Christoph Sanders talks LAST MAN STANDING

CHRISTOPH SANDERSOn an all new episode of LAST MAN STANDING, Mike is surprisingly impressed with Ryan when they take Boyd to a baseball game and have a run-in with a tipsy Bill McKendree (Richard Karn), who’s been on a downward spiral ever since Mike failed to give him an Outdoor Man account. Meanwhile, when Mandy gets her laptop and cell phone taken away for failing history, she comes across Mike’s old ham radio and starts some unlikely conversations with people from around the world. I spent some time chatting with series star Christoph Sanders (Kyle) about what’s coming next, the Kyle and Mandy relationship, and what shows he’s draws inspiration from!

How’s life on LAST MAN STANDING?
I think we all feel like a third season would be nice.  We continue to see the relationships develop and have the same interactions. Feeling we’ve started to perfect the interactions.

What has been like working with Tim Allen?
It’s really cool. I didn’t get to watch a lot of TV growing up; every now and then, I’d watch HOME IMPROVEMENT.  I’m familiar with Tim from The Santa Clause movies and Galaxy Quest. It’s always fun to work with someone and find out that they’re a cool person, like-minded. Generous enough to spend time with up. Going in, I wasn’t familiar with sitcoms; there are a lot of similarities, having Tim and Hector (Elizondo) there to help has been great.What was it about the show originally that made you want to be involved?
I enjoy working on TV, from a schedule perspectives. You get the opportunity to work with the same people for an extended period of time. I feel like I have a lot to learn about acting and the business, so it’s good to work with people to continue learning. I honestly came into the show and didn’t expect to stay on the show.  They said it would be between a 3/6 episode arc.  After that, they offered a series regular role. I would love for the show to go on for another 5 years; we are filling a void that hasn’t been around for a while. We are bringing back a classic family sitcom.  I’m really happy to be able to work on TV. I would love to do film and produce my own work, as well.

MOLLY EPHRAIM, CHRISTOPH SANDERSDo you get a chance now to watch TV?  Are there shows that you gravitate towards?
Shows I’m able to take something from. I watch a broad scale of different stuff. I love GAME OF THRONES and HBO shows like NEWSROOM, BOARDWALK EMPIRE. They’re shooting a TV show, but like they’re shooting a mini movie. FX shows that are ahead of their time as far as comedy goes. I watch different shows. I don’t miss an episode of GAME OF THRONES; when it comes to shows on the networks – I watch NEW GIRL and IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA. I watch a lot.

Talk about the approach to playing Kyle –
I would say Kyle is not dumb; he’s naive. He has a simple perspective about love and the way relationships should be, I enjoy going to work and approach everything very one track. I like you; I don’t like you. There is a lot you can take from a perspective that simple.  Working in the business that we do, it’s not to take the simple approach.

What’s life like offset – have you formed your own family away from the show?
We all interact outside of work. We’ve gone to Disneyland, and we go out to eat during shooting weeks. We shoot on the old Seinfeld stage. We have our own rooms, and it’s like dorm style. We are around each other all the time, forced to be around people; whether you like it or not!  But in this case, we are lucky to be able to work with people we like. We are able to watch the show, and go out to eat.  I look forward to working with them for years.

What’s a typical week like on the show?  How supportive has the network been?
Our rehearsal process is like this: we get the script on Wednesday. Then we have the read through with writers and producers, network; we get feedback immediately. As far as long term, we do run throughs each day – we generally go a run through and producers and studio and network come and talk about the story lines, decisions are made from executive producer and studio network perspective. We work out the different kinks – as far as I knows they’re all behind us. Ratings wise, we are holding Fridays well. We kept our same ratings, so to be able to move those types of ratings to Friday, everyone has been pleased with that.

I did want to chat about the Kyle and Mandy of it all – was that always in the cards, even when Kyle was with Kristen?
From the beginning, the characters had a lot of similarities in behavioral aspects. Everyone thought that would be funny, like I wonder if this would ever happen, so we brushed it aside. At the beginning  of season two, we heard that they would move us that way.  It’s been great for my character and Tim.  Molly’s character (Mandy) and Tim; Kristen and I. We were shooting episode 2 or 3 when we for the word that this was where it would head. Molly and I are friends and we were hoping it would head that way.

The final two episodes of LAST MAN STANDING’s second season air this and next week at 8/9c Fridays on ABC (with HOME IMPROVEMENT guest star Richard Karn this week and Jonathan Taylor Thomas next week).  Give the show some support and let us know if you’re watching!