Big Shots, the new hit on ABC, is now firmly planted in the center of office water cooler discussion. The new Sex & The City, but for men, about men, and starring men, the series has garnered critical acclaim and also, a strong following of women, too. What woman wouldn’t want to peer into the minds of five modern men, flaws and all? Josh Malina, who stars in the show, is indeed a big shot in the industry, too. With star turns in The West Wing, Sport Night, and The Larry Sanders Show, among many other television appearances, Malina knows about male casts and the hijinks that ensue. Dylan McDermott, Michael Vartan and Christopher Titus are just three of the resident hunks who round out the hit cast of his Big Shots. Here, in an exclusive to us, Malina dials in on the craft and comedy of acting, Broadway, and what cool means to him.
Lance Avery Morgan: I understand you grew up in New Rochelle, New York – the suburb in which Rob and Laura Petrie of The Dick Van Dyke Show lived. Was your childhood like a sitcom?
Josh Malina: Yes, my childhood was remarkably sitcom-like, because although my family occasionally had its problems, they were always resolved within a half an hour's time (counting commercials).
LAM: That’s cool. And, to you, what defines cool in a guy? In a girl?
JM: To me, "cool" is defined similarly in a guy and a girl. Self-confidence - owning who you are - is cool. So, you can be a chimney cleaner, a librarian, or a prop comedian, and still be cool, as long as you're comfortable in your own skin.
LAM: You’ve seemed to have mastered television, film and theater. Which medium do you prefer?
JM: Well, there is no comparison as far as raw excitement. Theater is the big adrenaline rush. Being out in front of an audience, playing off an immediate reaction is the best. Unfortunately, it's hard to make a living as a stage actor.
LAM: You do have some training in the craft, though you graduated from Yale with a BA in theater… what inspired you to get into acting?
JM: As far back as I can remember, I've wanted to be an actor. I grew up going to Broadway shows, and always wanted to be part of that world. I did school plays, camp plays, and community theater. So as a young kid I knew I'd pursue a career as an actor.
LAM: Is there one great acting role that you’d like to play – like Othello or Jesse James?
JM: That's a good question, but I don't have a great answer for it. I certainly never managed to play any of the young man roles I coveted. I guess it's time for me to focus in on the middle age dream role. I'll get back to you when I figure out what that is.