As someone relatively new to acting, the name Matthew McCann may not yet be recognizable, but his name won’t stay that way for long. After some commercials, a role on ABC pilot All Stars, and a stint as a voice actor on American Dad, McCann has found his stride on the upcoming CBS series Man With a Plan, also starring sitcom veteran, Matt LeBlanc. McCann’s passion for acting is evident as he talks about enjoying the challenge of playing a character very different than him, learning from other actors on set, and setting goals of being the best actor he can be. Seemingly wise beyond his years, Matthew is a young man who loves that he gets to act and cannot wait to show the world this role he loves to play.
First of all, congratulations on Man with a Plan! I’m excited to see it when it premieres!
You’re welcome! So, we can just jump right on in. Since Man with a Plan hasn’t premiered yet, can you tell us a little bit about what the show is about?
The show is about our mom (Liza Snyder) who was taking care of us and is now going back to work. She’s been taking care of us for like 13 years, and was the one doing all the work in the house. She wants to go back to work, so our dad (Matt LeBlanc) has to start taking care of us. Our mom and our dad have two different ways of running the house. Our dad’s way is a bit different than our mom’s, so we have to get used to our dad’s way of doing stuff around the house. Kind of like chores, because our mom would pick up all of our stuff if we threw it on the floor, but our dad is thinking of ways that we have to do things, but we’re not really doing what he wants us to do. (laughs) So he has to take away stuff and think of stuff to make us do what he wants us to do.
That’s funny! So you play Teddy, the son. What is Teddy like and do you think that you are similar to Teddy?
Teddy is sneaky and doesn’t really like hanging out with lots of friends and stuff. He just wants to go in the corner and play video games and do all that. I’m not very similar to Teddy. There’s not really much we have in common except for the fact that we are both in a family of five. Other than that, probably nothing.
Well, that’s fun, though! You get to play something different. Speaking of being in a family of five, what about your actual experience of being a brother in a family of that size have you used to help you play Teddy?
I have an older sister and an older brother. My sister is kind of like the middle child, but on the show, I’m the middle child. So, I’m wearing my sister’s shoes. The kids get in arguments, and we fight and stuff, but that’s what makes us a family because in real life my family, most of the time we’re nice to each other, but sometimes we argue. It’s just how it runs.
Yeah! So what do you think is your favorite part about getting to play Teddy, or even just getting to be on this show?
My favorite part of playing Teddy is probably the fact that it’s a whole new character, a whole new person, he’s basically nothing like me. So, it’s a lot more fun to bring out a different style or a different part of me that can be this character. It’s just really fun to become a whole new person.
That’s exciting. When you talked about what the show is about, you mentioned how your dad is trying to figure things out, and you all are having to figure things out. Can you describe specifically Teddy’s relationship with his dad?
Since we’re the only guys in the house and everyone else is a girl, my dad and I kind of have this bond, and we’re basically the manhood in the home since there’s one more girl and they can always outvote us on everything. (laughs) We have to do what we want to as guys.
That’s really fun! This is one of your first major roles. Were you nervous when you started or was it more excitement for you?
It was more excitement for me. I was a bit worried, thinking that “oh, this role is so big! I better not mess up on anything!” But after a while, I started just getting used to it, and I started thinking “oh, this is fun!” And my nerves were going away just thinking about the positive stuff and not what I could do wrong.
That’s a good perspective! Your dad is played by Matt LeBlanc who is really well-known for his roles on television sitcoms in the past. So, what has it been like working with him or even just working with someone as well-known as him?
Since he has been on other shows that were comedy, he knows perfect comedic timing, and he teaches us a lot. He’s a great influence on us in the comedy world and just helps us. If we ever need help to say a line a certain way, he helps us say that line in the most comedic way, the way that will get the most laughs. And, he helps us a lot when it comes to acting.
That’s awesome. As a young actor, acting must be something that caught your interest early on in your life. So, what made you decide you wanted to try acting?
When I was seven, my brother went to acting classes and, of course, I wanted to be like my brother, so I went to acting classes. (laughs) He didn’t like it, so I started taking the role of the actor in the family. That’s when I started really loving it, so I kept taking classes. And then I started doing auditions a couple of years later. I thought it was just going to be a couple of acting classes. I didn’t know I was actually going to get a television show. I was really happy about that.
Living the dream! You’re still very early in your career. What are your hopes and dreams for your future in acting?
Probably just to be the best actor I can. Not much to it.
Hey, that is a great perspective! One more question. We talked a lot about the show and about acting, so a question about you. When you’re not acting, what are the things that you like to do?
I like to play with friends; that’s one thing that makes Teddy and me opposites. I like to, as every other kid my age that’s a guy, I like to play video games. I also like to play sports.
Man With a Plan premieres tonight on CBS!