CBS added a whole new clan to Thursday nights last week with the premiere of FAM. FAM stars Nina Dobrev and Tone Bell in a sitcom about what happens when two polar opposite families suddenly become one.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Bell and Dobrev earlier today ahead of tonight’s second episode to discuss their on screen chemistry, what makes a good comedy and which one of them has been affectionately nicknamed – goofball.
MW- Good morning Nina, good morning Tone – how are you both doing today?
TB- We’re good how are you doing?
MW- Doing well on this chilly morning! I’m really excited to talk to you both about FAM and Nina I want to start with you first, what was it about this project that got you excited initially and made you want to come on board?
ND- I wasn’t looking necessarily to return to TV but I always love new challenges and when I heard multi-cam sitcom with a live audience that both made me excited and nervous at the same time. It’s like putting on a play in front of 300 people every week, a brand new mini-play. That was something that really was exciting to me to try something I hadn’t done before. That and to work with this goofball because we had worked together previously.
TB- That’d be me by the way, goofball is just a pet name she calls me [laughs].
MW- The chemistry between you two is pretty obvious but what else made you want to sign on Tone?
TB- It was something I hadn’t done before. I’m used to ensemble comedies but a big part of it really was being the lead with Nina. We have such good chemistry honestly and I knew it was going to be fun working with her.
ND- I paid him to say that [laughs].
TB- I have my flashcards here to make sure I give all the right compliments.
MW- It’s a good thing you came prepared! Now, this show is unique where a lot of TV is using nostalgia at the moment but FAM feels very modern. You have a lot of topical issues that are confronted and at the heart of it are these two families that couldn’t be more different. Nina your family on the show is crazy dysfunctional while Tone yours is the picture of success and normalcy. Can you talk about the dynamics of the two families and how they’ll play off each other as the show goes on?
ND- Yea, comedy is basically tragedy heightened and opposites that ultimately attract. Our families are very polar opposite. He comes from the perfect white picket fence family and I’m a hot mess disaster…
TB- …in Manhattan? A white picket fence in Manhattan?
ND- I mean it’s rare but it happens!
TB- I mean my family has a door man and then her father’s place they don’t even have heat you know what I mean [laughs]? It’s just two different worlds.
ND- When those two worlds collide it creates a really funny dynamic.
MW- And you mention the larger cast that makes up both of your families and there are some great names in this cast. What’s it been like on set working with everyone involved with FAM?
ND- We all get along really well. We’ve really become a family on set and off set, we really like each other. Cheryl is fantastic and so talented.
TB- It’s great working with people that you are fans of. Then you get a chance to work with them everyday and see them everyday and they’re just as great as a person as they are a talent.
ND- Odessa (Adlon) is amazing – she’s young and emerging. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kate Walsh and Gary Cole.
TB- Blake Lee.
ND- There’s so many amazing, talented people on this show.
MW- Unfortunately we’re just about out of time now but last question before we go, how would you explain FAM to someone who hasn’t tuned in yet but wants to check it out?
TB- It’s a show about two family’s world’s colliding. A catalyst named Shannon comes in, ruins everything and now we have to pick up the pieces and try to move forward. But we make fun of it and it’s a lighthearted comedy that everybody should be able to enjoy.
ND- That was so much better than I could have explained it [laughs].
MW- Looking forward to episode two tonight and thank you both so much for taking the time to talk with today!
TB- Thanks man.
ND- Thank you, Matt!
FAM airs Thursday nights at 9:30 PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.