Interview with Patrick Fabian

Patrick Fabian is known most for his role in last year’s hit “The Last Exorcism”.  He is currently starring along side Melissa Peterman and Ed Asner in CMT’s new show “Working Class”.  Movie Mikes had a chance to talk with Patrick again to discuss he new show and how it has been working on it.

Click here to check out our interview with Patrick for “The Last Exorcism”

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you got involved with “Working Class”?
Patrick Fabian: I got involved because I was on “Reba” about five years ago and I played the character of, and I kid you not, Reverent Yummypants and that is how I met Melissa Peterman.  Five years later I ran into her for a charity event in Los Angeles for under privledged kids and she mentioned she is doing a show for CMT. She asked me to do a table reading with her.  So I did the table reading and got to be reunited with her basically. I was thrilled since I think she is the funniest girl on television and then you add in Ed Asner…he is a TV legend.  So between her and him, I was over the moon.  We went into production last Fall…shot twelve episodes and started airing them four weeks ago.

MG: So I am assuming it was easy then working with Melissa Peterman again on the show?
PF: When I was on “Reba”, it made it seem maybe Reba and I would be getting together, but instead Melissa’s character turns out to have a crush on me.  In this show we are kind of playing off that dynamic again. I end up playing her boss in this show. We are from different sides of the tracks.  She is from the poorer side…trying to work her way up.  I play a Richie Rich guy who owns the store. We are attracted to one another. What is great about working with her because it is an easy job on my end. All I had to do put on a suit and stand there, she does all the work.  She works overtime making all the funny happy and I get to be her bounce guy…which is a great working relationship to be in.

MG: Tell us have you enjoyed playing your character Rob Parker in the show?
PF: What is really fun about it is that Martin Mull plays my father.  So I got to meet and hang out with him.  He plays the matriarch of my family and he owes the entire chain of these supermarkets in the nameless midwest.  He gives me this store to run and to kind of cut my teeth on.  What is nice about it is that even though I am a manager of a grocery store…I am dressing in black Armani suits.  That is why I like television because that works out fine for me. Somebody asked me before if I had any experience with grocery…which I didn’t but I was a grease monkey at McDonald’s for four years right through high school.  So I know what it is like to make the minimum mage and put your nose to the grindstone.  So it is kind of fun to be the guy in charge of those people as well.

MG: How does it feel to be working on the first scripted series for CMT?
PF: Working with CMT is great, they are just as nice as you would expect. A company based out of Nashville is just as polite and fun to work for like you could imagine. This is their first scripted and there is a lot riding on it.  But they love Melissa since she is the host of “The Singing Bee” which has been on CMT for numerous years.  There is also something really great about being attached to something that is brand new. Since it is CMT, it is a smaller audience.  It is not NBC, CBS or ABC. The quota for success is whether really the people in the office like it enough.  If CMT likes this show, they will be behind it all the way. The fact is, we shot twelve episodes right out of the gate and in these days it is hard to start with twelve episodes on regular network TV. The shows fail so quickly and the bar is set so high in order to give the show a chance.  What I like about our chances here is that this show is exactely their audience and they always talk about the station being “Television the whole family can watch”. I certainly think that this is that. This is not the snarky kind of bitter humor that a lot of shows tend to have today on network TV…I am not saying it is a bad thing, since there is definitely a place for it. I think though that CMT is a place to sit down with your family and laugh at jokes that make everyone laugh.  We haven’t seen the light of this since “Roseann”, “Everybody Love Raymond” and “Cheers”.  Those shows are in our memories and also in reruns but they do not exist freshly on TV. I think that is the whole that this show fills.

MG: How has it been working with such a legend as Ed Asner on the show?
PF: Oh my God, it is crazy.  I know it is Ed Asner.  I am aware I am going to see Ed Asner and I then show up on the set, I look up and I am like “DUDE, Your Ed Asner!!”.  He is everything you want him to be and then some. He is completely without ego. When it comes to work, he is really good about it and takes it very seriously.  There is a reason why he has been at this so long, he is a real legend. At his age and with his career behind him, he could have easily sat around and not done anything but he really comes out and works.  I have definitely learned a couple of things by working with Ed.  I have learned how to really polish up your funny and make your mark.  I have also learned that if you are in a scene with Ed Asner…don’t let him get upstage of you or he will steal it from you [laughs].

MG: What can we expect from the rest of the season?
PF: I can give a little sneak.  Obviously, we have it setup that Melissa’s character is trying to be above her station. Her and I have some chemistry going but I clearly have a girlfriend.  I will say this though, there is definitely some kissing involve sometime during this season.  I am not going to say between who…maybe it is me and Ed [laughs]. I don’t know, but that is definitely in store for us down the road.

MG: Besides the TV show, what else do you have planned next?
PF: I got two things right now.  I got a movie I did last year called “Pig”, which is a science fiction film and it should be coming out this summer.  Also I am talking to you right now from Berkley, CA where I am up doing a guest spot on a new movie called “The Eleventh One” which stars John Benjamin Hickey and Marin Hinkle.  It is being producing by Bryan Singer of “X-Men” fame. I am keeping busy between the cracks and waiting for the phone call from CMT to come back to work and get busy kissing Ed Asner [laughs].

Click here to check out our interview with Patrick for “The Last Exorcism”

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