Another awesome thing we got to do in LA was visit with the cast of The Real O'Neals. If you haven't seen this hilarious show then you are missing out big time. I love it. It is so funny and the cast is so great. We interviewed Jay Ferguson (“Pat”), Noah Galvin (“Kenny”), Mary Hollis Inboden (“Jody”), Matt Shively (“Jimmy”), plus producers David Windsor, Casey Johnson, and Stacy Traub!
The close-knit, Chicago-based O'Neals seem to be the perfect Catholic family, but when surprising truths come to light, some lives take an unexpected turn. Eileen, Pat, Kenny, Jimmy, Shannon and Jodi decide to let the honesty ring in a new, less tidy chapter of their story, where they all drop their carefully honed facades and discover the unexpected freedom that accompanies just acting real. Instead of being torn apart, the O'Neals find that their newfound way of life actually brings them closer together.
We got to sit down and watch a couple of episodes of The Real O'Neals before we did our interviews. One of them is coming up TONIGHT! “The Real Book Club” shows what happens when Eileen has to face her book club for the first time since her family's outing. It also gives Kenny a glimpse into the lives of other gay people in the neighborhood when Pat takes him to the gay coffee house for the first time. Matt Shively actually sat down and watched the episode with us. He was laughing and he told us some funny stories in between the two episodes we watched. “The Real Book Club” is a must watch. It airs tonight at 7:30 pm CST on ABC. Be sure to watch every Tuesday! And like I mentioned in my The Family interview post, we found out that for rating to count, you need to watch the show within 3 days. This show is beyond hilarious and deserves another season so lets do that! Eileen is freaking out because her book club is actually a bunch of judgemental moms that she knows have been trying to corner her to talk to her about her family troubles. They are led by another “friend” who continuously tries to bring the conversation away from the books and onto family life. Jimmy and Shannon are trying to help their mom by interrupting and finally Eileen has enough and lets it all out. It doesn't go the way she expects! Meanwhile Kenny and Pat are having father/son bonding time so Pat takes Kenny to the gay coffee house and ends up running into an old friend. So things aren't exactly as fun for Kenny as he thought they would be.
While we were interviewing Noah Galvin and Jay Ferguson we found out that Noah actually rents a guest house from Jay. This cast is always together! They were cutting up at the table so we asked them if there were a lot of inside jokes when they are not shooting.
Jay – yes, I think that’s an understatement probably. Does it show that we have a good time together?
Noah – The chemistry reads, we have a great time together. Jay is a big proponent of games, so it’s hard! When we are doing those 14 hour days and it’s a comedy you’ve got to like keep it alive, keep it funny, you have to be on for those fourteen hours.
Jay – Yes, we try to have as many extra curricular activities as we can while we’re working. Then, when we aren’t working we hang out socially as well. So Noah lives in my guest house.
Noah – We carpool
We also found out something surprising. Most of the show is not ab libbing. They all look like they would be throwing in extra lines everywhere but Noah and Jay said that the writers do a really great job. They just add some suggestions here and there and if they like it then they change it. Apparently Matt Shively does often try to change his stuff and he gets away with it more than anyone else. Noah and Pat just laughed and laughed about that.
Jay Ferguson is incredibly even more attractive in person. Just wanted to throw that out there. Him and Noah couldn't stop making jokes at our table. Noah mentioned he really loves the grandma episode, “The Real Grandma.” I liked that one a lot myself. He said he got to spend a lot of time filming with just Martha Plimpton (Eileen). Then they all got to film together again and thats when they have the most fun. Jay said that “The Real F Word” was his favorite because “these guys” kill it in that episode. I guess he is referring to the kids because Kenny outs himself at school. Its a big issue but they somehow make it funny. Like most of the show. Lots of big issues and they just do what is needed like a real family.
I won't go into too many more details on my interview with Noah and Jay because I am saving it for my post next week. Yep. You have to wait. Its really good too. We also interviewed the producers, David Windsor, Casey Johnson, and Stacy Traub, and they introduced themselves and told us some stuff about them.
Casey – “I’m one of the executive producers, show runners. My writing partner for a lone time is David Windsor for about 16 years now. We wrote the pilot for The Real O’Neals and then when it got picked up to be made we brought one of our colleagues Stacy Traub on board to help us! David and I had never run a show before so Stacy helped a lot! So the three of us share the show running duties. I’m a Mom, I have a 9 year old and an almost 11 year old.”
Stacy – “I met these great guys years ago. I’m also a Mom, I have 4 kids now – 11, 8, 5 and 2. So Working and Momming — it’s a lot.”
David – “I’m not a Mom but I do have 2 kids. It’s been a lot of fun doing this show with these guys and these amazing actors.
They also confirmed what I had read online that this show, the original spark of it, was based on Dan Savage's life. He grew up in Chicago in an Irish Catholic family and was gay.
Casey – So he grew up in Chicago in an Irish Catholic family and was gay so we took that idea and expanded it into this show. And then kind of started folding in all of our experiences, we had an amazing staff of writers, a lot of whom were gay. We just wanted to be an impact, like we wanted to be as authentic as we could, so we were very careful at putting together that staff. So I mean there are many things- Stacy was divorced, David grew up with two gay dads, so this issue has always been really important to him and to us. We kind of fold in our own personal experience.
I think that is so wonderful. People need to see that its based on real experiences. They need to see that family should be family no matter what. Its a light hearted approach to the real world but its real. They also told us that most of the responses they have received have been positive. They have been people seeing themselves in the characters. I was on The Real O'Neals Facebook page for the show and I have seen lots of comments from people saying that similar experiences have happened to them or that reminds them of when they came out to their family.
I will share the rest of my interviews next week. I really hope you have given this show a chance and if you havent you can see some episodes on ABC.com and find out more about the cast and upcoming episodes. Remember to watch tonight at 7:30 pm CST!