want you to do something crazy. Usually.
Johnny, if you’re known for being crazy and quirky, is there ever anything that you find weird and quirky when it comes to things you’re asked to do for a role, or do you just have a whole different threshold for it?
KNOXVILLE: Yes, I play a different game when it comes to that. I don’t think I’ve run into those problems where I’m like, “This is just too crazy or outlandish.” It didn’t happen on this show, but sometimes you’ll protest a line or something and say, “No , I don’t think he would say that.” But there’s nothing too outlandish or bizarre that I would overdo.
GREER: You thought it was crazy that they hired a stuntman for your character’s car accident.
KNOXVILLE: That was crazy and weird because I didn’t need the guy.
GREER: You say, “I’ll do that. No.”
KNOXVILLE: My poor stunt guy just gets paid to stand around
Is it a different situation when other people are responsible for your well-being than when you are the one making those decisions?
KNOXVILLE: Yeah, because I’m pretty bad at being responsible for it. I’m glad someone a little more competent is in charge of this, because I think, “Yeah, I’ll do it.”
Judy, Reed and Bree’s relationship is a lot. How do you see this relationship? Are they perfect for each other? Are they all wrong for each other? Do you hope they never find out things together?
GREER: That’s a really good question. I don’t know with them. I’m curious what happens. They grew up together and brought out the worst in each other. Sometimes you can love someone so much but you just need to know that they are turning you into the worst version of yourself and you cannot be with that person. This could be a version of Bree and Reed. But they really do care about each other. And so I hope that we get more episodes and that we can see where they end up. Maybe these are two people who should have just been friends and just really cared about each other.
Johnny, one of the things I find most funny about the relationship between Clay and Zack’s mom is that he seems pretty genuine. As wrong as the whole thing may be, it’s never really a joke to him. Did that surprise you? How was this dynamic to play?
KNOXVILLE: It was surprising. It makes you feel like even though Zack Clay is really annoying, maybe he just needs a hug. But it won’t come from Clay because Clay isn’t a hugger. But yeah, I was surprised at how real this relationship seemed.
GREER: So was I.
KNOXVILLE: They get the script a few hours before the reading and it was just so much fun to see what they came up with over the next week. And the stuff with Zack’s mom definitely put a smile on my face. It’s kind of wrong, but in a great way.
I somehow find myself cheering for them.
KNOXVILLE: Yes. Many Thanks.
GREER: I was cheering for both of you too.
Because they’re honest about it, it seems healthier than a lot of the other relationships on the show.
GREER: Yes, they actually communicate well.
KNOXVILLE: She’s very direct about what she wanted. It doesn’t seem like it’s coming from some strange place. It’s just what she likes.
What was it like working with this cast? It’s so nice to see you all together. Has anyone always liked to improvise? Is there someone who breaks down the most? Are you all pretty good at not going crazy during scenes?
KNOXVILLE: Sometimes that’s just part of it. When you do something like that, it doesn’t matter if someone laughs.
GREER: Yes, if we laugh, that’s usually good.
KNOXVILLE: One of the scenes with Judy, she has a big announcement to make on set and as soon as she walked in and said, “Sorry!” I started laughing, just at that. They left it in because they said, “Oh, that must be his character.” And I said, “Yeah, it’s his character.”
GREER: There was also a moment during the first table read in the first episode where you took Calum with you [Worthy]’s script and threw it across the table. I have a feeling only Johnny Calum did that. It wasn’t Clay who did this to Zack.
KNOXVILLE: It was a mix.
GREER: It was fun. We laughed a lot, but we all took care of the acting as well. We all wanted to sell the characters. It’s so important in those first few episodes of a comedy to have something that’s a little bit deeper that the audience can hold on to, care about our characters and root for us. A lot of the jokes are really fun, but what keeps people coming back every week is when they cheer for us, and you can just cheer for someone you care about, or at least care a little bit. I thought that was the beauty of all of our scripts and especially where we got to at the end of our first season. There were real storylines for everyone and the stakes were high. I thought that was really smart.
reboot can be streamed on Hulu.
https://collider.com/judy-greer-johnny-knoxville-reboot-series-interview/ Judy Greer & Johnny Knoxville Talk Reboot & How the Show Has Laughs & Heart