Interview with Lucas Neff and Greg Garcia of "Raising Hope" on FOX 9/15/11 of "Raising Hope" - Primetime TV Show Articles From The TV MegaSite

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By Suzanne

Greg Garcia and Lucas Neff

Interview with Lucas Neff and Greg Garcia of "Raising Hope" on FOX 11/1/11

Raising Hope Conference Call with Lucas Neff and Greg Garcia
November 1, 2011/5:10 p.m. EDT


Jennifer Sprague Ė FBC Publicity
Greg Garcia Ė Creator and Executive Producer, Raising Hope
Lucas Neff Ė James ďJimmyĒ Chance, Raising Hope


Moderator Welcome to the Raising Hope Conference call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct a question and answer session. Instructions will be given at that time. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to our host, Miss Jennifer Sprague.

J. Sprague Hi, everybody. Thank you so much for joining us today for the Raising Hope Conference Call with Lucas Neff and our creator and executive producer, Greg Garcia. As a reminder, Raising Hope returns with all new episodes tonight at 9:30 on Fox. With that, weíll just get started with the first question, Gregory.

Moderator First, we go to the line of Paul Arca, with

P. Arca The first oneís for Greg. How did the concept for the show actually come about?

G. Garcia Well, I had a couple of ideas for movies, but I didnít really know how this movie would end. So, then it was time for me to go and pitch new shows after Earl got cancelled. So, I went into Fox and pitched this. I think I kind of wanted to do a domestic comedy, but, a twisted domestic comedy. So, this is what I came up with.

P. Arca The next question is for Lucas. What attracted you to the role of Jimmy Chance; and what are the differences and similarities between the two of you?

L. Neff Well, what attracted me to the role was twofold. One, I was really broke, and unemployed. Itís the best job offer Iíve ever received in my life. So, Iíd have been a fool to turn it down. Then, two, the writing is really good. Itís especially good considering itís in the sitcom format, which can be difficult to write for. And, Greg obviously has a lot of experience writing comedies for television. So, it, just seemed like a wonderful opportunity for me, you know, a gift from the sky.

And, then as far as similarities between myself and Jimmy, I guess sad to say, I think we both try really hard. But, we donít always succeed on the first go around. We both have a learning curve. I think both Jimmy and myself have to learn to accept that we donít always get it right out of the gates, and to keep trying and hope for the best, and know that weíre surrounded by good people.

Moderator Next, we turn to the line of Helen Vanuk with TV Week Magazine.

H. Vanuk We havenít seen the second season here yet in Australia, but Iím wondering about getting in Grayson to play the young Jimmy, which sounds like a fantastic kind of idea. I was just wondering how all that came about, how you got Grayson on the show. And, did you come up with the storyline just because he does look a little bit like Lucas. And, also, will he be back?

G. Garcia Yea. Well, how it came about was I have three sons. One of them was at a bar mitzvah. Grayson was playing at the bar mitzvah, so one of these insane bar mitzvahs that they seem to have these days around here in an airplane hangar. They had hired Grayson to perform. My son came home and was raving about him.

So, I looked him up on the internet and then I realized, ďoh, yeah,Ē I had seen this kidís YouTube clip. Then, as I watched him, I was like, gosh, you know, I think he could look like a young Lucas pretty much. And, then, I just kind of got this idea that what if Lucas used to have this crazy musical talent that nobody told him about. Then, we could do a flashback to that time. And, then we figured out a whole episode about it.

He comes back; heís come back once so far. Heís going to come back; heís come back twice so far?

(Muted voice in the background)

G. Garcia Yes, heís been on there once, but heíll be in three episodes in the second season.

H. Vanuk Oh, excellent. Lucas, what do you think of having someone so talented playing your younger self?

L. Neff Well, unfortunately, I feel like you instantly start getting into a bit of a comparison game. Thereís no way Iím going to beat this little tween phenom, who is super-talented. But, heís also a really nice kid. Youíre actually going to get to see him act a little bit too, which heís got a lot of talent. I was really happy to meet him. His YouTube videos blew my mind along with all of the other teen girls out there. Yes, he was fun. I wish the best to him.

