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Colin Hanks & Bradley Whitford (The Good Guys)

Colin Hanks & Bradley Whitford: The Interview (The Good Guys)

Bradley Whitford and Colin Hanks star in the new comedy 'The Good Guys', premiering on Fox this June.  We sit down with the pair to talk about the show, their chemistry and spending a honeymoon together...

SHAKEFIRE: Hi guys.  Bradley, is your character too old for this sh**t?

BRADLEY WHITFORD
: Yes, absolutely.

SF: Colin, your father did a very famous buddy TV series.  Did he give you any advice for doing your own?

COLIN HANKS: No, because I’m not wearing a dress.  I’m carrying a gun, so there really wasn’t a lot of TV advice he gave.  It’s sort of a different spectrum.

SF: Bradley, your mustache deserves billing all to itself in the credits.  Is there a story behind that big old thing being in the show?

BW:     The big old thing.  No, I am, I guess more proud than anything – whether it’s anything that’s done professionally, my children, anything – really my ability to grow facial hair.  Look, a cop with a mustache, a cop with a bright future behind him with a mustache – it just seems like an absolute requirement going into this and the attention it’s getting – I’m jealous of the mustache.

SF: There you go.  For both of you, what do you all think of filming in Dallas?  Is it really good to be there or is it a pain in the ass to get to work?

CH: Well, it’s not ideal considering our lives are based in another state, but that’s part of joining the circus is you’re going to be playing out-of-town dates, so we sort of know that going in.  Dallas is a fantastic place to shoot and a fantastic place to be.  I could think of a lot of other places I’m really glad I’m not in right now.  They’ve got great crews out here, all very talented, very nice very easy-going people that are fun to work with, who are very talented and very good at what they do.  And when you’re doing the grind of a TV show, you’re very grateful when you’re working with good people.  The city, I think, has been very helpful, and we’ve shot pretty much sort of all over the place.  No one’s yelled at us for ruining their day or anything like that or ruining their commute, so.

SF: The show kind of reminds me of some of the TV shows of the 70’s and 80’s.  Is that the feel that you had going into it?

BW: Colin emerged from the womb much more recently than me.

CH: So you watched Leave it to Beaver and I watched C.H.I.P.S., is that what you’re implying?

BW: No, I really didn’t watch…those shows.  What was the one?  For some reason, I watched the one with Cannon, with the big fat guy who would waddle when he ran.  You know what I’m talking about?

CH: Matlock?  I don’t know.

SF: I think that was Jake and the Fat Man.

CH: Oh, Jake and the Fat Man. 

BW: Yes.

CH: Well, the name’s then – it’s all there in the title.  That’s like all those buddy sort of cop shows of that era, like that’s definitely like the vibe.  That’s like the template for a little bit of our show.  A flavor, if you will.  But I sort of feel like it fits well in that canon of show – and canon is a very favorable word – but I think we also sort of have our own twists that make the show sort of unique and, more importantly, ours are – this is a comedy.  I mean, we’re blowing stuff up and we’re chasing bad guys and we’re doing all that stuff too, but this is really much more of a comedy than any of those shows were, so it’s sort of poking fun in a homage-y kind of way, if homage-y would be used as a word.

SF: I wanted to find out since it’s coming on in the summer and everybody’s going to be outside and having a good time and it’s light out much later, if you could give us your pitch for why we need to come inside and watch this show.

CH: Air conditioning is nice.  Ain’t nothing wrong with – it’s a Monday because let’s face it – Mondays even in summer – it’s not that big of a deal, so you can spend one night in and Mondays would probably be your best night.

BW: I would just say there’s nothing more important than for families to stop talking to each other and stare at television.

CH: I take back everything I said.  I’m with Brad on that one.

BW: Yes, there’s way too much connecting going on out there.  Watch some TV, America.

SF: Great.  A lot of times actors take things from their own life to their characters.  Do you think as a newly married man, that will affect your character on The Good Guys at all?

CH: No, not at all.  I think really it’s personality more than anything else and life experiences for sure, but Jack is not nearly as emotionally and relationship balanced as I am.  And there’s a lot of comedy gold out there to be found in terms of Jack’s inability to maintain a relationship and his sort of will-he-won’t-he relationship with Jenny Wade’s character, Liz.  So, I don’t think me being married will really affect Jack too much, but it’ll definitely make me feel a whole lot better about making a fool out of myself at work knowing that I’ve got a wife back home who cares for me deeply no matter how big of a fool I make out of myself.

SF: Awesome.  And Bradley, this is such an interesting character now, that you just get to have so much fun.  Can you just delve into that a little more – how much fun you’re having?

BW: Yes, this guy is operating from his kind of reptilian brain … This is kind of a – I hope it’s not a pretentious analogy or comparison but – there was a playwright I worked with that said the most interesting people were people who’d given up on actually attaining what they thought they were going to attain in life.  And when you have a guy who sort of has realized he loves what he does but Plan A is definitely not going to work – he’s really sort of open to …  It’s just a lot of fun.  It’s a blast.

SF: You guys sound here as though you really get along and are having a great time.  Is the set that way as well?  It seems that way from the screener.

BW: I always joke that the television I’ve done I feel like truly the cameras are pointed the wrong way and that it’s really, it’s certainly true in this situation that we have really a lovely, fun group of people working on this.  I can’t function in a – I don’t think anybody really can, creatively in sort of a hostile, gruesome situation.  And I felt with Colin the moment he walked in the room with the audition – I said, “Oh God, I know this guy.” I felt totally comfortable with this guy and he felt like an old friend.  So that part of it has always been there but I think we would both re-emphasize and we’re not kidding that the crew makes a huge difference for the show.

CH: And between that and just the day in and day out of shooting a comedy – we’re laughing a lot throughout the course of the day.  Even on the long 16-hour days like we’ve just had, there’s still going to be a big laugh somewhere throughout the course of the day and that really helps when you’re making a comedy.

BW: I do want to add, though, that one really painful thing is this was when Colin ran off and got married.  I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a betrayal like that.

CH: Well, I’m making it up for you.  I’m spending my honeymoon with you, Bradley.  So you know, sorry baby, I’m back.  Don’t worry.

Peter Oberth
Interview by Peter Oberth
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