We had a hilarious chat with actor and Executive Producer Michael Rosenbaum this morning, while he waited to board his flight to SDCC! Tune into his new series Impastor on Wednesday, July 15th on TV Land at 10:30/9:30c. Read our interview below were we discuss Impastor, cantaloupes, Periscope and Comic Con.
How was Good Day L.A. this morning?
“Michael: It was good. It was fun. It’s early for me. I’m not a morning person and I stay up late so I was trying to fake it pretty good. I’m a good faker. It was good. Their questions were kind of like, I was not taken aback, but it was, “How do you feel about certain things about religion?” And stuff like that. I had fun with it. It was fun. They were very cool people. I’ve seen them do it at the show, too.”
That’s great. I love the show. I think it’s hilarious.
“You’re my favorite person. Talk Nerdy’s article was awesome. I love seeing the good articles. It’s nice to have support out there.”
Well, you completely have it from us. So many people have already seen the pilot. What’s been the best Tweet response you’ve gotten?
“The best Tweet response, that’s tough. There’s a lot of good then. Obviously, you have those devoted fans who say sexual things. Hey, I’ll take them. I’m not used to them and I’ll take them. I mean, it’s funny cause I can’t wait til the episode where I’m bare ass on one of those later episodes. Those will be fun. By the way, those are my choice. I kind of improvised a couple of scenes where the director and creator didn’t know that I was going to just walk out and have kind of my ass showing and they ended up keeping it in the show. What a treat, huh? My mom’s going to love it. “Michael, your ass. We always have to see your ass. Why do you feel the need to show everyone your ass?” Like, “Why do you need to ask that question?”
Best Tweet. I don’t know, I’m trying to think. I guess I just love the positive responses. I love the show. I love how creative and different it is, how edgy it is. They love the cantaloupe scene, when I’m very, I don’t know. You saw the episode. It’s just nice to see that everyone’s response is just overwhelming positive for the most part. It’s just been great. They like me giving the sermon. It’s all exciting. It’s all very good.”
Speaking of the sermon, Buddy says that he uses like a TV pastor for inspiration. What did you use for your inspiration for the role?
“It’s funny because I kept talking to the creator. I really wanted to go Southern preacher, but we wanted to keep it grounded, too, so people would believe that he had actually pulled off this sermon. It’s a balancing act because if you’re too ridiculous they’re like, “No one would believe that in that town.” He comes up with this idea that Buddy sort of improvises his way through it, but at the very end of the sermon, you kind of hear that Southern preacher coming at you just a little bit, that Indiana in me that I just started remembering when I was going to high school and I’d go with my friends. I was the one Jewish kid who went with his friends to church on Sundays. I was always fearing that they were going to call me up like, “How about you, young Jew? Why don’t you come up and say a few words?” But they never did that.
I guess I just always remembered the extreme Evangelists on TV, but there are a lot of great pastors out there. I went to one in Santa Clarita with my friends for Christmas. They go, “Why don’t you come to church with us?” So, I went to church with them, with a couple friends. I had a blast. I loved the sermon. I loved the pastor. He was well spoken and he talked more about life and people and relationships and how to be a good person. That’s good religion, when they do that. I tried to balance them both. A little bit of that, a little bit extreme.”
Okay, so you’ve produced before, but not really for a TV series. What’s it like wearing the actor hat and the Executive Producer hat at the same time?
“Last year, I directed my first feature film. I was an Executive Producer on it and I wrote it. I kind of did everything. I was a lead actor in it. It was incredibly hard. I felt like after that I could do anything. We didn’t have a big budget. That was my baby. This was sort of … You really have to, you’re collaborating. You have to understand that when you do a project like this, your notes aren’t the only notes. There are three other Executive Producers and their notes are just as important. Not only that, but it’s the casting, it’s being in the rooms with the actors. It feels like being an actor.
In fact, when we had these casting calls early on, people would come in. I was nervous, because I was nervous for them. It was like, “Oh my gosh. This is what I’ve been doing my whole life.” Inherently, you just go in front of people and then you close the door and they start talking about you. “She wasn’t good enough,” or “He didn’t have enough energy.” I’m like, “God. This is what I’ve been doing. I’ve been judged my whole life.” Rejection is so hard, so I really relate to these actors who come into the room. As a producer, you really have to sit down with these guys. When certain actors left the room, I said, “Look. That guy is the freaking role. That guy’s the guy.” Or a couple of them would love someone and I wouldn’t, or I’d love someone and they wouldn’t.
