Ed Weeks has had the opportunity to grow along with his character, ladies’ man Dr. Jeremy Reed, on FOX’s The Mindy Project. But before his audition, Weeks wasn’t sure he would be able to land the part on Mindy Kaling’s sitcom.
“The part of Jeremy was initially written as a ‘Bradley Cooper’ type,’ in quotes,” he said in an interview with Vulture. “So I was kind of preparing my American accent, which I’d been going into my previous auditions with. And my roommate Maria, who I was practicing it with, said, ‘Mmm, your American accent is fine, but maybe just go in as yourself because this character would work so much better in your accent.’ It had that caddish, Hugh Grant kind of air. So I went, ‘Well, sod it, I haven’t had very much luck thus far over-preparing, so I’ll trust my gut.
“So I just went in and did it in British, and the casting director loved it. I came back in the afternoon and read with Mindy. I remember throwing a condom on the casting director’s face because there was a stage direction during a Jeremy-Mindy make-out scene saying that Jeremy throws birth control at her. So I brought a condom, obviously one that wasn’t used, and threw it at the casting director. There was a little beat and I thought, ‘Oh god, I’ve gone hugely too far and I’m about to be deported back to England and I’ll never be allowed back into America ever again.’ Mindy sort of said, ‘That’s hilarious,’ in a very flat voice. It wasn’t very comforting. I thought, ‘Is she saying that seriously? Is that ironic?’ Then I went home and found out they loved me, and one thing led to another.”
Weeks has enjoyed getting the chance to expand on the character—allowing some of his own personality to come through in the writer’s scripts. “The first season of any show supposedly sets up all the characters, but in truth things change and characters come in and out and also the writers begin to learn who the actors are more,” Weeks explained. “So they start to write for them. And I think as Mindy and the writers got to know me, Ed, personally, they realized that I wasn’t just this invulnerable, smooth ladies’ man. In fact, I’m quite the opposite. I’m a very anxious, nervy kind of loser in many ways, and I get very stressed and a little tense. And all these fun flaws they’ve managed to write into the character gradually.”
The Mindy Project airs on Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. on FOX.