Interview with Lucas Neff & Executive Producer Greg Garcia from Raising Hope

I recently had the chance to speak to the fantastic Greg Garcia & Lucas Neff from one of my favorite comedies ever, Raising Hope. They talked about the return of Greyson Chance, the role of Jimmy, and whether or not Lucas is ready to be a father himself. Check it all out below!

On what attracted him to the role and the differences & similarities between himself & Jimmy Chance

Lucas Neff: Well, what attracted me to the role was twofold. One, I was really broke, and unemployed. It’s the best job offer I’ve ever received in my life. So, I’d have been a fool to turn it down. Then, two, the writing is really good. It’s especially good considering it’s in the sitcom format, which can be difficult to write for. And, Greg obviously has a lot of experience writing comedies for television. So, it, just seemed like a wonderful opportunity for me, you know, a gift from the sky.

And, then as far as similarities between myself and Jimmy, I guess sad to say, I think we both try really hard. But, we don’t always succeed on the first go around. We both have a learning curve. I think both Jimmy and myself have to learn to accept that we don’t always get it right out of the gates, and to keep trying and hope for the best, and know that we’re surrounded by good people.
Jump with me to read more!

On Greyson Chance playing young Jimmy

Greg Garcia: Yea. Well, how it came about was I have three sons. One of them was at a bar mitzvah. Greyson was playing at the bar mitzvah, so one of these insane bar mitzvahs that they seem to have these days around here in an airplane hangar. They had hired Greyson to perform. My son came home and was raving about him.

So, I looked him up on the internet and then I realized, “oh, yeah,” I had seen this kid’s YouTube clip. Then, as I watched him, I was like, gosh, you know, I think he could look like a young Lucas pretty much. And, then, I just kind of got this idea that what if Lucas used to have this crazy musical talent that nobody told him about. Then, we could do a flashback to that time. And, then we figured out a whole episode about it.

He comes back; he’s come back once so far. He’s going to come back; Yes, he’s been on there once, but he’ll be in three episodes in the second season.

Lucas: [As to Greyson playing a young Jimmy] Unfortunately, I feel like you instantly start getting into a bit of a comparison game. There’s no way I’m going to beat this little tween phenom, who is super-talented. But, he’s also a really nice kid. You’re actually going to get to see him act a little bit too, which he’s got a lot of talent. I was really happy to meet him. His YouTube videos blew my mind along with all of the other teen girls out there. Yes, he was fun. I wish the best to him.

Greg: This was nothing new to Lucas. My son plays the four-year-old version of Jimmy, and he’s way more talented than Lucas. So, Lucas has been getting used to this for a while.

Lucas: Yes. Greg’s son likes to say that I play his part.

Greg: You play the grown up version, yes.

Lucas: I play the older him.

On the show preparing Lucas for being a father & whether or not he wants kids in the future

Lucas: I think I’m getting a bit more comfortable. I’m a creature of habit. I spend a lot of time around these babies. So, I would be really surprised and saddened if I wasn’t getting a bit more comfortable.

Yes, if my kids were like Bailey and Riley, the two girls who play Hope, yes, I would love to have those kids as my children. They’re adorable and happy and playful and curious, all the great things about being human, with not too much of the bad stuff – just mainly smells and odors and things of that nature.

Yes, I want kids. I don’t know that I’ll ever be ready. But, I’ll certainly want them. I’ll have them regardless of whether I am ready, I think. I just don’t have a timeframe on it yet.

On his favorite episode

Lucas: That’s always a tough question for me to answer, because there are different episodes that are my favorite for different reasons. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the pilot, because it was the first episode of television I ever shot in my life. It was a huge door opening and life changing experience for me. So, it’s, that seminal moment’s always going to be treasured by me.

But, I also loved our season finale for a ton of reasons. There’s almost a moment or more moments in every episode where I just really love what I do. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it. I have a lame answer, but it’s just the truth. I really like, and am proud of, all the episodes that we do. On any given day, any one of them could be my favorite.

On why he feels the show is such a hit & why people love it so much

Greg: Gosh, I don’t know. I wish more people loved it. If you look at some of our ratings compared to some of the other comedies on TV, I certainly scratch my head as to why more people watch some of those than ours.

But, I think that the people that do watch the show and like the show, it’s because a lot of it, I think, has to do with our actors and how they play these roles; and that they’re very believable and also very likable. You like these people. You root for them. You want to see what they’re doing on a daily basis.

Then, I think our writers do a fantastic job of not only coming up with funny things, week to week, but really coming up with solid stories. I think a lot of comedies you watch on TV, the stories aren’t always there. I’m not sure that a lot of the audience cares about that too much sometimes. But, we do. So, I think on a weekly basis the fact that you’re getting a nice solid story every week, in addition to your comedy, hopefully, that brings people back as well.

On a particular line or scene that defines his role

Lucas: Well, I know that a lot of people talk about. By the way, this is Lucas. A lot of people talk about the car seat moment in the pilot as being sort of a defining moment for the series as to what the show’s sensibilities are, which is that we’re a family that’s figuring things out. We make some, sometimes, pretty loopy mistakes, like not tying a car seat to the seat. But, everything works out okay, she ends up fine. We learn from it.

As far as an actor goes, there’s a scene almost every day that cracks me up. I think, maybe a little to the detriment of our shooting schedule. But, I think that and the execution scene in the pilot, I think, were real tone setters for us.
Check out Greg on Twitter & let him know @tvismypacifier sent you! 😉 And don’t miss new episodes of Raising Hope on Tuesday nights, including tonight, on FOX at 9:30/8:30c.

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