We worked together. Sometimes the person that three producers or two liked, they can kind of get the others to come on board a little bit. Then it has to go to the network and the network has to approve the cast. That’s one aspect of it. Then the scripts come in and you’re giving notes, and you don’t want to offend people. It’s a balancing act. Then when you get on set it’s like these actors, you’re an actor too, and their like “Michael, can you do this?” I’m like, “Well, hang on a second.” It’s definitely a balancing act.
I really, really loved it. I felt like I learned an incredible amount, and people I worked with were real pros. I mean, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum were just, you know, they were huge producers. They produced Two and a Half Men and movies. When Eric asked me to come on as a producer I was just honored. A lot of times he usually has pretty good ideas. He’s a solid guy, so I learned a lot from these guys. It was amazing. It really was.
You memorize your lines, and you walk on set, and you say them, and you go home. Then as the producer you go home and you watch daily’s, and you go home and you watch cuts. You give notes. You’re up for a couple extra hours and your up earlier. That took a little getting used to. I’m going to be honest with you.”
So obviously since Buddy is a pastor, he quotes the Bible quite often. What’s your favorite quote from the Bible? It can be serious or funny, it doesn’t matter. Just your favorite quote.
“Oh man. I mean, I always loved that little commercial “and God said let there be light.” And I smoke from a bong. That always makes me laugh. I mean, there’s so many. There’s an episode. I think … Did you see episode three?”
“Where he’s going around quoting the Bible and finally the Bishop’s just like, “Okay. We know you’ve read the Bible. Nobody like’s a know-it-all. Cut that shit out.” I really like that because he doesn’t know anything about religion or the Bible, and he learns from this little kids game about the Bible. Bible Bill’s… Bible Bob’s trivia. We don’t want to play that game, that’s for kids. I’m like, “Oh. Perfect. Perfect for Buddy.” I’m trying to think of some Bible quotes here. I don’t really know any, what’s your favorite?”
I don’t know. I’ve never been asked.
“Yeah, so it’s a tough question. I’d have to look at some quotes. If you gave me some quotes I could tell you which one is my favorite. I’m sure Buddy is quoting constantly. During Smallville, a lot of people said, “What’s your best soliloquy or your best monologue that you gave.” I’m like, “Well I remember giving one, about Alexander the Great, but I don’t remember what the hell I said.”
Speaking of your coworkers and kind of about episode three. Buddy and Alden don’t really get along until the end of episode three, but what’s your off-screen relationship like with David?
“That’s a great question. David Rasche is an interesting, peculiar, incredibly bright, extremely talented actor and person. I mean, that character just pops. He’s just really amazing. Off camera David’s really the opposite of who you see on the show. He was Sledge Hammer!, but when you go to house and you hang out with his wife it’s amazing. They’re two really laid back, chill people who are just easy to hang out with. I’m not saying they smoke pot, but they might. They’re great. It’s just funny how… he’s a real professional, I’ll say that. On set, Sarah and David are very serious about their work which is awesome.
I’m kind of a goofball! Kind of just, camera’s rolling and I’m still making fart jokes and then we say action. I’m sure I can get on some people’s nerves every once in a while because that’s just kind of how I do it. I remember reading once Leonardo DiCaprio was like that. In What’s Eating Gilbert Grape he has a serious role and he’s playing this kid with special needs and he would just be goofing off and saying the craziest shit, then all of the sudden action and he would turn into that character. I was like, “Oh, thank god somebody else does that.” Not that there’s something wrong with me. I think it’s a combination of ADD and I’m a man-child and I had Arrested Development at some point in my life. I feel like I want to have as much fun as possible until we say action and then I’ll jump in as the character. I still goof off once the camera’s are rolling. But David, he’s very serious. He likes to take his role seriously. It shows onscreen. He’s brilliant as are the other characters.”
Okay, well, since you’re really big on Periscope, do you have any plans to Periscope at Comic Con? What are you most excited to broadcast?
“Well, you know, I’m just getting used to this Periscope thing. I’ve done it ten or eleven times. You know, I just try to be myself and try to do some funny things. Kind of hang out with people is kind of what I do. I’m not really gimmicky. Maybe I’ll get gimmicky, but I’m definitely going to Periscope at Comic Con. I think people who couldn’t make Comic Con want to check it out. I’ve never been there. I’ve been to other Comic Cons but not San Diego. I’m really excited to go. I have no idea what it’s going to be like. Everyone says it’s a shit show. I can’t wait to see the fans and I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to sign from Impastor. That’s about it. I’m definitely going to do some Periscopes.”