Hey Reddit! I'm "Parks and Recreation" alum Jim O'Heir, who you probably know better as Jerry/Terry/Larry Gergich. Today, my film "Middle Man" is finally opening in theaters across the country!
Well, I've gotta get ready for my FB Live with Josh McDermott. We'll be live at 3PM PST. Please check us out and ask whatever questions you might have. I'll also be with Andrew J. West at the Laemmle's on Wilshire in Beverly Hills at 7:30pm for the screening of Middle Man. Go to their website for tix. We'll be doing a Q&A after the film.
I want to thank you all for taking the time to either ask questions or check out the answers. I love doing these kind of things. I think they're much more revealing than your average interview. REDDIT is one of the greatest places for information about ... anything. Literally anything.
I'm heading to Boston tomorrow to go to the 7:30pm screening of Middle Man at the Boston Common 19 on Tremont Street. I'll also by in NYC on Tuesday at the Empire Theater on 42nd to meet people at the 7:30pm (I think...if not around that time) where we'll also be doing a Q&A with me and director Ned Crowley.
Please check me out on The Late Late Show with Seth Meyers next Wednesday, the 14th. Seth is one of the really good guys. I love being on his show.
Again, thank you for all the great questions and taking the time out to spend with me. I'm forever astounded and grateful for the love I'm shown every day.
EDIT 1: Hey everyone. I have to do a phone interview at 11 PST. I'll be back after we hang up. In the mean time check out the trailer for Middle Man. I promise you a thrilling, dark, funny ride with this film:
Hey Reddit! Thank you for having me back! I think this is going to be my third AMA, so the answers should hopefully come a little faster this time. I have a new independent film called "Middle Man" which is opening in theaters today. It's a super dark comedy that I'm extremely proud of. It's been on the festival circuit (and has done very well!) so I'm sure a few people here may have already seen it. If so, no spoilers! Lol.
In the film, I play a comedian named Lenny. When Lenny's mother suddenly dies, he quits his job and heads to Vegas in search of fame. He picks up a mysterious hitchhiker who lures him into a desert-town killing spree with dark and twisted result – as the bodies pile up, Lenny actually becomes funnier and funnier.
Here's a link to the trailer. I hope you like it! http://www.middlemanmovie.com/trailer-1/
Here's me and my doggos for "proof" http://imgur.com/a/4Ti7B
I will be back in about two hours to answer your questions. Thanks Reddit!
Yes. My dog is AWESOME!!! ;) As far as being bullied on the show having an effect on my real life I would say no. The bullying was only on camera. The minute the director yelled cut I was definitely one of the "in crowd". lol
I love that we eventually find out that he has a beautiful family and has achieved awesome life goals !
When the writers realized that Jerry was going to be the office punching bag they also realized that they had to give him some reason not to blow his head off. lol They decided that ultimately Jerry would have the best life of any one of the characters. Jerry's wife and kids adored him and thought he did no wrong. Don't forget...they also gave him a huge penis. I like when real life and TV life come together. ;)
Also was great that when he was at home he was super witty, had great reflexes etc. Honestly I've always considered that to be a master stroke of the show.
I completely agree. The episode where Jerry retires and Leslie comes over to talk with him because she felt like they didn't give him a good farewell was one of my favorites. Leslie sees how Jerry is adored by h is family. She also sees that he's awesome around his house. He's funny, smart, quick reflexes. Leslie acts likes she's been thrown to some other dimension. The writers on Parks always knew how to handle each situation. I thought it was a brilliant idea. :)
He also has the largest penis that doctor had ever seen.
True Dat!!!!!! ;)
I get the feeling they did this to make it up to the actor for all of the abuse he took. That and his hot wife.
I always wondered how actors with characters like this can compartmentalize the experience of being verbally/psychologically abused. I mean, I know it isn't real but the writers are making fun of their physical representation of the character which is their actual physical appearance IRL.
I am guessing it is easier for adult actors but what about younger ones who are still developing psychologically? For example, Anne from Arrested Development. There were some really cutting comments about her on that show and I have to assume it stung a bit.
That's an interesting insight. Yes. When they're making fun of a characters physical attributes they are also making fun of the actors in a way. Personally I've never been bothered by it. I've been a big guy all my life so weight jokes come with the territory. That being said maybe I should get myself some therapy and figure some shit out. lol :)
Why else do they bully him? They're jealous
Many people have told me that they work without someone who is basically the office punching bag. I seems that every office needs that person to take the fall for everything. Unfortunately for Jerry it was his burden to take on. That being said...I do believe that Jerry truly loved all of his co-workers and knew that deep down they all had his back. As much as family was most important to Jerry he also adored all the people he worked with. Even when they weren't being especially kind.
