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Interview with Breckin Meyer of "Franklin & Bash"
on TNT 5/10/11.
Moderator: Chrissie Eckhardt
May 10, 2011
2:40 pm CT
Operator: Good day, everyone, and welcome to the Turner Entertainment
Hosted Breckin Meyer, Franklin & Bash conference call. Todayís
conference is being recorded. At this time, Iíll turn the conference
over to your host, Chrissie Eckhardt. Please go ahead, maíam.
Chrissie Eckhardt: Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining the
Breckin Meyer, Franklin & Bash conference call.
Franklin & Bash premieres Wednesday, June 1, at 9:00 pm Eastern on TNT.
The conference call is now open for questions. Please press star 1 to
ask a question.
Operator: And just a reminder, ladies and gentlemen, star 1 if youíd
like to ask a question. And if you are using a speakerphone, please make
sure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our
Weíll take our first question from Jamie Steinberg with Starry
Jamie Steinberg: Hi. Itís such a pleasure to speak with you.
Breckin Meyer: Hello, darling.
Jamie Steinberg: Oh, youíre English for the day.
Breckin Meyer: Just for today.
Jamie Steinberg: Well, I was wondering how you got involved with
Franklin & Bash.
Breckin Meyer: I was - got this script by Jamie Tarses who is a friend
of mine and the producer of the show, and I hadnít done a show - I
havenít done a series, I think, in six years, and she send me, with the
subject line, ďI think I found your next gig.Ē
And I always told her, I said, ďIf I was going to do TV, it had to be
something different than what I did last time,Ē and I hadnít done an
hour long, and I definitely hadnít done a legal drama, or dramedy, as
weíve been calling it. And so, I sat down with Bill Chais and Kevin
Falls, the creators of the show, and talked about where they see the
And they said they had Mark-Paul Gosselaar, as Bash - as Peter Bash, and
I had met Mark-Paul for about ten minutes ten years ago in an airport,
so I really didnít know him. And we did a screen test together for Sony
and Turner and right from the gitgo I just thought, ďOh, well, this guy
and I seem to work well together. Thisíll be fun.Ē
And we have similar backgrounds, similar work ethic, and take everything
- and we take the work seriously, but not each other. And, as he can
tell you, because of the numerous Saved by the Bell references I made on
set. It went - and it seemed to go well. I like Jared. I mean, I think
in the pilot they said it best. (They said this is F. Lee Bailey and)
Barnum & Bailey, which is really how Iíve been described my whole life.
Jamie Steinberg: Okay, thank you so much.
Breckin Meyer: Youíre very welcome.
Operator: And weíll take our next question from Patrick Douglas with
Great Falls Tribune.
Patrick Douglas: How are you doing, Breckin.
Breckin Meyer: Hey, (Bubba). Howís it going?
Patrick Douglas: Actually, Iíve got a friend, heís a District Attorney
and, you know, heís got to prosecute some pretty heavy cases, and
obviously law in the real world, you know, itís not something thatís
usually associated with comedy of this nature, but you guys make it work
with both the humor and the serious outcomes to the cases.
I mean, if you talk about having that balance that has to come in
pulling off a show like this where it could be - it can just be just be
out-of-control humor, but also has to have a little respect for the
Breckin Meyer: Yes, I mean it has to dance the line. Bill Chais, one of
our co-creators of the show was a public defender for many years, and we
lean to Bill often when I say, ďLook, I understand that this is fun and
this is good for the show and it moves the story along, but can this
happen?Ē Thereís a lot of, ďCan this happen?Ē
And - for example, in the pilot, the girl taking off her shirt and
revealing her bra. I said, ďBill, can it happen,Ē and he says, ďYes,
absolutely.Ē And I said, ďWell, what would happen to me,Ē and he goes,
ďExactly whatís happening. Youíd be thrown in jail.Ē So, as long there
are consequences, repercussions to our actions, Iím happy to have us
take the unorthodox approach to the legal system.
