Topher Grace talks about her new sitcom “Home Economics”

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Topher Grace: The ABC promo is great, but they actually ran this line in our writer’s room. The hardest thing to do as an actor is to play poorly. Someone says act like a bad actor, and that’s hard to do, and I think it’s just as hard for writers to do, but they figured it out somehow.

It seems like shooting some of those promos where you become the bachelor is almost as fun, if not more fun, than shooting the show.

The single person stuff, man, we literally have an entire episode of footage we’ll never be able to use. These three women (Caitlin McGee, Zamata, Souza) are incredible improvisers, and if you give them sources as rich as The single person to go on, there are 30-minute confessionals where they cry and say, “I’m really in love with him” and “she’s here for the wrong reasons” and they just went crazy. We should promote it. I should ask them to cut it into an episode.

Maybe you should cut it. You have experience with publishing as a hobby.

Good [laughs]. I’m not as good as the manipulative editors of The single person. They really do magic there.

A pilot will obviously have growing pains, but in Domestical economy, the family chemistry is immediately off the charts. You are an executive producer: what role did you play in creating the ideal family for the series?

Just being able to be the first top. You watch it and leave, oh, that’s a great way to get into a family story. It’s very diverse. But, you don’t know until that first day on set. And I was nervous driving there. But when I got home at the end of the second day, I was overconfident. You just know when it clicks. And it happened to me once before I was on a dream team like that. What are the chances of it happening again? But this group, you really thrive every day, because you love everyone you work with.

It seems like being a father has informed your role. You seem natural with children and have a paternal aura all the way.

It’s funny, before I had kids, I hated listening to actors talk about how their kids changed everything for them. And I didn’t for my children. I don’t like it when actors say they made a movie, like an animated movie or something, because they wanted something their kids liked. Why don’t you do it just for yourself? But I made this one for me. In fact, I feel like the character is going through something very similar to what I’m going through. I don’t have twins. But I understood that underwater feeling you have when the kids are very young and you try to pursue creative passions. My character happens to be a novelist, but he wants to make time for it, but even when the show starts, the first thing you see, I’m just at a desk and writing. And then you see there’s a crib next to the desk and you see there’s another crib and the other kid comes up to you and yeah that’s what it does if you really try to balance those two things.

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