While we were in LA for the Captain America event, we had the fun opportunity to meet with the cast and producers of ABC’s The Real O’Neals, screen a few episodes with Matt Shively in the room and then have a fun Q&A with the cast and producers. It was an awesome experience and I’m excited to share our Q&A as well as some teasers for the next episode.
We sat down with the cast and producers pictured above for some Q&A about the show after watching 2 episodes with Matt Shivley. Here’s a glimpse into our Q&A:
First up we had Noah Galvin and Jay Ferguson:
When you’re not shooting, are there a lot of inside jokes?
Jay – yes, I think that’s an understatement probably. Does it show that we have a good time together?
Noah – The chemistry reads ….. we have a great time together. Jay is a big proponent of games, so it’s hard! When we are doing those 14 hour days and it’s a comedy you’ve got to like keep it alive, keep it funny, you have to be on for those fourteen hours.
Jay – Yes, we try to have as many extra curricular activities as we can while we’re working. Then, when we aren’t working we hang out socially as well.
We then learned that Noah lives in Jay’s guest house so they carpool a lot ;).
How much of the show is improv?
Jay – I wouldn’t say there’s too much ad-libbing going on. They do a pretty good job and we run it through. Sometimes I give some slight tweaks and suggestions, not are all necessarily agreed upon. Yes, we can fit some of our own stuff in there. Surely this guy (Noah) – he’s always coming up with some funny, little tidbits.
Noah – I think Matt and Bebe are hilarious. At the table read one time, Bebe just completely re-wrote one of her lines and they ended up keeping it and it made the whole episode. But I think Matt, out of anybody, when he improvs I’ll often like turn to him and ask if they wrote that for him!
What do you like most about the characters you play?
Noah – I like that Kenny is book smart and I’m a little more street smart. He’s a little naive, I like to say he’s like a true middle child. He has Jimmy’s naivete without being a downright idiot and he has Shannon’s book smarts without being manipulative like she is.
Jay – One of the main reasons that I was so excited about the show and my part was that as a Dad I didn’t react in what we’ve come to know as kind of the stereotypical way of reacting to these types of situations – namely one of his sons coming out as gay. He didn’t try to talk him out of it or anything.
How far in advance do you film an episode?
Jay – Well, we’ve done all thirteen. We finished shooting them right before Thanksgiving.
Noah – July to November
Jay – Typically, though – if we were to come back for another season we would still be shooting once it started airing. Usually, they’ve got like 4-5 by the time it starts. Then, it picks up quickly and these writers are in a mad dash to pump the scripts out.
Noah – It’s nice – we sort of just got to make it and then share it with the world! We get the opportunity to live tweet while the episode is on. Me waking up like on Tuesday morning is spending 2 hours setting aside time to draft up like twenty different tweets because I want them to be funny and well written.
Jay – We have all been watching them together and tweeting together. I’m not as good as Noah and I don’t get them done before so I’m less fun to be around while the show is airing.
Jay and Noah asked what episode we screened and we shared that we saw “The Book Club.”
How was it filming while being taped to the pole in the gym?
Noah – It was fun! We tried to do it as quickly as possible and I’m balancing on like a little nail that’s sticking out of it on my heels while they just grabbed me. It was fun though!
Next up, we had three producers – Casey Johnson, David Windsor and Stacy Traub
Each of the producers introduced themselves to our group – which was a neat experience:
Casey – “I’m one of the executive producers, show runners. My writing partner for a lone time is David Windsor for about 16 years now. We wrote the pilot for The Real O’Neals and then when it got picked up to be made we brought one of our colleagues Stacy Traub on board to help us! David and I had never run a show before so Stacy helped a lot! So the three of us share the show running duties. I’m a Mom, I have a 9 year old and an almost 11 year old.”
Stacy – “I met these great guys years ago. I’m also a Mom, I have 4 kids now – 11, 8, 5 and 2. So Working and Momming — it’s a lot.”
