ABC has ordered a full season of the new comedy, “American Housewife,” starring Katy Mixon and Diedrich Bader. They play a married couple living in a community where body image is a major concern.
Bader’s remained busy since his long run on “The Drew Carey Show” ended in 2004. The majority of his work has been as a voice actor in productions like “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” and “The Penguins of Madagascar.”
What drew him to the “American Housewife” role was the chance to play a guy who has embraced his life. That’s a feeling that Bader understands completely.
“He actually genuinely loves his kids. He loves his wife. He’s attracted to her. Things are good. And that was the thing that I really loved. And the character is very close to me,” Bader says. “It’s not a strain at all for me to do it. His inflection is my inflection. He thinks the way that I do. I’m from a family of academics. I’m now playing an academic, so I finally got my PhD, which I’m really excited about. I’m known for playing all of these really broad characters and they were fun to play with. But now I get to play myself.”
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Bader was certain he would end up loving the role the moment he met Mixon. They ran into each other in a hallway on their way to the auditions. The pair connected so much, Bader feels like he’s been married to her for years.
He calls it a “shebang” moment.
Tilda Swinton has played a wide variety of roles from the White Witch in “The Chronicles on Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” to Isabella in “Edward II.” Her casting as The Ancient One in “Doctor Strange” is one of the weirdest for the British actor.
“I keep saying that it’s a bit like being invited to join the circus, you know? You get invited to be the bearded lady or the painted gentleman or something and you may have a chance in the future to play with a clown or learn a bit of trapeze or work with the ponies with the plumes,” Swinton says.
Her reaction to the role is a mix of being part of the Marvel Comics film universe, getting to take on the very mystical role as Doctor Strange’s mentor and being part of such a visually bizarre production.
Swinton has never had to learn as much physical training for other jobs. There’s a very distinct way the characters in the “Doctor Strange” universe have to move their hands to create weapons and portals. Most of the magic is added through special effects, but Swinton still had to have the hand movements just right.
“That hand choreography is a thing called tutting. We had a proper master working with us for weeks. Just as much as learning martial arts we were learning how to tutt, with J-Funk,” Swinton says. “He really knows how to do it and he’s got properly magic fingers. Not like our fingers, like real non-CGI fingers”
The reason the hands had to move exactly to the right points was that the special effects crew would be adding the weapons formed by the movements and if the hands weren’t in line the scene would not work.
Swinton had one other problem. She would often end her hand movements with one hand in front of her face. That’s a major problem when the camera is trying to capture a performance.
“It’s such fun because you have these extraordinary visual effects director saying, ‘By the way, this is going to look like this,’ and they’ll show you one shot, and you’ll go, ‘It’s going to look like that?’ And they say, “Yeah, trust us, it will,” Swinton says. “If you’re lucky enough as I have to have seen the film and seen what they did with it, it’s beyond anything they warned us it was going to be, and that’s kind of why we look fairly relaxed about it ‘cause we had no idea. I think if we’d known it was going to be so awesome.”
‘”Sunny” days ahead: The 12th season of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” will debut at 10 p.m. Jan. 4 on FXX.
Help is on the way: A&E’s “Intervention” returns with two one-hour specials. “Intervention In-Depth: Flakka” premieres 9 p.m. Tuesday followed by “Intervention In-Depth: Spice” at 9 p.m. Nov. 22.