Before our intrepid TV Club correspondents traveled to this summer’s Television Critics Association press tour, we asked readers to submit questions that we could pose to the TV pros attending the event. (And we made one up ourselves.) With those questions and the answers they prompted, we bring you the TV Club Questionnaire.
Although he’s been a frequent face on U.K. TV since the mid-2000s, spending several seasons starring in the series Waterloo Road, Chris Geere was effectively an unknown quantity to American viewers until last year, when he made an instant impression as Jimmy on FXX’s You’re The Worst. The decidedly not-safe-for-work sitcom, which co-stars Aya Cash, Desmin Borges, and Kether Donohue, is currently in the midst of its second season.
If you could be working on any other television series currently on the air, which one would it be, and why?
Chris Geere: If I was a part of any other, I’d probably be Empire, ’cause I’ve yet to see it, but seeing the excitement from all the actors that are involved when we saw them at the Critics’ Choice Awards, they were all so proud of everything that they’ve done. And I love that. From an actor’s point of view, I love seeing them go, “Yes! We worked hard, and we were rewarded for it!” And by all reports, it’s a superb show.
The A.V. Club: And who would you play on the show?
CG: Cookie. [Laughs.]
What are your earliest memories of TV, and did they have any bearing on you wanting to have a career in TV?
CG: My earliest memories of TV were watching cookery shows with my mum. And that has nothing to do with acting whatsoever, but I just remember them… which very much got me into cooking! But I think shows back then were mainly kind of animated. There was a lot of animated stuff that I watched as a child. My son, who’s now 3—the majority of the stuff that he watches is not animated, and it’s great to see that. I always thought the world was Danger Mouse, Count Duckula, SuperTed. There were all these animals with faces, and that’s what I thought the world was. But now watching these shows with my son, it’s now more kind of like, “These are actual people and proper characters.” That’s a great development.
What efforts do you take to promote diverse viewpoints, and how do you think that has affected storytelling, either on your show or the television medium as a whole?
CG: Wow, that’s a very long question. [Laughs.] I think diverse subject points should be approached with no bullshit. Don’t censor them. If you’re bringing them up, if you’re going to talk about something, talk about it honestly, so you don’t disrespect anyone who’s associated with those issues. And then if you can make light of any dark situation, then do so. There’s that old saying—and I can’t remember who it was who said it—“If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry.” And I think that’s really true. Yes, we’re doing a comedy, but, yes, this is a story about a couple—well, four people—living their lives. This is real life. And shit’s funny, but shit’s really sad at points as well! So in order to tell the sad stuff in a comedy, we have to be honest about how dark it gets and then try and bring some light from that darkness.
If you could add something to the show you’re working on, without anyone knowing about it beforehand and free from any consequences from upset co-workers/networks/viewers, what would it be?
CG: There aren’t too many things that I can think of that Stephen [Falk, series creator] probably hasn’t already thought of and storylined and perhaps suggested and then gone, “Oh, no, this would be terrible.” But there is one thing that happens in this season with Lindsay, which is so dark that I’m surprised it’s going to make it on the air. It’s so rude. There is something that happens that makes the sex sequence in the pilot look extremely mild. [Laughs.] But, you know, personally for me, what I want is… This season and last season have been very much Jimmy versus Gretchen, and what I want is Jimmy and Gretchen versus the world. That’s what I want. If we were to continue this show, I want them to be like Batman and Robin. Like, a proper partnership going on. And I’m in the most capable hands of all time, so if that happens, it’d be amazing.
If any character from your show could be given a spin-off, who would it be and what would be the premise of the new show?
CG: I think you could actually give a spin-off to any character. They’re that strong. But I would personally go for the rappers. [Laughs.] Just seeing their lives from morning to night. ’Cause you only see them in snippets, and you’re like, “They are so crazy! How can they be like that all day?” And I’d like to see the ups and downs in the lives of those three.