Interview: Andy Favreau

From the interview archives.

You know Andy Favreau from series like The Mick and Animal Kingdom, and now you can see him in the brand new NBC comedy Champions. VULKAN caught up with Andy to talk about what we can expect from his character Matthew, what his experience has been like so far on the series and what makes Mindy Kaling one of the best bosses he’s ever had. 

Champions premiers soon which looks like it’s be both hilarious and very sweet. What attracted you to the role of Matthew?

​​Matthew is a fun character to play because he’s a guy who is constantly seeing the best in people. He’s a glass full guy and he has such a positive outlook on life and is so content with where he is that he’s never really asking for anything more. He’s a little dim, but you can’t help but love him because he’s trying so hard. What he lacks in intelligence he makes up for with emotional I.Q. It’s that rare character where there’s a perfect balance between sweet and dumb.

What makes Matthew a good role model to have around Michael (J.J Totah) and what can we expect from their dynamic?

Matthew is so supportive of Michael and his dreams of becoming a Broadway legend. In Matthew’s eyes Michael can do no wrong because he is his nephew. I think what’s great about this show is that all three characters in this family look up to each other. We are all learning from each other and supporting each other and trying to make this new family dynamic work. It’s a show about growing up no matter what age you are.

How do you think you’d react to finding out you not only had a son but that he was well into his teens when you found out?

​​I don’t know that it would necessarily be one emotion. Probably a rollercoaster of emotions that would include: scared, happy, nervous, thrilled, shocked, proud, fortunate, lucky to name a few.  And after I caught my breath, I’d say we had a lot of catching up to do.

What was one thing that surprised you about working with J.J Totah?

​​That he is only 16-years-old. He’s very mature for his age and a real professional. Not only is he working full time on a show, learning lines, and doing all these scenes, but he’s also studying and taking high school exams. If I was doing both at that age? Forget about it. We are so lucky to have him on the show. People will love him.

How was the first table read with this cast? It looks like such a fun set to be on but what were those first few days like as you dove into the role?

I would be happy working on any show because I love acting so much. To be on this particular show with this particular cast is such an added bonus and I feel so lucky. We all clicked really quickly off-camera and I think that shows on-camera.  ​

How would you describe working with Mindy Kaling?

​​She’s incredible. I’ve been such a fan of hers since the days of “The Office” and then “The Mindy Project.”  She’s such a pro and so smart and so funny. It’s really nice to know you are in such good hands. She also laughs at all my jokes which therefore makes her the best boss I’ve ever had.  

The show premiers on International Women’s Day. Any words for the women of the world that you’d like to share?

This has been a year where women have protested, organized, and marched in record numbers and a year where women have really made their voices heard. I think people are listening now more than ever and I think there is going to be a lot of positive change because of it.

What is one misconception you think fans have about you?

​​My brother is not Jon Favreau the actor/director.  My brother IS Jon Favreau the Obama speechwriter/podcaster.

Parasailing, wakeboarding, or kayaking – which is more your speed?

Kayaking. Let’s not get crazy.

What is one part of choosing acting as a career that you wish you could do less of, whether it’s the early mornings, media, maintaining a social media presence…?

​​I love everything about this business. And I’ve learned that embracing the stuff you don’t like will only help you. Going on audition after audition and getting rejected happens to every single actor and it sucks. But, the sooner you embrace the process and not just the result, the sooner you will start having more fun.

If you could star in a film about any historical person, who do you choose and who directs it?

Tom Brady. Played by me. Directed by Peter Berg. I’m obviously from Boston.

What’s your ideal way to spend a free Friday night?

At the movie theater.

One band you haven’t seen in concert yet that you’d drop anything for?

​Kendrick Lamar. He’s incredible and I’m dying to see him in concert.

Anything else coming up that we should keep an eye out for?

​​I was just in a hilarious episode of “Will & Grace.”  And I have some guest spots on “Code Black,” “The Arrangement,” and “American Woman” all airing in the next few months.

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