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Quick Chat with Kyle Bornheimer of Worst Week

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 17th 2008 10:54AM
Worst Week 1The new TV season has produced at least one breakout star for sure -- Kyle Bornheimer. On Worst Week, CBS's new entry in its solid sitcom block on Monday nights, Bornheimer has made his mark and the show is proving a ratings hit.

Kyle's every guy, not too bright, essentially sweet character on Worst Week, Sam Briggs, fits him like a glove. It's his ability to deliver the physical comedy as well as the self-deprecating lines with a knowing smile that has made him endearing.

Kyle Bornheimer has one of those really recognizable faces. You might remember having seen him in Jericho or Breaking Bad or The Unit. He's been kicking around for the past few years, searching for a role that would give him a chance to shine. That's what he's found in Worst Week.

Taking time from the crush of production, Kyle Bornheimer spoke with us about his new show and how it feels to be one of the funniest guys on TV today.

What do you think of your character, Sam Briggs? Is he as much a shmendrik as he comes across on Worst Week?
I think he's a somewhat hip, modern, generally nice guy who is really in love with life. He sees the best in himself and everyone else while he's having all these really big moments in his life, so he's putting a lot of pressure on himself to make them really wonderful, you know, babies and weddings and things like that. Because he's a kind of overly excited gentleman, he's messing these moments up. I see him more as a life-affirming character that doesn't necessarily have the skills to pull things off with much grace and harmony, but hopefully there's comedy in the ways that he tries to do that. He is a little bit of a spaz.

Do you feel that this is your big breakout role?
It's definitely the biggest role I've ever had on TV or in movies.

Are you worried about how you can keep up the high pitch because in the first episodes, the show has played like farce which is really hard to do over the long run?
Not at all. I'm excited and the writers keep coming up with brilliant things for me to do. It's like Lucy or Seinfeld or 24 or any other show. You know, on 24 they have these amazing action sequences that happen every week, literally every hour, for an entire season. We have a show structured around the week leading up to the big event. I know when I got married I had a lot of stuff going on. We've heightened up for the sake of comedy, so I don't think it's much different than watching a two hour movie where a bunch of crazy stuff happens to the characters. To me, that's the fun of it, that's why I'm excited to be doing it. We celebrate physical comedy and wacky comedy and do it to the best of our ability.

Worst Week is based on a British series, as you know. Did you watch that show in preparation for doing this series?
I didn't watch it and I feel bad about it because I like a lot of British comedy. That one I just haven't seen. When I got the part I decided not to watch it until we shot a few and then recently I've thought about watching it, but I haven't done that yet. Jimmy Mulville (The Kumars at No. 42), who is a really funny gentleman has helped with the adaptation here, so I'm pretty confident that it's probably pretty good.

I see a lot of Seth Rogen and a young Bob Hope in your interpretation. Which actors have influenced your performance?
I'm a huge fan of those actors. I grew up with a pretty good sense of television and movie history. My grandpa and dad both have have huge movie collections, so my brother and I, my whole family, watched movies growing up. Jack Lemmon and Charlie Chaplin, Peter Sellers and Steve Martin. More recently, I've loved Ricky Gervais and Jim Carrey. Some of that stuff comes out in my performances. Like any other art --musician, actor -- influences sometimes do show up. If that's working for good affect, all the better.

Is there pressure to live up to the opportunity?
No, not really, because I also had a baby recently. If I can deal with that pressure, this is something I can deal with. I think when you actually do struggle for a long time, you gain perspective and you gain a really solid support system. We work such long hours and we work so hard to bring the best out of ourselves, to make this show good for ourselves, that the bigger picture of it all, I haven't had much time to even look at. I just want to be the best actor I can be right now, that's the only task that I give myself.

Are people starting to recognize you in the supermarket?
Oh, yeah, that happens a little bit. So far, so good. A lot of people come up and say they love the show. It's a great feeling that something I'm working on so hard is entertaining people. Nobody's humiliated me yet, but I'm sure that's coming, too.

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I like the show & it fits well in Monday's comedy line-up. But I must say, I was a huge Jericho fan & I don't remember him at all on that. Any idea what role he had? (Before I have to go & look it up myself.)

October 18 2008 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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