David – “I’m not a Mom but I do have 2 kids. It’s been a lot of fun doing this show with these guys and these amazing actors.
Is the show based on somebody you know?
Casey – Originally the idea was based on Dan Savage’s life. He grew up in Chicago in an Irish Catholic family and was gay – so we took that idea and expanded it into this show. Then, we sort of started folding in our personal experiences. We had an amazing staff of writers, a lot of whom were gay. We just wanted to be an impact and be as authentic as we could. We were very careful at putting together that staff. Stacy is divorced, David grew up with 2 Dads so this issue has always been important to us.
Have you all ever had someone watch the show that was a skeptic and they fell in love with it?
David – Yea, there have been a lot of those on Twitter.
Casey – There was a review like a week ago where the guy said that he went into it skeptical but after watching a few episodes he fell for it. I think we did have to win a few people over.
Stacy – There was a show a few years ago called The McCarthy’s where it was that they were also Irish and the lead was gay and the show was about their family. I think some people thought that this was just that show again.
Casey – We’ve also gotten some tweets from some kids who have decided to come out to their parents just because they watched the show. That is really-really gratifying for us because that was kind of beyond what we saw the opportunity for story and comedy.
Do you have a favorite episode?
David – It was nice for me to see the other side of Eileen standing up for her son and finding out where she’s come from and why she is the way she is. Frances plays that so amazing. We have a few coming up that are awesome – the prom episode, etc.
Stacy- The camping one is fun where you see the story of Eileen and Shannon. It’s hard as I love them all.
Casey – I really love “The Real F Word” – just the uncomfortable comedy of it.
Stacy – It’s great for me to watch them now because when you’re in it and you’re writing and shooting them and editing them its like you can’t see them straight. I’m listening to the bird chirping outside the building and am asking if it is too loud or not. You get the itty bitty details of it. Now we’ve had time since we’ve finished shooting so I love to watch them again- its like their new and I watch them with the kids.
To finish up the interviews, we spoke with Matt Shively and Mary Hollis Inboden
Matt and Mary shared how much they love their show and how happy they were to be here to chat with us. They shared how on Christmas day there were upwards of 200 text messages, videos and pictures back and forth between their ‘family’ from the show! Mary and Matt said that they’re all experiencing a lot of firsts with each other and that is awesome!
Do you have a favorite episode?
Mary – I really love the book club episode.
Matt – I do too and I think that’s like her (Mary) best episode too! I had forgotten how many one liners she had in that episode.
Mary – Sunny, who helped David, Casey and Stacy, write that episode came down when we were filming the episode. Sunny just had some of the funniest ideas – try this, or say this. It’s so fun to have the freedom to do that on our new show.
Do either of you have a background in comedy?
Mary – I sure did! I came from Chicago Improv – I went to school at The Annoyance and dabbled in Second City. I came straight to the path of Aunt Jodi after studying at The Annoyance. My best friend in the whole world is a stand up comedian too and I’ve oftentimes watched her work and written jokes for her. However, I would NEVER do standup myself .
During their interview, we got to see a lot about how the two of them interact and really enjoy the show. We had some small talk about our experience in LA as well as where the cast was all from. They were always picking at each other but it was FUN!!
We had such a GREAT time with this crew! Now it’s time for me to share what you can look forward to in tonight’s episode!
THE REAL BOOK CLUB
Watch The Real O’Neals live tonight at 8:30pm EST for this fun episode. I don’t want to give too much away, but check out this brief outline and some pictures from the episode.
Remember to watch live or on DVR within 3 days of airing to increase the ratings on your favorite shows like The Real O’Neals!
— Olivia Douglass (@odouglass11) April 19, 2016
Eileen faces her book club for the first time after her family’s “outing,” but things take a surprising turn when instead of shunning her the ladies begin opening up – way too much – about their own problems. Kenny’s first trip to the “gayborhood” coffee shop is everything he’d hoped for, until Pat tags along with him to a gay dodge ball match.