And I think that Mark-Paulís character, Peter Bash, is fantastic with a
jury. They love to swim in his baby blues and heíll take them down
whatever path he wants them to, and Jared tends to be a little more
unorthodoxed and unleashed in the court.
Patrick Douglas: Well, yes, when you talk about that you definitely
bring this kind of jockular comedy to the role of Jared that makes it so
enjoyable. I mean, how much of that role is adlibbed where you - or, you
know, where you at a 100% of your personality to it?
Breckin Meyer: No, itís definitely not me. I mean Jaredís definitely -
heís got more, oh, Iíll just say, moxy than I do. But, Kevin and Bill,
the creators, have been very, very cool about letting me, whether you
want to call it, adlibbing, riffing, improving a little bit. Once they
knew that Mark-Paul and I really got the characters and were looking to
enhance anything, not change it, but just enhance it or find a more fun
way of saying things, theyíve been really cool.
And theyíve also been great about reining me in when I get a little too
wild, but I think itís what makes it for a funny show is that you have
that freedom, you have that - (you still have that) freedom to kind of
try anything and fail.
Patrick Douglas: Thanks.
Breckin Meyer: Yes.
Operator: Weíll go next to Amy Harrington with Pop Culture Passionistas.
Breckin Meyer: (Pop Culture)...
Amy Harrington: Hi, Breckin. Thanks for your time today.
Breckin Meyer: What is it? Pop Culture, what, Amy?
Amy Harrington: Passionistas. Like fashionista, but with a P.
Breckin Meyer: Sure. Iím with you. Okay.
Amy Harrington: Because weíre passionate about pop culture.
Breckin Meyer: Yes, ((inaudible)).
Amy Harrington: So, you can you tell us about working with Malcolm
McDowell and your other co-stars?
Breckin Meyer: Yes. No, I had never worked with - I think I was one of
the only people who had never worked with Malcolm McDowell, because heís
done 400 (titles) and movies, but Iíd never worked with Malcolm and
didnít know what to expect.
You know, heís - he is absolutely a living legend and if anyone has the
- has earned the right to be a diva, itís Malcolm. And so, I was - not
knowing what to expect and he came on the set and he was just
unbelievable. I mean he was just awesome. He showed up knowing his lines
and ready to play, which is really everything you want in an actor and a
He was riffing with me, he was, pardon my French, he would fuck with me
during takes and he - just to keep it fresh and to keep it exciting. And
he is such a - I mean, he really is, heís just a renegade. He has been
in this business so long and heís seen every jackass thing you can see,
and he stayed on top and he stayed busy and he stayed great.
So, weíve had such a good time playing with Malcolm, heís just - I
cannot say enough good things about him. Iím - it sounds so hokey, but
Iím legitimately proud to say heís friend of mine because
Amy Harrington: Thatís awesome. And...
Breckin Meyer: ...Malcolm McDowell.
Amy Harrington: Thatís so great. And...
Breckin Meyer: I donít think heíd know my name if you put a gun to his
head, but still I like him very much.
Amy Harrington: Maybe heíll learn it over time. And obviously, the
series relies on your friendship - the friendship between Jared and
Peter, so howís your chemistry with Mark-Paul off-screen?
Breckin Meyer: With the guy from that show with the bell?
Amy Harrington: Yes, that dude.
Breckin Meyer: We didnít really know each other beforehand. And when we
were shooting the pilot in Atlanta we were kind of locked in confinement
and we would basically go to work, come home, eat dinner in one of our
rooms, and work. And we got to know each other real well and we felt
really good when we finished the pilot, and we ended up taking a trip to
Hawaii together, (kind of) solidifying more of the romantic getaway
And we get along real well and we both show up the same way, which is
knowing our lines, ready to play, we take the job seriously (about) each
other, and itís fun.
Amy Harrington: Thatís great. Well, thank you for your time and best of
luck with the show.
Breckin Meyer: Absolutely.
