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Interview with Paul Reiser and Jennifer
Grey of "Red Oaks" on Amazon 10/20/16
This is a great show, and I'm so glad that it's back for
a second season and that I got to interview the stars! They
were all very nice.
(Doug Getty) was clearly in a hurry, as
you can tell from the audio recording. They did call very
late, so I guess the interviews put them behind. I'm such a
fan of both of these actors. I didn't realize until later
Grey (Judy) is married to Clark Gregg of "Avengers," "Marvel's
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." et al. or I would have asked about
him as well, since she mentioned him a few times. Sounds like she mostly stays at home with the
children and does the occasional job like this (for which
we're very grateful!). Most people probably know her from
"Dirty Dancing," but she's been in many other movies
and series as
well. Reiser is most famous for "Mad About You," which I
really loved, but he's kept busy with many other projects
since, including writing some books. He's always a likable
guy, but he plays such a jerk on this series (but a likable
one). They were both so funny on this call! If I'd had more
time, I would have liked to have asked her about being an
80's icon and now playing someone from back in that decade.
Oaks" returns for its second season November 11, 2016.
You can watch
Here's a recording
of our interview. Here's a brief transcription of the
relevant parts of the interview by
1. Suzanne: I was trying to remember if your characters have
ever actually met?
Reiser: Never. We were talking about that. This is the
most time we've spent together. We have a great time at
these publicity events, but our characters have never -- we
were never even on set the same day.
Grey: We've barely seen each other leaving, like one
person leaving the set while the other one's getting
Reiser: I was in a movie recently and Mary Steenburgen
was there, and I was telling her about this movie I'd just
done, and she's looking at me, and I say, "What?" And she
goes, "I was in that movie. I was in that ?? with you." And
I said, "Oh, right." But it's very tough when you don't even
shoot on the same day, so she shot one time, and we never
actually met. But Jennifer and I have never actually been on
camera at the same time. We were just talking about that. It
was kind of interesting about last year they sort of
shuffled the deck up so the pairings have been different.
Then last year I had a lot of scenes on the court with Ennis
Esmer as Nash and that was a lot of fun. I didn't get to do
much at all with ?? I will a little bit this year. I was
much more with Gina Gershon, who was great fun, too; but
they do shuffle it up, so I'll be curious to see where they
take it next year.
2. Suzanne: It seems like the first season was mostly about
David and friends, and the second season expanded on the
other roles more, like the parents.
Reiser: Yeah, it seems, yeah! So I'm not sure where
they're going with it, but they take it one year at a time,
and they had a lot of plates spinning in the air for the
first season. So they wanted to follow up on my court trials
and Jennifer and Richard Kind's divorce and how that
affected David and Skye's relationship, certainly, was front
and center this season.
3. Suzanne: What made you decide to take these roles?
Reiser: You know what? It always starts with a good
script and, I speak for myself, I'm sure this is for
Jennifer, too, I had the script and thought it was really
well done. It had a very interesting role which wasn't fully
there, but they worked on it. So it had a lot of things
going for it. It was a really good script, and it was a
really great group of people, you know, from Steven
Soderbergh down to Greg Jacobs and Joe Gangemi who created
the show. And the cast, you know, you look at the call sheet
and you go, "Ooh, I get to go play with Jennifer Grey and
Richard Kind and all these wonderful people. I didn't know I
actually wouldn't get to play with Jennifer Grey. It was
bait and switch, but, you know, it had a lot of appeal and
Jennifer wanted to work with me.
Grey: It's all about you. Always about you. Meantime, I
will tell you that because I'd been a mom, and one kid and I
always wanted to be a mom and have a family, it's been
really hard for me to take a job that would be out of town
to take me from my daughter, so this job shoots when my
husband is on hiatus, because I really never wanted my
daughter to be brought up by a nanny, and I think kids need
you home, so for me, it was like around three years ago when
they came to me, and at one point, she was in 6th grade /
7th grade, and I thought, you know what? If I can do this in
the summer, not take her out of school, not be apart too
long, and my husband would be off in those months, I can do
it. And the truth is I've been very lucky that I've been
able to say no to working, because my husband is supporting
us. It's an incredible luxury, and I get to be a
stay-at-home mom, and then I get a script written by these
fantastic writers with this incredible cast, and I really
feel like the pedigree of the piece. I mean, David Gordon
Green is one of my favorite filmmakers. He's an executive
producer. David Soderbergh is a god, as far as I'm
concerned, and Greg Jacobs and Joe Gangemi wrote this
beautiful script, and to add to this insane cornucopia of
bliss, they're all really nice people, with the exception of
Reiser: Yeah, and you know what? That's why she won't
work with me. "Cornucopia of Bliss" was actually my wresting
name, and I did not do well. It's funny you said about
shooting in summer, I didn't know this in advance that it
shoots in summer, and it's in a country club [Edgewood
Country Club, River Vale, NJ], and it kind of felt at first
like I'm going to summer camp. You're just going away for a
couple of months. Well, my parents came to visit, so that
really made it feel like summer camp. No, that's not true. I
made that part up.
Grey: Did you cry when they left?
Reiser: I did, but they brought me comic books.
4. Suzanne: What was your favorite episode or moment of the
Grey: I liked the one where I kissed a girl, and I liked
it. But the fun part of it was that I actually made a
friend. She's a really talented actress and stand-up called
Beth Stelling, and she is somebody who is very funny. I just
Reiser: Everybody but Jennifer here got to go to Paris.
What was really nice was when Amazon gave us all a million
dollars and a boat. Oh, you didn't get that, so I can't talk
5. Suzanne: Is there anything about this show that
particularly reminds you of living back in the 80's?
Reiser: Yeah, no! I wish I could help you there.
6. Suzanne: Jennifer, had you ever kissed a woman before?
Grey: You know, I have. Yeah, I think that any
self-respecting woman should have at least tried it. I think
Reiser: I have. I kissed a girl.
Grey: Did you like it?
Reiser: Not that much. I was hoping nobody would get
Grey: The weirdest thing when you kiss a girl is that
their lips can go way up above where there's no beard.
Reiser: Yeah, I'm used to that.
Grey: Oh, from kissing a boy?
Reiser: No, because my wife's a girl, so she had
Grey: No, I'm actually a pretty hard-core hetero --
Reiser: And hard core, by the way, that's just going by
the literature in her bag: hard-core hetero.
Grey: I'm a hard-core hetero. I'm a big fan of the men,
but I really find that any time that you can shake it up
with anything, especially when you're working, it's just
like pretty good.
7. Suzanne: Paul, any real life person that you may have
based your role on or look at for inspiration?
Reiser: No, I didn't have to dig too far to find my inner
nasty guy. I'm secretly quite abrasive, and the secret is
now out. So it was very fun to let that out finally. I let
my true self out.
8. Suzanne: Do you think there'll be a third season?
Reiser: I think there might. I think there might.
Grey: Do you want one?
Suzanne: Oh, yeah, definitely. I've got to find out what
Grey: What would you like to happen?
Suzanne: I don't know. I'm not a good writer. I just want
to be entertained. I loved it. More great writing and
Reiser: We will get on it right away, so we can fill your
Suzanne: Thank you. That sounds good.
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