John Gammon previews Valentine’s Day on THE MIDDLE

BEAU WIRICK, JOHN GAMMON, CHARLIE MCDERMOTTOn tonight’s all new episode of THE MIDDLE, Boss Co. finds themselves employed by all the young men in Orson, doing the dirty work in relationships that just aren’t working.  Friend of the site, John Gammon, gave us a call to discuss what’s happening tonight, and what comes next!

I had the delight to watch tonight’s episode of THE MIDDLE – it’s funny, it’s heartwarming, everything the show is.
Great, I’m so glad to hear to that!  I feel the very same way!

Talking about Darrin, he started as Axl’s friend, and we get to see more and more of him, with more to come – how do you approach a character like Darrin?  He’s not the smartest of the bunch.
When it comes to playing dumb, you don’t want to play it like you’re in on the joke.  I think it’s best to play it earnest and be confused if anything.  Confusion is a very natural feeling for sure.  Some of us are a little more confused than others, for sure!  With playing dumb, you definitely don’t want to seem like you don’t have it figured out; you’re still kind of looking for the answers, however you could be very very confused.  I play Darrin like he’s trying to figure stuff out, but he just doesn’t quite know, and sometimes he’s really convinced that he knows what’s going on, and that’s normally when the funny shift comes!

JOHN GAMMON, BEAU WIRICK, CHARLIE MCDERMOTT, VICTORIA BRUNOLast week, we got a bit of the three guys reflecting on the fact that they’re going to miss each other.  Has it been fun to add that extra layer to his friendship with the guys?
Oh absolutely!  There’s no question that what Darrin lacks in overall intelligence and knowledge, he more than makes up for in values.  He has an undying loyalty to his friends.  He’ll do anything for them, and he wants to stick by them no matter what.  No matter where they’re going, they’re all going to be in state for sure, they’ll definitely remain friends no matter what.

What can you tease us about what we’ll see in the Valentine’s episode, and beyond?
Well, we are wondering about whether or not Darrin is ever going to have a Valentine himself.  It’s something I was hoping for, and I think the last time we talked about it, it was something that I had mentioned, and it looks like not only will he have a Valentine, but he’ll also have somewhat of a grudge take place.  Conflict, contention, between him and some other characters.  So!  It’s a lot of stuff, almost a love-triangle situation [laughs].

We’ve seen the guys strike out, Axl has a serious relationship; Darrin seems to be heading that way.  I like that the show is following this trajectory for them!
Yeah, I agree, I think it’s a great place to take the show.  We have wonderful writers, and I love what they’re doing.  It’s really amazing how the show is really catching on.

We’ve talked about the interaction you have with the writers, seems collaborative.  
We certainly interact with the writers a lot.  They tend to pick up on our natural speech!  Sometimes, when I can’t find a simple word, for some odd reason, maybe you can thank my linguist parents.  I had two teachers of language for parents; I always go for a really complex word.  The writers picked up on that, and they give Darrin these kind of big terms – like confounded, when he’s really trying to express what he’s feeling in the moment, or use a big 5 dollar word.

BEAU WIRICK, JOHN GAMMON, CHARLIE MCDERMOTT, VICTORIA BRUNOWith a character like Darrin – what has surprised you most about the transition?  What’s different or surprising from when this guy started to where we are now?
I guess from when I started, I guess I figured that we would, since all three of us are on the football team, I figured we’d be doing a lot more in and around the football field, more to do with sports.  When we started a rock band, that was pretty interesting.  I didn’t know anything about playing musical instruments.  I’m one of those people who absolutely loves music, because I don’t really know how it works.  One of those things that fascinates you more because you understand less about it.  They taught me how to play the drums!  Coming up, with Axl and the AxMen, they’re teaching Darrin to play a couple guitar chords.  It will be really, really exciting!  The more emphasis they put on the musical side of it, that was a huge surprise as well as less of a sports that the boys were playing.

Using that, learning the drums, is that something, now that you’ve been in this world – is it something you want to explore, being in a band?
I’d love to guest on some people’s bongos, but nothing really serious!  I’d have to try it out sort of as a hobby in my spare time for sure [laughs].  It’s tough!  I thought it’s tough being an actor, but if there’s one thing harder in the entertainment world, it’s probably music.  Never say never!

I’d imagine you have to approach music and acting with an “I’ll try anything once.”
Not only once, but for a good while before I figure out, oh, I could actually earn money on this!

What shows are you watching these days?
I absolutely love this new thing on Netflix – HOUSE OF CARDS.  It’s really the future of our industry.  They released the entire first season, you can stream it anytime you want to.  The format is incredible.  Obviously, the show is fantastic.  You’ve got Kevin Spacey, and an absolutely dynamite cast behind him.  That’s, I think, where content is going to be.  I really loved watching the show!  I would love to be on it.  I’d be curious to find out if there’s a role on it for me.

It’s crazy to think that even 5 years ago, people were still against TV moving towards the online world, with Kevin Spacey and David Fincher being involved – as an actor, what do you think of the lines between mediums blurring like that?
I think that it’s great.  It’s another sign of progress, the way that technology evolved.  I feel like we’re living in a world nowadays where you can push a button on a personal device and you can get some kind of TV show going, and I think that’s actually a very, very good thing.  We’re living constantly more and more on the move, things are becoming that much more dynamic in everyday life.  No one is watching TV live- it’s DVR.  Now you can stream it from your computer, your phone, your iPad, there are all different ways, and I think that they are actually going to help in the end.  It just takes a little bit of time to understand what people are going to want to see, where they’re going to want to see it, and what type of stuff they’re willing to sit down for.


At what point in talking with the writers and reading the script did you know that Darrin and Sue would be explored?  Was it there all along, or a surprise?
It definitely came as a surprise.  Both of these characters are extremely positive, and they just want things to work out and they’re going to do everything they can to see that that actually happens.  They’re not going to take that out on anyone else around them.  They’re just going to keep on trucking.  I figured it was something that might happen.

How does Axl react?
That’s something that I leave up to people watching the show!

Do you think that this is a relationship that we’ll see through the rest of the season? 
It’s kind of taking it bit by bit, as it goes.  It’s definitely not going to be boring at all.  Not dramatic, but certainly not boring, that’s for sure.  Definitely people should be tuning in because it’s going to be funny as all heck!

THE MIDDLE airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC.  And check back after tonight’s THE MIDDLE for some follow up questions we had for John!