Operator: Our next question will go to Jay Jacobs with
Jay Jacobs: Hey, Breckin. Itís nice talking with you again. I
interviewed you when you were doing Blue State.
Breckin Meyer: Oh, really? I like that movie.
Jay Jacobs: Yes, that was a good movie. Now, (New Insider) touched on
this before, but the showís really funny, but some of your characters
acts in court could clearly get you guys in trouble...
Breckin Meyer: Yes.
Jay Jacobs: ...how far do you guys think that youíll be able to push
Breckin Meyer: I think itís - you know - I mean, other than getting
disbarred, I think, would be too far.
Jay Jacobs: Yes.
Breckin Meyer: You know, I will - I think Jared and Peterís philosophy
is they will do anything possible to get their client off, and it means
getting sent to jail, so be it. Itís also (the good of the)
((inaudible)) to say about the TV show Mash that everythingís funny but
Jay Jacobs: Right.
Breckin Meyer: ...and with Jared and Peter, I think everythingís funny
and fair game, except the case, and everything has a reason to it. Itís
not just being silly in court because itís fun, itís...
Jay Jacobs: Right.
Breckin Meyer: ...everything leads to - everything has a reason behind
it, everything leads to getting our client exonerated.
Jay Jacobs: Okay, and in what ways is Jared like you, in what ways is he
sort of difficult for you to relate to?
Breckin Meyer: Jared, I think, has more - Jaredís ballsier that I am.
Jared has more moxy than I do, but I think we have similar sense of
humors. Heís a little sillier than I am...
Jay Jacobs: Okay.
Breckin Meyer: ...(heís) just wanting to play and - something to play
with, but Iíve know guys like Jared growing up and...
Jay Jacobs: Okay, well, great. Best of luck with the show.
Breckin Meyer: I appreciate it.
Operator: Weíll go next to Lena Lamoray with LenaLamoray.com.
Breckin Meyer: Hi, ((inaudible))...
Lena Lamoray: Hey, Breckin. Itís a pleasure to speak with you.
Breckin Meyer: ...oh the Web site.
Lena Lamoray: Okay, thanks.
Breckin Meyer: ((Inaudible)) sort of have a name for it, itís your name.
Lena Lamoray: Yes. Franklin has some of the best lines in the show. A
couple of my favorites from the pilot were about him loving the law and
the lumberjack comments. So, can you talk about your favorite scene or
lines from the pilot and what we can expect.
Breckin Meyer: Loving the law, Iím actually pretty proud of that one. I
think we came up with that on the day. I really had a good time making
the pilot. It really just felt like when it was done the first think
Mark-Paul and I said to each other was we want to see what else these
guys are going to do. We want to do more.
I think Jared has a really nice freedom with his words and he doesnít
worry about what people are going to say. Maybe sometimes he should, but
he doesnít. And Iíve been describing Mark-Paulís character as very suave
and you swim in his blue eyes and heíll take the jury where he needs
them to go. And Jaredís more like a dog going after a tennis ball in a
bush, which is heíll go head first and deal with the thorns later.
And I think - and my favorite scenes are always the scenes with
Mark-Paul. Anytime he and I get to dual and dance with each other, itís
Lena Lamoray: Okay. Now, the promo for the show (is brilliant) who
doesnít enjoy the lawyer as on TV, and you took them one step further.
So, would hire them to represent you?
Breckin Meyer: Would I hire Franklin and Bash to represent me? It really
depends on what I was arrested for, but I guess I absolutely would only
- probably mostly out of curiosity just to see how theyíre going to get
me off. And also, what I was arrested for, (Iím curious too). But...
Lena Lamoray: Thank...
Breckin Meyer: ...but yes, sure why not. Iíd hire them.
Lena Lamoray: Thank you so much.
Breckin Meyer: Youíre very welcome.
Operator: Next weíll go to Laura Simons with Abnormal Use, Legal Blog.
Breckin Meyer: Abnormal Use, Legal Blog, ((inaudible)).