I always figured it was because of his time share in Muncey.
Yes. A time share in Muncie can certainly sway a girls head. But Jerry's other "head" is what probably turned her head. lol
Dammit, I'm only on the 4th season (my own fault).
edit: Dammit Jerry I can't quit, I'm a government employee for a rural city in the North East.
Dammit!!!!! Quit your day job and start binging. No excuses!!!!!! ;) lol
Garry dies in the end
I tweeted at him saying "shut up Jerry" once and he responded saying "okay u/mrsp00pybutth0le :)" :') I still feel bad
I remember that tweet. sniff sniff lol ALL GOOD!!!!! :)
Did you start this AMA by going to alta vista and typing in "Please take me to Reddit?"
Is there another way? ;)
You've kind of been defined by your role on Parks & Rec, but you've had a long and impressive career. Is there one movie or TV show you've been in -- other than Middle Man -- that you'd recommend to people looking to see a little more of you? A performance you're particularly proud of?
Great question. I've been blessed to have been working in this crazy business for over twenty years. Because of the popularity of Parks I'll always be best known as Jerry which is a gift. I love when I get to sink my teeth into a dramatic role. Dark comedies are my favorites. It's one of the things that led me to Middle Man. I'm not the "funny" guy in the film yet I get a lot of laughs. I love getting a new script and figuring out what I'm going to do with it.
As far as finding something I did in the past...hmmm...I did an episode of Diagnosis Murder where I got to play a crazed serial killer. I had a lot of fun with that. I would also check out a remake of Harvey I did many years ago with Leslie Nielsen, Swoosie Kurtz and Harry Anderson. It was one of my first films. I look like a baby. It was an amazing experience. :)
Hey Jim Gengurch! I love your acting in many shows I've seen, especially P&R.
The finale after special refers to you being the most different from your character. Which other actors are most distant from their characters and most similar?!
Also, how much do you miss P&R?!
Missing P&R is something I will do the rest of my life. I spent six years (7 seasons) with the greatest cast and crew that has ever been assembled (in my humble opinion). Thankfully the cast are constantly texting each other and staying in touch. I keep in touch with a lot of the crew too. That being said...nothing will ever be like going to work every day to laugh with people you truly loved.
As far as people being different from their characters...As actors I think we all bring a certain part of ourselves to every role. It's just natural. Nick Offerman is a smart man who can build anything. So that's like Ron. On the other hand I think politically they might be at odds.
Please don't say Jeremy Jamm....
You've been JAMMED! ;)
At one point in P&R, it is referenced that your character has a very large penis. Does that take any method acting on your part?
Great question. From what I understand one of the writers were standing next to me at the urinal and thought it was time to mix real life and TV life. Made perfect sense to me. lol ;)
You sat in front of my friend and I at a performance of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on broadway about two years ago. Not only were you kind enough to introduce yourself and my friend and I stared at you in awe, but you took the time to take a picture with us when the show was over since we weren't allowed to take them in the theater. You were so kind and willing to talk to two awkward 18 year olds so I just wanted to thank you, two years later!
My question is: what's your favorite encounter you've had with a fan?
I remember meeting you at Hedwig (great show by the way).
Because of the popularity of P&R it's changed many things in my life. 99% good...1% not so good. I can honestly say that part of the 99% is the interaction I have with the fans. I know a lot of actors aren't happy to stop and talk with their fans but I'm always happy to take pics and chat a little. There were many MANY years as a working actor that nobody knew who the hell I was. The fact that I was lucky enough to land a show like Parks and get to have an impact on peoples lives is something I will never take for granted. I'm honored (and humbled) that people like my work and want to come up to let me know.
For those wondering what the 1% is that isn't so great...people sneaking pictures. I would rather have someone come up and ask for a pic than sneak around trying to get it. For some reason that seems much more invasive to me. :)
Do you actually know how to play piano?
Not a note. lol :)
Who smells better, Chris Pratt or Rob Lowe?
This is definitely the most important question I will answer today. The answer is Rob Lowe. I only say that because he has his own fragrance line and it would make sense that he smells better than the rest of us. :)
Who was the funniest cast member on Parks and Rec and who was the most fun to work with?
Also how similar is Nick Offerman to Ron Swanson? (in my head they're the same person)
They were all funny. What a lot of people don't know is that after every scene we did a "fun run". That's where we got to play around and do whatever we wanted while telling the same story that was on the page. Most of us had an improv background so it made sense to let us play together. We did that EVERY DAY. I think it's one of the reasons we stayed so close as a cast. That being said...Chris Pratt is so off the cuff funny that it's crazy. Really really funny. I had fun working with each and ever one of them. That's not Hollywood bullshit. I loved them all...and still do. :)
I was listening to an interview with him and Ron was based off nick but everything is greatly exaggerated.
