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August 28, 2015

Huff's Bob Lowry: The TV Squad Interview

by Ryan j Budke, posted Apr 2nd 2006 2:55PM
bob lowry; huff; showtimeIf you're not watching Huff on Showtime, you're missing one of the best shows on TV. Seriously. There are some great dramas, and some great comedies on right now, but no one can combine the two to make you laugh and cry in the same hour quite like the team behind Huff. Did I mention that I'm a fan? So needless to say, when I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with the show's creator and driving force, Bob Lowry, I jumped at the opportunity. Read our exchange as we talk about our favorite episodes of Huff, the amazing cast and what's to come for our favorite unbalanced shrink and his family.

Make sure you check out the Season Premiere of Huff's second season tonight at 9pm on Showtime.Bob Lowry: Hello

Ryan j Budke: Hello

BL: So, thank you for your time, how can I help you help me help you?

Rjb: Well, I’ve got to gush a little bit before we start; I’m just such a huge fan of the show.

BL: Thank you

RjB: I watched the show when it first aired and then did a marathon this weekend in preparation for the interview. So I’m very excited to be talking with you

BL: You watched the first season?

RjB: I did. I really really dug it. I’m a big fan of Hank Azaria, so that’s what originally hooked me.

BL: Uh huh

RjB: He’s always impressive; I was excited to see him in something with a little more “dramatic edge”, for me he’s eternally Aguador Spartacus from The Birdcage

BL: Always. I think he modeled that character after his gardener.

RjB: Really? That’s great. I thought maybe you’d like to give our readers a little history about yourself. I was looking around for what I could about you and saw that you were a writer on Profiler and a couple of other shows, is that correct?

BL: Yea, Profiler for two years and Any Day Now with Annie Potts on Lifetime which was a lot of fun for four years. I used to write corporate speeches in Manhattan, I lived in New York for 18 years and was originally an actor and then started writing trade shows and industrials and stuff like that and then I moved here to LA at the age of 43 to write for television with no job in site. I quit that job and sold my house.

RjB: Nice, big change there.

BL: Yea, I’m very blessed, I’m lucky.

RjB: You guys have a lot of great guest stars on the show. Lara Flynn Boyle was absolutely amazing.

BL: She was the best.

RjB: She seems to me like she probably just gets a bum rap for her bad press, but is really a nice girl.

BL: Definitey. She is a great actress, she showed up on set ready to work. Didn’t question the material, she committed to what was written. In episode 13, where she comes back and breaks into the house, she was in that makeup and dress all day, and sat in the corner by herself when she wasn’t working to stay in character. She actually went home in that same outfit and makeup to come back to work the next day and commented on how lucky she was not to get arrested for looking like that.

RjB: Yea, I was going to say, that definitely would have added fuel to the fire for her..

BL: She didn’t even do that to stay in character; she just wanted to make it easy on the makeup and wardrobe crew the next day. She was a hard worker and a lot of fun. Very committed to what she was doing and I just loved having her on the show and thought she did a great job.

RjB: I agree. I think that’s one of the best parts of your show, is that you guys have such an amazing and brilliant cast.

BL: We do, and the guests keep coming. I mean, Sharon Stone called us!

RjB: Wow!

BL: She said “I’m addicted to Huff, can I do it?” So I of course said “Sure” *Laughs*

RjB: Absolutely

BL: Then Anjelica Huston told Oliver Platt at the Golden Globes what a huge fan her and her husband were of the show. So we approached her and she did four episodes for us for the second season.

RjB: Excellent, can you tease us with any kind of information about what she’s going to be playing on the show?

BL: Absolutely. She plays a psychiatrist who is no longer practicing, she got fed up with it and now does “alternative therapy” in a city hospital. Huff meets up with her when he goes looking for Melody (Lara Flynn Boyle’s character) and they end up doing ecstasy in her house.

RjB: Her and Huff?!?

BL: *Laughs* Yea

RjB: Definitely alternative therapy

BL: Yea, and while I can’t tell you what happens or how it ends up, I can tell you it was a blast watching Anjelica Huston and Hank Azaria pretend to do MDMA together for one whole episode. They were just great together.

RjB: So you said that Huff meets her while looking for Melody, I guess it’s safe to say that Melody “escaped” from the institution?

BL: Yes. The last we saw of Melody was in season 1, and she’s not back this year because Lara wasn’t available since she’s doing another series. So we use that character (Melody) as a device to meet up with Anjelica Huston’s character.

RjB: Where exactly does the second season premiere at? We were left at such a crucial turning point, with Huff and Russell at each others’ throats after the revelation that Russell and Izzy were “an item”. Huff’s unstable brother Teddy had just taken off with the car.