Laura Simons: Yes. Hi, Breckin.
Breckin Meyer: Hey, howís it going?
Laura Simons: Good. Our readership is made up primarily of lawyers...
Breckin Meyer: Okay.
Laura Simons: ...and you sort of touched on this a minute ago, but I
wonder if I were a client of Franklin & Bash, why would I want your
character, Jared, to represent me?
Breckin Meyer: Well, the good thing is with Franklin and Bash, you get
both Franklin and Bash. But, I think Jared, who is a - you know, Jaredís
a kid who grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father was a -
still is a high powered litigator, and he rebelled against that by not
wanting to be a lawyer, but eventually had to accept that it was his
calling, but if heís going to do it heís going to do it on his own
terms. And I think youíd definitely - youíd get lawyering like you
hadnít seen before. How about that?
Laura Simons: Okay. And your characterís been described as quick-witted
and scrappy. Do you have anything to add to that description?
Breckin Meyer: Really kind of almost off the chart remarkably good
looking. That - I mean thatís not me, that what - I mean, thatís what
Iíve heard. ((inaudible))...
Laura Simons: Right.
Breckin Meyer: ...Iíve heard.
Laura Simons: Thatís obvious.
Breckin Meyer: Yes, so thatís how Iíd describe it.
Laura Simons: Well, thank you.
Breckin Meyer: Youíre very welcome. Thank you.
Operator: Weíll take our next question from Fred Topel with Screen
Fred Topel: Hi, Breckin. I want to...
Breckin Meyer: Hey, Fred. Howís it going, good?
Fred Topel: Good, thank you. I want to first follow-up on one of the
first things you said in the first answer to your question, what were
your burning Saved by the Bell questions that you finally got answered
after all these years?
Breckin Meyer: There were so many. Many of them revolved around Dustin
Diamond. I think the one question I had was, ďWhat really was in the jar
of pep pills that Jessie was taking that made her miss the audition?Ē
(Seeing the audition), I recommend that episode. Itís a really good
Fred Topel: And - I know the episode, were...
Breckin Meyer: Yes.
Fred Topel: ...you satisfied with the answer?
Breckin Meyer: Yes. I was definitely satisfied with the answer. I think
what the answer was is Mark-Paul pushed me really hard.
Fred Topel: Well, Iíve seen the first two episodes and really into the
show, so I was wondering, what are some of the other upcoming cases that
are some your favorites Franklin and Bash get to try?
Breckin Meyer: One of my - thereís - I think thereís three that come to
mind. One is that we represent a Madoff-like character, which is a
challenge for Franklin and Bash, in the sense that theyíre used to
fighting for the little man, fighting for the underdog and here they are
representing, The Man, so speak. You know, what would ((inaudible)).
We represent two strippers, ((inaudible)) just a matter of time, and one
of my favorites is an episode called Franklin versus Bash where we
actually have to go up against each other.
Fred Topel: Wow. Didnít take long to get to that in the first season.
Breckin Meyer: No, I think we had to get that out of the way real quick.
We didnít - it was a Roth and (Rachel) thing. We didnít want to keep it
Fred Topel: Wow. Well, thank you very much. Good luck with the show
Breckin Meyer: Thank you very much.
Operator: And just a reminder, ladies and gentlemen, if youíd like to
ask a question, press the star key followed by the digit 1 on your
Weíll take our next question from Jamie Steinberg with Starry
Jamie Steinberg: Well, I wanted to ask you, and I asked Mark this, both
of you have become a big fan and participant on Twitter, and Iím glad to
see that you had fun with Seth Green and his wife over the weekend. Why
is being a part of Twitter so important to the promotion of the show?
Breckin Meyer: I donít - I actually donít think Iíve ever mentioned the
show on Twitter, so I - it appears that I suck at it.
Jamie Steinberg: So much for the boot camp.
