When movie stars go back to television, it used to be considered slumming it. But that was back in the day. These days outlets like Netflix, Prime, HBO, and Hulu are offering meaty roles in dramas and comedies.
Michael Douglas is one of the veteran stars who doesn’t need to work but wants to work when the right role comes along. And that’s the case in The Kominsky Method.
Mutual Admiration Society
Michael and producer Chuck Lorre sat down with The Cocktail for a refreshing and refreshingly mature conversation about comedy, TV, and how you just know when something is going to work.
“I like him. I really do. .. a je ne sais quoi,” Michael told us to describe his producer, Chuck Lorre. Chuck was sitting right there so it’s good they’re getting along.
We asked how much Michael was putting into his character, an aging acting coach with a penchant for sexy younger students. But he put it all back on Lorre, telling us “I wish I was, but I’m pulling from this great writer here.”
“I like him too,” Chuck chimed in while smiling.
Quite A Character
Bringing this character to life seems effortless, but Michael says it’s about finding and getting to know the character, “I mean I got a sense of people I’ve worked with and people I did not want to work with. And Sandy Kominsky is a passionate teacher rather than somebody who’s threatening or scary. He’s embracing and loves what he’s doing.”
His best friend is his agent and longtime BFF, Norman, played by Alan Arkin. The show deals with the death of his wife, and while sitting shiva they put out shrimp. Not exactly the most kosher thing to do at a Jewish rite. When the rabbi asks what kind of jew he is, Norman replies “the atheist kind!”
It’s a funny moment. It’s a cathartic moment. And for the series, it’s a defining moment.
“I think that line is from the script and carving out a character for Alan of a man that was,” Michael told us. “Kind of at odds of his upbringing. And that’s something we discussed at great length. He’s charting his own path in life, and it’s not the way he was raised.”
Bringing up that moment clearly amuses Michael, who went into character saying “There’s a little bit of that edge in there. The atheist kind. Enjoy the shrimp, rabbi!”
If you have some time to binge but want something smart to watch, you absolutely cannot go wrong. Have the kids play with their Hanukkah/Christmas gifts while you recover from holiday overload with one of the smartest comedies to come along in years.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation