Thomas Barbusca Previews THE MICK’s S1 Finale

Thomas Barbusca, photographed by April Mills

Tonight, the first season finale of my favorite new comedy of the season, THE MICK, airs at 8:30/7:30c. The episode promises to be another hilarious one, as FOX tells us, “The kids catch a pair of intruders trying to break into the Pemberton mansion; Mickey tries to protect the kids in a case of mistaken identity.”

To celebrate the final episode of the year (and the fact that it’s not the final episode ever and we’ll see more of these crazy people next season), I got on the phone with Thomas Barbusca (he’s Chip Pemberton) to talk about what we’ll see tonight, what else he’s working on, and what advice has for fellow young actors.

When you were looking for something to get involved with, you read the scripts and things like that, why did THE MICK stand out as something you wanted to be a part of, to play this character?
Well, the script is hysterical and Kaitlin Olson and the writers from IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY… sealed the deal for me. I’m such a huge fan of them, so that’s definitely what draws me towards it.

Did you kind of get the sense that this was really going to be something when you were reading it and getting involved?
Yeah, definitely, because at the time I had a couple offers and I read all of them. Honestly, THE MICK was the best one fit-wise for me, and I’m a huge fan of Kaitlin and, like I said, the writers. So that, just being able to work with them, it’s always been a dream of mine to work with them too. So that was definitely part of the reason.

What was it like, then, being a fan of Kaitlin, getting to film with her, getting to film with this family that instantly you feel like a family? What was that like first day on set, getting to get the feel for each other?
Filming everyone is great. We have a lot of fun together all day. We laugh all the time. Filming with Kaitlin’s great. She’s so fun and cool. She’s a comedic genius, and everybody else on the set, Carla, Scott, Sofia, Jack, even little Jack, right? It’s just from day one we were all close.

I think that helps because we do feel like we know these characters even after one or two episodes.
Yeah. Yeah, we definitely spent a lot of time together before we started shooting, just getting to know each other. We automatically clicked.

What can you tease for us about the finale?
Well, the finale will 100% shock people. There’s going to be some huge changes and adjustments for the next season after the finale.

It’s got to be exciting to hear that official pickup because it kind of lets you breathe a little bit easier knowing kind of early into the season that you guys were going to definitely come back.
Yeah, we were almost done and almost done filming, and one of our producers came up to me and he was like, “Congratulations.” And I was like, “Why? What happened?” And then he showed me an article saying that we got renewed for season two. It was just, I don’t know, it was really humbling and I almost cried a little bit. I don’t know. It was such a cool moment.

Why do you think it is a good time, or why should people watch season one over the hiatus? What is it that you tell people about why they should be watching THE MICK?
They should watch THE MICK because the show is like no other. It’s hysterically funny and different. It’s going to hook you. The fans have just been amazing.

THE MICK: Thomas Barbusca in the new “The Intruder” season finale episode of THE MICK airing Tuesday, May 2 (8:31-9:00 ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

What have you heard from fans? What are people saying to you about the show?
They just love it. Every day, can’t wait for the new episode. People are just attached to it just because the writing’s great and directing’s great and everybody else on the show.

And can you relate to Chip? I mean, this is this kind of entitled guy, silver spoon in his mouth. Can you relate to that at all? How much of Thomas do you put into Chip when you’re playing this character?
[laughs] Me and Chip are very different, but I love to play him because he’s so opposite for me. I like to take him from the next level.

That’s got to be fun, too, to kind of step away from yourself for a little bit and embody this guy who can, just at the drop of a hat, whatever he wants, whatever he can buy, he’s there for it. I think it’s hysterical. What was it like filming? I was watching the one episode where you have the luxury box and obviously Jimmy doesn’t, and you’re just like, “Yeah, I’m going to go buy my own tickets.” What was it like filming that episode?
We were actually on the Fox lot in the parking lot. They just made it look awesome. That was so fun for me. Obviously I’m a big sports fan, so watching that was really cool, just seeing all the fans around us, that was fun. Scott, like Jimmy, him eating the hot dog while he was talking was so funny. Couldn’t stop laughing.

Thomas Barbusca, photographed by April Mills

Well, do you guys get into trouble like that where you laugh too much because you are so funny together when you’re trying to shoot? Is there a lot of breaking on set?
Not much with everybody else, but mostly me.

Looking back on the season, is there a favorite episode you have so far that you’ve shot? Or do you have favorite moments looking back on the season?
Favorite thing looking back on the season. Let’s see. “The Wolf” was definitely one of my favorite episodes to film, just because me and Kaitlin really grew a bond and a friendship there more than any other time we were working because it was mostly just me and her that week. So that’s definitely one of them. And the fight scene, “The Master.” Got to fight with Sofia. She’s like an older sister to me in real life too, so that was fun to film. She definitely threw a couple real body shots in there.

I know you’ve been involved in a lot of stuff and you do a little bit of everything here and there, but is there something you’re working on before you go back to shoot THE MICK?
Yeah, I just finished this indie called SEARCH with a director that directed my first film. We just have a really cool bond, so he asked me if I was down to do it and doing that, and just planning on having a fun summer.

Nice. What do you watch when you have some downtime? Do you have shows you have to watch all the time?
Yeah. All day in my house, I’m watching a show. It’s usually SEINFELD, FRIENDS, FAMILY GUY, just something funny that I could take something from, like SEINFELD.

Did you watch comedies growing up and say, “Okay, I want to do that,” or where did the acting bug start?
Well, my sister started really young because she was just in love with TV and she wanted to be on TV. I kind of got jealous and followed in her footsteps, so yeah.

THE MICK: L-R: Kaitlin Olson, Carla Jimenez, Sofia Black-D’Elia and Thomas Barbusca in the new “The Intruder” season finale episode of THE MICK airing Tuesday, May 2 (8:31-9:00 ET/PT) on FOX. ©2017 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Patrick McElhenney/FOX

Do you have advice for younger actors? You said you kind of followed in your sister’s footsteps, but for people who are trying to get into the business or really interested at a younger age, what advice would you give them about getting involved or going out for things?
Yeah, if it’s something you’re truly passionate about, just stick to it. There’s a lot of rejection and you just can’t take it seriously. It took ten years for me just to get on a show, and it’s awesome but there’s a lot of rejection. It’s a long process, so you’ve just got to stick with it.

I’d imagine you have to have a thick skin early to kind of deal with- because no matter how good you are, there are so many other people out there that you never know what they need. So it’s like you do have to get used to hearing no.
Yeah, definitely. Actors go on hundreds of auditions in a year, and there’s just so much rejection and there’s no – there’s usually not because of how you act. People can be very particular in what they want. It could be your hair or your eyes, just something little like that that are just super particular. You’ve just got to fight through it.

THE MICK season 1 finale airs tonight at 8:30c/7:30c on FOX.