Breckin Meyer: Yes, so much for the boot camp. But, I mean I learned a
lot of things at the boot camp. I learned what a hash mark was, because
I thought a hash mark was a totally different thing until then, but I
I mean, I guess the publicity department could help you out better as
far as why itís important. But, Iím sure in the way it is know thereís
so many different social media networks and Web sites and Twitter, and
all these things that are just different avenues to reach out and tell
people about something youíre proud of, and Iím absolutely proud of this
show, I mean.
Jamie Steinberg: Why will people want to tune in to watch?
Breckin Meyer: I think itís good. I think it really is good. I mean, I
think itís exactly what I was hoping it would be, which is I believe - I
grew up loving, you know, dramedies. My favorite actors were guys who
did both, whether itís Dreyfuss or Michael Keaton and Tom Hanks. I like
the guys who have always done drama and comedy. These are dramedies in a
sense. Itís Broadcast News, it was Jerry Maquire, you know, called
romantic comedies or romantic...
Jamie Steinberg: Great...
Breckin Meyer: ...but I think itís pretty fun. I think it should be fun
and I think the cases they get are interesting. Theyíre from the
headline cases on their ((inaudible)), and the ((inaudible)), hopefully
people like it.
Jamie Steinberg: Great. Thank you, again.
Breckin Meyer: I guess Iíve got to mention, Franklin & Bash on that
Twitter account, huh?
Jamie Steinberg: I guess you do, otherwise TNT will take it away from
Breckin Meyer: Well, itís mine. They canít. Itís my name.
Jamie Steinberg: Itís...
Breckin Meyer: Itís not Jared Franklin, itís Breckin Meyer.
Operator: Weíll take our next question from Patrick Douglas with Great
Patrick Douglas: All right, Breckin, now whatís the biggest challenge
for you developing a TV character like this, as opposed to, you know,
working on a film and, you know, having a shorter window to really get
the character out?
Breckin Meyer: I think the biggest challenge with me with Jared is to
keep him real, is to make it not just a wacky silly guy. You know,
Mark-Paul and I talked with the creators real early on about we didnít
want it just to be the odd couple. We didnít want funny guy, straight
guy. And we didnít want - you know, it was very - itís very easy to fall
into that rut of, ďOkay, well, heís a funny one, heís a serious one, he
gets the ladies, heís always whining about not getting the ladies.Ē
And so, we wanted to - these guys are life-long friends, they have to
get along. Itís not like they were just thrown together. These guys have
to be - these guys have to complement each other, they have to get
along, they have to finish each otherís sentences, they have to be funny
in their own right, but also funny together.
So for me, the challenge is to keep Jared fresh and keep him real so
itís not just uber wacky.
Patrick Douglas: Thanks.
Operator: And ladies and gentlemen, once again weíll remind you, star 1
if youíd like t ask a question.
Weíll go now to Jay Jacobs with PopEntertainment.com.
Jay Jacobs: Iíve always been a really big fan of Reed Diamondís work,
ever since Homicide. Obviously, heís (playing this funny) - heís sort of
plays the uptight enemy-type to your character, but whatís he like to
work with and whatís he like in real life?
Breckin Meyer: Reedís great. I mean, Reed has to take so much shit from
Mark-Paul and I. It was based on who is character is.
Jay Jacobs: Yes.
Breckin Meyer: Iíd never - I hadnít seen - Iíd never met Reed Diamond
before and everyone kept saying, ďWell, you know, he was on 24, and I
expected this very serious guy. And Reed is like the coolest - he was
like this cool, suave hippie. Heís always got his guitar with him and
heís just cool and heís all organic and doesnít anything that casts a
shadow, and things like that.
And - but his character - I mean, when weíre on set, not that weíre in
character, so to speak, all the time, but we do dance around a lot and
we do mess around with messing with his character Karp. And a lot of
things that we like to mess with is stuff off camera before we start
filming. Weíll just be kind of shadowboxing with Reed, so he has to take
a lot of crap from us, just in order to ramp up to what we do on camera.