That's pretty much it. Nick is such a great guy and so is Ron. They just took Nick to an nth degree. What he did with that character was something I have never seen on another show. I've always been confused on why he never received an Emmy for his work. :)
Jerry/Kerry/Larry/Terry/Gary Gengurch was one of my favorite characters. I can relate to being the clumsy one who's always the butt of the jokes. You never failed to make me smile while portraying him.
What are your dog's names, and can you tell me a bit about them?
Thanks so much. My dogs names are Chase (the white one) and Stella (the black one). They're both rescues. Last year I lost both of my other dogs to cancer. I don't have kids so the dogs become like children (some people think that's crazy...that's OK). When they passed away I didn't think I could ever go through it again. After nine months my gut was telling me that it was time again. I went to the Linda Blair World Heart Foundation and found Chase. I knew within two minutes of meeting him that he needed to be with me for the rest of his life. A few months later I went to the Amanda Foundation and met Stella. She had obviously been abused and needed some loving. They're brought the smile back to my face after losing my other two pups. :)
First Aubrey played a character named Lenny in 'Legion' and now you're playing Lenny in 'Middle Man'.
Who do you think the next one from Parks and Recreation to play a Lenny...?
Personally, I'm hoping it is Li'l Sebastian.
Nick Offerman as Lenny in "Of Mice and Men" would be interesting
Damn. Should have read this before my previous comment. I guess Nick and Lil' Sebastian are going to have to fight this one out. :)
You nailed it. Li'l Sebastian will be starring as Lenny in "Of Mice and Men". Can't wait to see it. :)
I was watching Star Trek Voyager this week and came accross an episode in which you made a brief appearance playing a character that is the quintessential Jerry/Terry/Larry, and it left me feeling oddly uplifted for the rest of the day.
Is this type of character one you especially enjoy acting, or do you feel that you've been typecasted?
I love playing a Jerry type character. I'm sure it will be something I'll do forever. The problem in Hollywood is that they can easily put you in a certain box. Typecasting like you mentioned. It's just the nature of the biz. The gift of Middle Man is that I get to step out of that box and really dig into a deeply disturbed character. :)
With this being described as a "black comedy", how was this role different for you in comparison to past roles, and how do you feel audiences will react?
It's totally different than any other role I've played. My character Lenny starts out in the same vein as Jerry from Parks. A sweet, nice guy. Unfortunately for Lenny he makes one terrible mistake and on his way to Las Vegas he picks up a hitch hiker (played by Andrew J. West). This turns his life upside down. From that moment on we slowly watch the mental unravelling of an otherwise normal dude. Playing the character was terrifying because if I didn't make it work the film doesn't work. From what I hear I did it justice. :)
Would you rather fight 100 Aziz-sized Li'l Sebastians or 1 Li'l Sebastian-sized Aziz?
Credit to /u/GodDamnNameDoesNotFi for the tweak to my original question
I've thought about this question many many times so credit for the question goes to me. ;) The answer is ... 1 Li'l Sebastian-sized Aziz. :)
What was Jerry's worst day at the office?
I think the "mugging" was a pretty bad day for Jerry. He knew that if they found out what really happened (dropped a burrito in the creek) that he would take hell for days. I love how he came up with the mugging story. To think that he thought he could get away with it kills me. :)
Was the cast of Parks and Rec overly nice to you off camera to make up for how Jerry was treated on camera?
I wouldn't say overly nice. We were all just good friends doing good work and laughing our asses off every day. :)
Have you been able to keep any interesting props or memorabilia from any of your roles?
I try to keep something from every shoot I'm on. Most of it just sits in a box. I figure someday when I'm old (well...older) I'll want to take a trip down memory lane. I have the Jerry Gergich Conference Room RIP plaque on my desk. I see it every day. :)
Ask you anything, eh?
Okay. Let's put this question to bed: Is the reason that Gayle was with Jerry/Terry/Larry/etc., was because of his massive penis?
According to Dr. Harris (whom Chris Traeger said was literally the meanest person he's ever met), it's the biggest penis he's ever seen. I mean, he didn't even know if you had mumps. He forgot to look. He was distracted. By the largest penis. He had ever seen.
YES! Put it to bed. ;)
Was it difficult playing such a wholesome and naive character, when a lot of your other work is so dark and twisted? It's great you have such a wide range.
I love when I get to different types of characters. That's what actors do. Like I mentioned earlier it's hard not to be typecast but it's part of the challenge of being an actor. :)
Who was your favourite director and actor that you've worked with?
My favorite director was a guy who started as our editor on Parks. He had also worked on The Office. His name is Dean Holland. He really understood all of our characters and knew how to get the best out of us.