G. Garcia This was nothing new to Lucas. My son plays the four-year-old version of Jimmy, and heís way more talented than Lucas. So, Lucas has been getting used to this for a while.

L. Neff Yes. Gregís son likes to say that I play his part.

G. Garcia You play the grown up version, yes.

L. Neff I play the older him.

Moderator Next, we turn to the line of Pat Healy with Metro Newspapers.

P. Healy I donít want to spoil anything for anybody in Australia, but, Jimmy. Sorry, Lucas. I wonder if your talents for singing are on par with Jimmyís or are they better or worse, or what you have to do for that?

L. Neff The truth is a mysterious thing. No. They dubbed in a voice for me for the good singing, which was to the good of the show. Iím certainly not a trained singer. The only place I could probably carry a tune is my shower. So, no, Iím not that great of a singer. Iím not necessarily bad as I was on the show. Iím still more in that gray, murky territory in between the two, but closer to the bad.

G. Garcia Heís not bad enough to be funny. Heís not good enough to be good.

L. Neff Yes, exactly.

P. Healy Great. If I still have the line, I have a quick question for you. Greg, I wondered as I watched the season finale last year, at what point you knew that was going to be Jimmyís backstory? It felt like something like, ďwell, heck, if weíre not green lit for another season, letís get crazy with this.Ē Was it at all? Or, did you always know that he was going to be a crazy guy?

G. Garcia No. More it was like we got our pick-up very early. So, if anything, itís more like ďhey, weíre green lit for a second season. Letís do something, Ö get crazy with this.Ē But, no, I think just towards the end of the season, we, the writers and I, sat down and thought about what would be a good season ender. And, then we came up with all those peopleís backstory and stuff. It was just fun and we knew what we had done during the year. So, we knew what we kind of had to stick true to as far as the reality of things.

Moderator We have a question from the line of Jenny Rarden with

J. Rarden Well, Greg, first of all, you know I wouldnít ask this if I didnít at least believe it a little bit. Whatís it like having the greatest comedy current on TV and possibly in the history of TV?

G. Garcia Wow. That is a brilliant question. Iím so flattered by that question and that you would think to ask a question like that. Gosh. I donít even know how to answer. But, itís very fulfilling to have the best comedy on television and possibly in the history of television. Thank you, thank you very much for asking that.

J. Rarden Well, it really is absolutely great. My husband and I both really enjoy it. I know you Tweet quite a bit. And, Lucas, youíre still pretty much a newbie on there, but Ö.

G. Garcia Well, to be fair to Lucas, I think the cat is kind of out of the bag Ö Lucas does not involve himself in Twitter at all. That is just me creating a Twitter thing for Lucas. And, then I just Tweet probably the most ridiculous things that I can think of, like tummy aches or Ö.

L. Neff The most emasculated things he can think of.

G. Garcia And, I just kind of torture him with showing him what I Tweet. So, yes, he doesnít do anything with Twitter.

J. Rarden Well, how do you think Twitter is changing the relationship between fans and the actors and executive producers and everybody behind the scenes?

G. Garcia Well, look, I just think itís a fun little way to get feedback and to have a little contact with your audience. Iím not so sure how itís wildly changing ratings or anything like that. I donít think the 8,000 people following me on Twitter. If theyíre following me, theyíre probably already watching the show. So, Iím not so sure what it does there. But, it is fun and itís a nice little diversion from the day to get feedback on the show and to say stupid things.

J. Rarden Well, just another quick question, Lucas, for you. There was a photo from an upcoming episode. I canít remember which one it is, maybe from tonightís with Jimmy holding Hope. Itís the most adorable picture, I swear. You said in a previous interview that playing this role really hadnít made you want to have a baby yet. Has that changed at all? I mean, are you getting more comfortable with being around a baby every day?

L. Neff I think Iím getting a bit more comfortable. Iím a creature of habit. I spend a lot of time around these babies. So, I would be really surprised and saddened if I wasnít getting a bit more comfortable.

