One of the best parts of "Parenthood" this season has been watching Sarah and Hank pretend to avoid their obvious sexual tension, and when they finally did kiss in "There's Something I Need To Tell You...," it was an instant series highlight. Lauren Graham and Ray Romano took a media call earlier this week to discuss the 'ship heard 'round the world, and tried their best to not talk about "Gilmore Girls" and "Everybody Loves Raymond" -- luckily, they didn't entirely succeed. Below are the highlights.
On joining "Parenthood" in the first place
Ray Romano: I knew ["Parenthood" creator] Jason Katims and he was a fan of my show ["Men of a Certain Age"]. I was a fan of his show. And then, unfortunately, my show no longer existed. In between trying to find out what to do next, I had been speaking to Jason, and I believe I put it out there first. Kind of jokingly, I said, "Hey, if you ever find something for me, I work cheap." And he took me up on it, and cheap it is, but I'm still happy to do it.
On filming with the Bravermans
Romano: I got to tell you, I guess I'm kind of in the business and I've seen all the bells and whistles and I know what goes on. And yet -- like I said, I was a fan of the show -- the third day was I had a scene with the whole cast and it was a weird feeling... I was just like a viewer. You really get wrapped up in that this is the Braverman family... I don't know if starstruck is the word. It was a little surreal that I'm in this world that I've just been watching and been wrapped up in.
On wanting to eventually get behind the scenes, like Sam Jaeger recently did
Lauren Graham: I do, for sure. Actually Sam and Peter Krause have directed, and Dax Shepard is going to. It's a very welcoming show in that way, because we work in a very particular kind of technique. It's actually more helpful to have someone who is on the inside who knows the show and who knows how we rehearse and how we sort of find the scenes -- so yes, that would be of interest to me, for sure. I think that it would be great to direct an episode.
On Hank and Sarah's romance, and playing a heartthrob (of sorts)
Romano: My wife looked at the kiss on TV and then looked at me and said, "You know, we don't need any more money. You know that, right?" And I said, "All right. Relax."
I was scared walking into this, because I didn't know where [the writers] were going to go with the character, exactly. But I knew because Jason Katims had said in interviews, "He complicates the relationship." And I was like, "Oh, I got to go up against Jason Ritter. I got to go up against a 30-year-old stud," and I was scared crapless. And stupid me -- I do go on the Internet. I know Lauren, you kind of stay away from there. But I saw some of the things. But it's a credit to the guys, to the writers, you know, the way they've done it, the way they've eased into it and we got to know this guy.
Having said that, she'll still -- my wife still takes a couple issues with things she sees. I remember with "Raymond" we were watching a scene once, and it was me and Patty Heaton and we were in bed and this was -- this wasn't a love scene. We were just talking. We were just having a conversation, and my wife looked at that and then looked at me and said, "You talk to her in that scene more than you've talked to me this whole week." And I said, "I have writers on the show. If I had writers at home, we would have a conversation." But yes, she's kind of over that now and it's not like, you know, I'm not Matthew McConaughey taking my shirt off and jumping in bed with every woman. It's rare and few, and so she'll roll with it.
On a Bravermans vs. Barones (from "Everybody Loves Raymond") steel-cage match
Romano: They have the numbers on us, but we have Doris Roberts, who's an animal... I mean, Craig T. Nelson's taller than I thought but he's not as tall as Brad Garrett. But, you know, Brad's 6'8." And he's Jewish, so that's like a world record right there. That's the tallest Jewish man I think in the world. Is this bad? Is that -- was that bad to say? No.
Graham: No. That is true.
Romano: I got to go… yes. I'm going to go with the Barones.
Graham: You're outnumbered and you're out-youthed. I mean, think of all the youths in the Bravermans.
Romano: Yes, but I could take the little kids, I'll tell you that much.
On a "Gilmore Girls" movie
Graham: There's not one that I know of but, you know, they're doing the "Arrested Development" movie years after that show finished. I think what I didn't really understand in the midst of that and what I understand much better now is just what a compliment it is that those characters were compelling to people and they want to see them and what happened to them. I feel that way about "Downtown Abbey." I feel proud to have been that for somebody -- but the rest of the stuff, I kind of have no control over.
Watch a preview clip from this week's "Parenthood":