Oscar winner discusses the challenges of being natural in TBS' multi-cam comedy
Richard Dreyfuss doesn't need to play any reindeer games.
An Oscar winner and one of the world's biggest movie stars for two decades, Dreyfuss has only periodically popped up on the big or small screens in recent years because he's been concentrating his efforts on overhauling the way American children are taught civics and serving as Senior Associate Member of St. Anthony's College in Oxford.
While his recent credits have been sparse, I've talked to Dreyfuss several times in the past few years and the key is always to find what he wants to discuss, even if it isn't necessarily the project he's promoting.
So with the 2012 A&E adaptation of "Coma," it certainly wasn't "Coma," but it could have been the shift in interactions between actors and directors over the years and whether or not TV is more actor-friendly.
With this winter's Sundance debut of "Zipper," it was the political backdrop to the thriller.
And with TBS' upcoming comedy "Your Family or Mine"? Well, I'm not exactly sure I found the right thing.
I was on the set of the multi-cam family comedy last fall and after talking to most of the show's strong cast, including Kat Foster, Kyle Howard and Angela Kinsey earlier in the day, I waited around for three hours for Dreyfuss to be available to talk about a show that attracted him for what reason, exactly?
"Ummm... Money," Dreyfuss explained.
It's also not exactly true. Dreyfuss goes way back with many of his "Your Family or Mine" co-stars, including Ed Begley Jr., who told me about working with Dreyfuss on an episode of "Room 222" back in 1971. Dreyfuss has also had a long friendship with JoBeth Williams, who plays his wife in "Your Family or Mine."
But still, Dreyfuss has no interest in sugar-coating his feelings about the multi-cam format and the sitcom-y artificiality that he thinks has infected the genre.
The result is a fun-if-combative discussion that was ended just as Dreyfuss really got going.