My favorite actor that I've worked with is too broad of a question. I've fallen in love with so many people I've worked with over the years. By "love" I mean I loved being around them. :)
How often do you pull a classic Jerry move?
Also: I remember seeing you in a Castle episode, and I swear it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen, as I decided that your character (who was a butcher with anger management issues, if I recall correctly) was Jerry Gergich trying to process everything he was put through in Parks and Rec.
LOL That's a great analogy. I'm not sure that's what I was thinking at the time but who knows?
As far as pulling classic Jerry moves....every day. We all do.
I won an Emmy last month and as I was walking up the steps to get the award I just kept thinking "don't fall...don't fall". If I had fallen it would have been another "Jerry" moment that I would hear about forever even though I won the award for a different show. lol :)
What is your favorite pizza topping?
I get my pizza with sausage, onion, extra sauce and crispy. mmmmm Now I've got to have pizza today. :)
I read somewhere that you initially auditioned for the role of Ron Swanson. Obviously, Nick was the perfect Ron and you were a fantastic Jerry/Garry/Larry/Terry. So, how did that audition go?
When the word came out that Amy Poehler was doing a show it was something everyone wanted to be involved in. Amy had just come off of an amazing run on SNL as well as a couple of awesome films. My agent called and said that I had an audition for the show for the role of Ron Swanson. I found out later that most male actors in LA audition for the role. The thought of anyone playing Ron Swanson other than Nick Offerman is ridiculous. I think Nick was always who they wanted but the studio made them read tons of people. That is what helped me. Though I didn't get the role of Ron they did see something they liked and brought me back in for Jerry. The producers tell the story that after my Jerry read they just said "He's funny. Let's put him at a desk. It'll work itself out".
As far as my audition for Ron Swanson I don't remember exactly what I did but for I do remember being very stern. Probably too stern. As much as Ron was a ballbuster he was also a softy. I should try and see if I could get a copy of my audition. I'm sure it's horribly embarrassing but it would be a great to see. :)
Hey Jim! Big fan of your work, my dad was actually one of the people that invested enough to be an extra in Middle Man so we are super excited to see it in theatres! My question to you is, who has been your all time favorite actor/actress to work with? Thanks so much!
Tell you dad thanks from me. Without our Kickstarter campaign we would not have been able to make the film that we did. I'm still blown away that strangers gave us their hard earned money to help us make our dream project. It's very humbling.
I mentioned earlier that I have too many all time favorite actors to mention. I'm been blessed by being around not only amazingly talented people but also amazing good people. For me that's more important.
Getting to work with Andrew J. West, Josh McDermott and Anne Dudek on Middle Man was an unexpected treat. I didn't know any of them and they came with their A games. Really amazing people and actors. :)
Hey Larry, what did you type into Altavista to get here?
I typed "please bring me to a site on the interwebs called reddit that will let me answer questions". ;)
If you could be anything other than an actor, what would you be?
I thank God every day that the acting thing worked out. Otherwise I have no idea what I'd be doing. I guess because I'm a talker and a bit gregarious that I could have gone into sales but honestly I don't know. A lot of my family around me are in the trades...like pipe coverers and fitters. I'm too damn uncoordinated and lazy to do that so again...THANK YOU GOD FOR LETTING THIS WORK OUT!!!!! :)
Was the makeout-fest on Late Night planned between you and Aubrey or just improvisation?
Totally thought up by Aubrey during the last commercial break. My favorite part when watching the video is how the other cast members reacted when they realized what was happening.
Aubrey is a super funny person. She knew it wouldn't be funny to make out with Pratt or Scott. She knew it had to be with the old fat guy to get the real laugh. I was happy to oblige. :)
We know of your enormous member thanks to your PandR checkup, but what I really want to know is did you have mumps?
I've never been able to see if I have mumps. When I go to look I'm always distracted by the largest penis I have ever seen. ;)
Who would win in a mud wrestling match, nick offerman, or chris Pratt?
Awesome question. WOW! I'm not sure which way to go. On one had Pratt has turned himself into a physical machine. On the other hand Nick is very smart and might be able to outmaneuver Chris. Damn...I have to go with a draw. :)
I was watching Rosanne and was delighted to see you in a random episode. Do have a any cool memories form back then on set and what do you think about the reboot?
You saw me in Roseanne? That's awesome. Unfortunately I've never been on that show. lol But seriously, I used to watch Roseanne and would have loved to have been on it...but sadly no. You must have me confused with some other shockingly handsome well hung guy. ;) As far as the reboot goes...I'm not sure. Some things are better left alone. :)
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Hey AutoModerator, Who needs more proof than me with my doggos!!?
Did playing a man so badly bullied by his co-workers have an effect on you IRL?
Also, your dog is awesome.
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