Jay Jacobs: Sure.
Breckin Meyer: But, heís a lovely individual.
Jay Jacobs: Okay, great. Thank you.
Operator: And weíll go next to Patrick Douglas with Great Falls Tribune.
Patrick Douglas: All right, a third question.
Breckin Meyer: ((inaudible)), you said that ((inaudible)).
Patrick Douglas: All right, so you know the courtroom drama shows have
been around for quite a while, and obviously they usually revolve around
the cases with the characters kind of holding up that premise. But, the
show seems to revolve around you guys, with the cases kind of coming in
second, which makes it kind of fresh and unique.
I mean, how big of a draw was it to see a show thatís so common, yet is
Breckin Meyer: Yes, I mean, I hadnít - I donít watch a ton of
procedurals, but when I read this script, what I liked is that we went
home with the characters. I donít believe that happens all the time on
other shows, but the ones Iíve seen it - what I hadnít seen before was
going home with these characters who, first of all they live together,
and really get to know them.
And half of their time theyíre spent a home because thatís where their
team is, thatís where Carmen and Pindar or where the guys who were doing
things that you canít necessarily get away with at the office. So, I
liked that we followed them. I liked that we followed ((inaudible)) two
single street lawyers who have lives outside of the courtroom and have
lives outside of their suits, and I like that we get to see that. (It
was fun though.
Patrick Douglas: Thanks.
Breckin Meyer: Yes, man.
Operator: And we have a question from Jim Halterman with
Jim Halterman: Hey, Breckin, thanks for your time today.
Breckin Meyer: Howís it going, man.
Jim Halterman: Hey, good. I was just talking to Mark-Paul, so sorry if I
joined the call a little bit late.
Breckin Meyer: ((inaudible)).
Jim Halterman: Yes, he held me up.
Breckin Meyer: Heís just an asshole.
Jim Halterman: So, Iíll ask you the same question I asked him. You know,
I asked if you would want to see your characters kind of get in a
serious relationship, and he wants to keep the characters single, but
whatís your thought?
Breckin Meyer: Yes, I think for right now itís - I like keeping them
single. He - well, his character is just out of a relationship and heís
still ((inaudible)) from the ass whipping that his ex gave him. But, I
would like Jared to stay single for a while just because I think itís
fun. I think itís fun when him crossing the line with his clients or
walking that fine line, (because) heís a nut.
But, yes, Iíd like to see him single for a while, and Hanna, theyíve got
Garcelleís character, I like that theyíre having kind of on and off
Jim Halterman: Yes. Thatís fun. All right, great. Thanks so much.
Breckin Meyer: (Youíre welcome).
Operator: And we have a call from Jay Jacobs with PopEntertainment.com.
Jay Jacobs: When you were talking about fun things, do you have like
sort of a dream scenario that youíd love to play out for Jared?
Breckin Meyer: No, I want them to branch out a little bit. I want them
to - Iím curious where itís going to go from here in the, knock on wood,
the second season. Iíd like some - when they - I like when they get to
stick it to authority. I enjoy that. Now that theyíre at the highfalutin
law firm, I think theyíre going to get more chances to do that.
So yes, I mean, I leave the stories to Kevin and Bill, but I would love
to see them take on bigger and bigger corporate guys. Iíd love to see
them take on a whole corporation, whether itís Enron or something like
that. It would be fun. I like when they get to mess with the zombie
culture, so to speak.
Jay Jacobs: Okay, great. Thank you.
Operator: And thatís the last question we have in our queue this
afternoon. Iíll turn the call back to Ms. Eckhardt.
Chrissie Eckhardt: Thank you so much everyone for joining todayís call.
As a reminder, Franklin & Bash premiers Wednesday, June 1 at 9:00 pm
Eastern on TNT.
A transcript of this call will be available within 24 hours.
Thank you, Breckin, and thank you everyone for participating. Have a
Operator: Ladies and gentlemen, this does conclude our conference. We
appreciate your participation.
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