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Q & A: Greg Grunberg and Constance Zimmer talk “Love Bites”

Greg Grunberg and Constance Zimmer (Entourage) filmed the pilot for their new NBC series, Love Bites, last summer.

The show was originally set to debut last fall but problems with a contract for one of the leads (Jordana Spiro), co-star Becki Newton‘s pregnancy and the departure of original show-runner kept pushing back the premiere. In fact, both Grunberg and Zimmer didn’t even think that think the series would ever air.

Well, that’s changed because they are both out in full-force promoting the show which begins airing June 2nd.

I got a chance to talk to them in a conference call where they talked about the show, their love of comedy and, as an added bonus, Greg talks about Heroes and Constance talks about the final season of Entourage!

So tell me what drew you guys to this series?

Greg Grunberg: Well first of all, I’ve been wanting to do a comedy forever. And truth be told, I have talked about it with friends and also with Constance for a long time. But we – I got so lucky that I got to work with Constance.

I really have always wanted to do a comedy and something I could be very real in, not, you know, shticky and something where I regret how I say a punch line or even that has a punch line.

I just wanted it to be very real. And that’s what – you know, Constance is – that’s her acting. That’s the way she does things. So it was great. I loved every second of this. And, you know, the – I hope, and we’ve talked about this, I hope we get to work together for a very long time.

Constance Zimmer: Now let me just say the reason why I was drawn to the project. It had nothing to do with Greg Grunberg. So, this is a little awkward. I feel a little weird about saying that…

Greg Grunberg: Weird. Weird.

Constance Zimmer: No. But, I mean, you know, the – it was funny because it was kind of the reason why not to do it because there was every reason in the world to do it. I mean, the fact that it was vignettes and that everybody, every story line gets their own, like – you almost get, like, little mini movies in every one hour episode. So, you know, Greg and I got to have 15 minute movies within a TV show.

Constance, you’ve done comedy roles or sitcom roles in the past. Are you more comfortable doing these?

Constance Zimmer: You know, I – it’s funny. Yes, I mean, I come from comedy and it’s just so weird that I, you know, I did so many sitcoms at the beginning of my career. And then everybody said, oh wow, you know, you’re going to have a tough time moving over into drama. And then right after “Good Morning, Miami,” I was on a one hour drama called “Injustice.”

And then I never got to do another comedy again. And it was – I – it was the weirdest thing because I was like, wait how did this happen? So, I mean, I love that I’ve been given the chance to do both. But, yes, I mean, I definitely my home, I feel like, is in comedy. And I love it because I like to be, you know, crazy and wacky and, you know – being, like, dramatic and crying is always like, well come on I can do that at home.

Constance Zimmer: Yes. But, yes, I do love – if ever I can do a comedy, I always would lean towards a comedy over a drama? And this – the greatest thing about (this) show that I can say across the board for everybody that was on the show, not even just us, but you got to do both. You got to be real and bring in the drama and then – but it always had a light flair to it, which is life. I mean, you know come on. We, you know, we want to watch shows nowadays that we can relate to or that we can just, kind of, disappear into. I don’t, you know, I don’t want to watch shows about people dying or killing each other.

When did you actually shoot the Pilot? And when did you actually finish the episodes because I know it was well over a year ago that you did the pilot.

Greg Grunberg: I booked this pilot right after my Bar Mitzvah, which was – I was 13. So I mean, let me just put it this way, I had to go and refresh my memory on some of this stuff. This is the nature of TV…

Constance Zimmer: Well last year, I know we started shooting – I wasn’t in the original pilot. I came on when it started shooting, which was last year. I want to say August or September of last year. And then we shot through December of last year. So, you know, we’re like six months delayed. But, you know, for us, we thought the show was never going to air.

What was it about your particular characters that drew you to them?

Greg Grunberg: I hate to generalize but having tattoos, being, kind of, that guy, you know, I just – it’s a character I haven’t played yet. And I also haven’t played a guy who just, you know, throws (him) – I mean, I – on “Alias” and “Heroes” and – it’s, you know, I’ve got – it’s very serious stuff. This is a guy who – Judd Rouscher, you know, he loves his wife. They have a great, great relationship.

Constance Zimmer: And I know for me as far as the character Colleen goes, you know she wasn’t even very hashed out when they approached me to do the show. And so what was really great was I actually was able to have a, like, a one hour phone call with (Cindy). And we talked about the things that we want to see on television, the things that aren’t being expressed.

And, you know, me coming from a long line of playing, you know, very strong, you know, kind of bitchy characters, I – you know, the first thing I said was I really would like to get away from those types of characters. So I wanted to make Colleen a strong woman who had, you know, her own ideals and her own lifestyle. But she’s not – she’s real. She’s not a bitch.

Greg, you are known for – television audiences know you from “Hero’s,” “Alias,” shows like that. I don’t think we’ve seen you in comedy in a while…

Greg Grunberg: I’m usually the guy though that brings a little levity to those shows. In “Alias” I, you know, everybody else had a gun. I had a calzone. You know, it was that kind of thing.

So do you think audiences will relate to you okay with that?

Greg Grunberg: I think so. I mean, you know, that’s – I’ve always been accused of that, you know, of being the, kind of, every man. And everybody, you know – and when I’m out, you know, if I’d say 99% of the people don’t recognize me by name. They say, they’re like, of you’re that guy. Or we went to church together. And I’m like, no, no. But it’s that kind of common – hopefully they will just find me equally as relatable, you know. And hopefully, this couple they’ll find, which I found.

Greg, I wanted to ask the obligatory “Heroes” reunion question. I know there’s still (some) rumors that kind of come up that maybe we’ll see you guys get back together for a reunion movie or things like that.

Greg Grunberg: It – you know what, we’ve – in passing we talk about it. It’s really up to (Tim) and up to the network. I don’t understand – it doesn’t make any sense to me why NBC would not do a movie to close this out.

It would – it makes financial sense. It makes business sense. It could be sold all over the world. Everybody wants to know how these characters end. The longer we wait, the more disinterested everyone becomes.

And, Constance, with “Entourage.” Can you talk a little bit more about what we’ll see this season?

Constance Zimmer: Yes. Well, it’s, you know, it’s only eight seasons and – eight episodes. And it being the final season, they’re, kind of, bringing out the whole circuit. So it’s been great. It’s, you know – I’m sad to see it go. But there will be a movie. And that’s going to be very exciting. And I think the way the series ends this season is going to be a very good setting for a movie.

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