Some actors have a distinct career plan that takes them through a variety of roles until they reach the stardom they have set as a goal.
Others have less control over how their career goes and tend to take jobs more as a way to pay the rent than as a means to an end.
Paul Reiser, 59, has no clear answer for why he was attracted to the Amazon comedy series “Red Oaks” that returns for a second season Friday on Amazon Prime.
After a few seconds, Reiser finally says, “I am stalling for time. I am just waiting out the oncoming stroke. I’m trying to get as much work in before. I imagine I’d be limited thereafter.”
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His efforts to keep busy until that expected health issue hits have kept Reiser hopping since his big hit “Mad About You” ended in 1999 after a seven-year run. Not only did he star in his own short-lived, self-titled “The Paul Reiser Show,” but he has been appearing in movies, most notably 2014’s “Whiplash.”
He wants to keep working, but Reiser has no blueprint as to what his next project should be.
That’s the kind of dumbest thing for an actor to have a plan because you never know what’s going to come up, and what works, and what doesn’t work.
Actor Paul Reiser
“I don’t have a plan at all. I never really did. That’s the kind of dumbest thing for an actor to have a plan, because you never know what’s going to come up, and what works, and what doesn’t work,” Reiser says. “I was happily just doing writing and producing some stuff, and they sent me this script, and I just thought it was great.”
The series, set in 1986, looks at the clueless members and misfit staffers of the Red Oaks Country Club as they chase love, romance and a better golf handicap. Along with Reiser, the cast includes Jennifer Grey, Richard Kind, Ennis Esmer and Alexandra Socha.
Reiser plays Doug Getty, the club president who must deal with assistant tennis pro David Meyers (Craig Roberts) who has a budding romance with Getty’s daughter, Skye (Socha). This sets up a struggle between the strong-willed father and daughter.
One reason the series doesn’t seem to fit into a career trajectory for Reiser is that he thinks of “Red Oaks” as less of a job and more of a vacation after having to produce 22 episodes of a series for the networks.
“Not writing and producing is a nice vacation. But just going to a place is like going to summer camp, really. You just go to this country club for eight weeks, 10 weeks, and sweat a little bit and come home,” Reiser says.
The second season of “Red Oaks” moves ahead 12 months, which opens up a lot of new story possibilities.
The second season moves ahead 12 months, which opens up a lot of new story possibilities. Being able to make big changes because of the time leap and setting the show during an 1980s summer has been a treat for Reiser.
He likes that it creates a real escapist feeling because he sees the rules of summer as being different than any other season.
“When you only see people in the summer, there is a closer bond and the audience, I think, gets to come into the story caring a little bit more. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it certainly was entertaining,” Reiser says.
It was also very specific for an actor who says he’s got no career plan.
- 12:01 a.m. Friday on Amazon Prime