GLEE: Mike O’Malley on his Emmy Nom, Playing Opposite Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith | Give Me My Remote

GLEE: Mike O’Malley on his Emmy Nom, Playing Opposite Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith

July 12, 2010 by  

Mike O’Malley is a familiar face. The man has been in the TV business for quite some time, starring in CBS’s YES, DEAR for six seasons and recurring on shows like NBC’s MY NAME IS EARL and PARENTHOOD — and yes, he’s the dude in those Time Warner Cable commercials too — but some might say that O’Malley’s big break came just this past year when he was cast as Chris Colfer (Kurt)’s dad, Burt Hummel, in FOX’s breakout hit, GLEE.

Though the role involves quite a bit of comedy — something O’Malley is certainly used to doing — there was also a great deal of very difficult material this season, including Kurt telling his father that he is gay and the journey the two then followed.

O’Malley — a dad himself — did some work that really blew viewers away and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences took notice, nominating him for an Emmy in the Outstanding Guest Actor category this past Thursday.

GIVE ME MY REMOTE got some one-on-one time with him, so we could talk about the whole experience…

So, of course, the standard question: Where were you on Emmy nom morning and how did you find out you’d gotten the nod?
Mike O’Malley:
I was at my house and I found out by reading it on the site.

On the Academy’s site?
MO:
On the Academy’s site.

You’re kidding!
MO:
Well, I don’t have a publicist, so there was no one to call me! Had I waited a little bit longer, I’m sure my parents would’ve called me, because they’re on the East coast and they had heard. You know, people asked if I got up to watch the nomination [announcements] and I told them I’m usually up at 5 anyways, ’cause I’m old and I have to go to the bathroom.

Awesome. So, bathroom break, then you called your parents?
MO:
Well, no, actually the first thing I did was I went upstairs and told my wife. We have three little kids, [ages] 7, 5 and 3, and the three-year-old was in bed with us — he usually comes in early in the morning and falls back asleep — and so we were having a muted celebration, because anyone with children will know that if they don’t get a good night’s sleep, the next day is completely shot in terms of enjoying it. So it was the most muted, though jubilant celebration I think I’ve ever had.

Did you get to go out later in the day and party it up a little?
MO:
You know what, that morning, I took the family to IHOP and we all had breakfast together.

Fantastic. And did you hear from GLEE’s fearless leaders at all?
MO:
Oh, sure, yeah. That morning, actually, the first person to text me congratulations was Will Arnett, because he’s a longtime pal of mine, so that was kind of fun. We’ve been friends for many years and it’s great to be in the same category as him. And then later in the day I heard from [GLEE writer/executive producers] Ryan [Murphy] and Brad [Falchuk] and exchanged emails with [cast members] Chris [Colfer] and Cory [Monteith] and Romy Rosemont who plays my girlfriend, although I don’t know what’s going to happen with that relationship now that I’ve kicked Finn out of our house.

Ha. Yeah, that was a powerful scene.
MO:
You know, people’s reactions to my scenes are [a result of] how solid Chris and Cory are. They’re so available emotionally that it’s very easy to act opposite them.

You know, it’s funny, I spoke to Chris and he said the same thing about you, that he’s pretty sure he wouldn’t have been nominated if it wasn’t for you and the chemistry you two have.
MO:
Well, you know, part of Chris’ success and this rocket to fame that all of these kids have had, I’ve witnessed it up close and I must say that they are all incredibly nice and down-to-earth. Chris and Cory are just really good guys and they’re working really, really hard and I think that it’s quite staggering to actually look at the volume of work that they have to do, whether it’s the learning of the music, the choreography or their lines. I think that one of the reasons the show has been singled out is that, when I’m at home and watching an episode, I just can’t believe that they do it in eight days. And I think that anybody that works in Hollywood, whether GLEE is the kind of show that they would write or produce themselves, can recognize just how hard it is to pull it off.

No doubt. But on top of that, the work that you’re doing, I mean, that’s some pretty serious stuff that you, Chris and Cory are tackling.
MO:
It’s been great to be able to have a moment to reflect on participating in the success of the show, because when we’re at work and doing those scenes, they’re very emotional scenes, so you’re not skipping and jumping on set, laughing and having a good time. You really have to be very focused on what it is that you’re doing, so that you don’t do it badly. But it’s a tribute to the writing that the scenes are easy to play once you get out of your own way. You just kind of have to look to the person opposite you and listen and react.

Again, Chris has said the very same thing about you, that he’s kind of following your lead.
MO:
That’s very nice of him to say but that guy doesn’t have to follow anybody’s lead. He comes in completely prepared and leads by his own example. I do think that, in terms of Chris’ storyline, they’ve given him some very rich material to play, and when you’re able to portray that kind of real and painful struggle that everyone can relate to — wondering whether or not your parent is going to love you, whether or not the people in your school are going to love you because of who you are — as an actor, you just want to be able to mirror that [level of emotion].

And you’ve clearly been successful in that endeavor. So successful that I’m thinking there’s a good chance you’ll be promoted to series regular this season.
MO:
Could be. Could be…

What do you guys think?

Would you like to see a whole lot more of Burt Hummel in GLEE season 2?

Maybe a legal joining of the Hummel-Hudson families?


RELATED:
GLEE’s Chris Colfer on his First Emmy Nod: ‘I just collapsed on my living room floor… I’m in complete shock right now’
2010 Primetime Emmy Nods: Our Pumped and Pissed Lists
TV Tweets: Emmy Nomination Reactions

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Filed under #1 featured, Emmys, Glee

Comments

6 Responses to “GLEE: Mike O’Malley on his Emmy Nom, Playing Opposite Chris Colfer and Cory Monteith”

  1. jet on July 12th, 2010 8:35 pm

    what a swell guy.

  2. Kath (GMMR) on July 12th, 2010 9:06 pm

    Class act. Love this guy…and not just because he’s a Boston boy.

  3. Canakatydid on July 12th, 2010 9:43 pm

    Fabulous…actor and article!
    I hope he’s a series regular next year, for sure!

  4. Bery on July 13th, 2010 12:12 am

    I love this guy! Hope to see much more of him and his interaction with Chris, they just steal every scene they have together.

  5. CJ on July 13th, 2010 12:59 am

    I think other than Coach & Mrs. Coach, this was my fave nominee. He’s so great & yet who knew! So a super congrats to him. Toes crossed!

  6. Amanda on July 13th, 2010 10:09 am

    What an awesome interview and a truly classy and talented actor. I’m totally rooting for him to win that Emmy. And Korbi, thanks so much for posting the whole transcript of the interview for those of us who cannot watch video!