BL: It picks up about three days later. Teddy is still missing. Russell and Huff aren’t speaking at all. Russell is pretty injured. Izzy is drinking like she’s going to the chair. Swoosie Kurtz (Huff’s mother-in-law Madeline) who was nominated for an Emmy, is unable to go home her cancer has gotten so bad, so she remains in the house, to die. So a lot of stuff has happened in those three days.

RjB: Talk about a great lead in, I was just going to talk about Swoosie Kurtz. You guys have such a presence with Izzy, played by Blythe Danner as Huff’s mom, to get another actress of that caliber to play Beth’s mom, you have quite the maternal figures there.

BL: Yea, out cast is just great.

RjB: So is Beth’s family going to come back and visit?

BL: That one I can’t tell you. The way it plays out is pretty cool and I don’t want to ruin it. Just watch for episode three. I can say that her husband, Beth’s dad, comes back, and he’s on for a few episodes.

RjB: The Christmas episode when Beth’s family comes to visit last season was one of my favorites.

BL: Mine too

RjB: The general craziness that happens when a family visits, especially during the holidays, regardless of their specific situation, is something everyone can relate to.

BL: Oh, I know, those nightmare Christmases. I loved that one too because Izzy kills her friend!

RjB: Yea, that was such a great moment, because in her own twisted way, that was such a passionate and loving thing for Izzy to do.

BL: You got it. Originally some people were like “We can’t do that, people won’t like Izzy”.

RjB: No way. For me that was the turning point, that was one of the first times I “got her”.

BL: I thought, what a hell of a thing to do.

RjB: So did you have any other favorite episodes from last season? Ones that really stand out for you?

BL: I loved episode five where Teddy escaped from Woodburn the institution he was in because that’s the first time we see him and Izzy face to face and Izzy couldn’t bear being around him. She thought she’d die if she got any closer to him. I love that one. I love the one where Russell does ecstasy with the TV people and ends up getting Faith Prince pregnant. I love that story arc, and she’ll be pregnant throughout all of season two. Let’s see, what else did I like. I love Faith Prince; I thought all of her stuff was great. I love Lara Flynn Boyle. I just love being able to do comedy and drama back to back.

RjB: Definitely. For me right now, Huff is definitely one of the bright points, and really one of the only shows that does that blend so well. Oliver Platt as Russell is just brilliant casting, and you can always count on him to scare you and make you worried for him and crack you up at the same time. Are we going to see the return of his prostitute sidekick Pepper?

BL: Yes, definitely. Pepper is back.

RjB: I loved Russell’s twists and turns through his own psyche during that last episode. Is there anything that you can tease us with about him becoming a father?

BL: The way I look at the baby is I never want Russell to settle down, or marry. I think the baby is going to be just one more thing for him to throw money at to fix. That character can’t bear getting close to anybody. The night that he and Izzy slept together was the night that he tried to have the actual date with somebody and he could barely remember their first name. He had that massive anxiety attack.

RjB: That was his partner at the law firm right?

BL: Right. Yea, he just can’t bear being close to anyone he’s been hurt so bad. So I just picture the child being one more thing for Russell to maneuver around and avoid. I just think our show is so much fun. I’ve been around long enough to know that it’s different. So many people I talk to say how they’re addicted to it. That just fascinates me as a creator, and I don’t know why, but I just love hearing people say that. I’ve heard so many people say that they had never seen a single episode, then they’ll see one and watch six of seven in a row. I just think our show is a lot of fun. I know one critic who always watches TV in bed with his wife while she reads, and he said that this is one show where she asked him to “turn in up” instead of “turn it down”.

RjB: Did you draw any inspiration for these characters from anyone you know? Is your personal life as crazy as Huff’s?

BL: It’s not, thank God. I’m not saying that I’m a hotbed of emotional health. I’ve been to therapy and had therapists, but Huff isn’t modeled after any one specifically. Izzy is probably based a little after my mom, but not much. I can’t say that there’s one person specifically that is someone in my life. I take pieces of people that I’ve garnered throughout my life. I heard someone say once that when you’re imitating your friends, what you’re doing is taking the best parts of them and integrating them into your own life. Which was really kind of nice.

RjB: It certainly sounds like you’ve had an interesting life then if you’ve managed to meet up with all of these personalities along the way.

BL: *laughs* Yea

RjB: So along with Season 2 of Huff, are there any other projects you’re currently working on?

BL: Right now I’m the executive producer of a new project with Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, the duo that just won an Oscar for Crash. Hopefully we’ll find out here shortly if Huff gets picked up. The second season is completely in the can. We wrapped, around Thanksgiving. The first season of Huff came out on DVD just the other week.

RjB: Well Bob, thank you so much for your time. We really appreciate it, and we’ll do our best to spread the word about Huff.

BL: Thanks so much, have a great day.

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Sharon Metcalf

I just found out that Huff was cancelled. I ordered Showtime only because I wanted to see Huff.
Love the actors, characters, story lines - just the best.
Now I have to cancel Showtime.

August 28 2006 at 6:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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