Yes, if my kids were like Bailey and Riley, the two girls who play Hope, yes, I would love to have those kids as my children. Theyíre adorable and happy and playful and curious, all the great things about being human, with not too much of the bad stuff Ė just mainly smells and odors and things of that nature.

Yes, I want kids. I donít know that Iíll ever be ready. But, Iíll certainly want them. Iíll have them regardless of whether I am ready, I think. I just donít have a timeframe on it yet.

Moderator Next we turn to the line of Krista Chain with The TV MegaSite.

K. Chain I had actually talked to Martha not long ago, and I had asked her this question. So, I thought I would ask you also. Has there been an episode that was your favorite episode? If so, why?

L. Neff Thatís always a tough question for me to answer, because there are different episodes that are my favorite for different reasons. Iíll always have a special place in my heart for the pilot, because it was the first episode of television I ever shot in my life. It was a huge door opening and life changing experience for me. So, itís, that seminal momentís always going to be treasured by me.

But, I also loved our season finale for a ton of reasons. Thereís almost a moment or more moments in every episode where I just really love what I do. Iím grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. I have a lame answer, but itís just the truth. I really like, and am proud of, all the episodes that we do. On any given day, any one of them could be my favorite.

K. Chain Do you think that Jimmy will ever get a chance to be with his girl?

L. Neff Well, I think thatís a better question for Greg as heís the writer. I hope so. I really hope so. I think that this season I can safely say we will answer the ďwill they, wonít theyĒ question. Or, at least, we will have an answer along the way. Maybe that answer will change. But, speaking as far as my hopes and Jimmyís hopes, yes, I hope they get together.

Moderator Next, we turn to the line of Alex Fletcher with Digital Spy.

A. Fletcher When I ask people why they love their show, they often say because itís very different than any other comedy out there. Can you help us put your finger on what is the reason the showís such a hit and why people love it so much?

G. Garcia Gosh, I donít know. I wish more people loved it. If you look at some of our ratings compared to some of the other comedies on TV, I certainly scratch my head as to why more people watch some of those than ours.

But, I think that the people that do watch the show and like the show, itís because a lot of it, I think, has to do with our actors and how they play these roles; and that theyíre very believable and also very likable. You like these people. You root for them. You want to see what theyíre doing on a daily basis.

Then, I think our writers do a fantastic job of not only coming up with funny things, week to week, but really coming up with solid stories. I think a lot of comedies you watch on TV, the stories arenít always there. Iím not sure that a lot of the audience cares about that too much sometimes. But, we do. So, I think on a weekly basis the fact that youíre getting a nice solid story every week, in addition to your comedy, hopefully, that brings people back as well.

Moderator Next, weíll turn to the line of Julia Hass with CliqueClack.

J. Hass I was just wondering if thereís a particular line or scene that you either had a ton of trouble getting through or just gets quoted back to you all the time that just really seems to define your role.

L. Neff Well, I know that a lot of people talk about. By the way, this is Lucas. A lot of people talk about the car seat moment in the pilot as being sort of a defining moment for the series as to what the showís sensibilities are, which is that weíre a family thatís figuring things out. We make some, sometimes, pretty loopy mistakes, like not tying a car seat to the seat. But, everything works out okay, she ends up fine. We learn from it.

As far as an actor goes, thereís a scene almost every day that cracks me up. I think, maybe a little to the detriment of our shooting schedule. But, I think that and the execution scene in the pilot, I think, were real tone setters for us.

Moderator Our final question for today comes from the line of Jamie Steinberg with Starry Constellation.

J. Steinberg I get some fan questions from Twitter, and a charming gentleman wanted me to ask Greg how he stays so young and handsome?

G. Garcia Well, thatís another great question. Gosh, Twitter, all the great questions. You know, itís diet, exercise, and just clean living.

L. Neff Yes. He does none of those three.

G. Garcia Fantastic.

L. Neff All right.

J. Sprague Thank you, everybody, for joining us today.

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