Robbie Amell spent a good chunk of his early career making a name for himself on comedic series like True Jackson VP and How I Met Your Mother (to this day, Scooby remains one of Robin’s most memorable boyfriends), but as he has matured, so have his roles. He recurred on Revenge, Pretty Little Liars, and most recently popped up in an episode of Hawaii Five-0. His cousin Stephen Amell stars on The CW’s Arrow, a series the younger Amell “would love to get on,” too. Maybe even as Superman? We could see it! For now, though, Amell is excited to return to the challenges of comedy with a role on NBC’s 1600 Penn.
“My girlfriend doesn’t think I’m funny at all. I run my sides with her, and she just doesn’t find me funny, so I go in with low confidence, but I have a lot of fun with it,” Amell laughed when LA TV Insider Examiner caught up with him in Los Angeles earlier this month.
“Working with Josh, who is such an improv star, I just end up laughing my ass off the entire time. I’ve ruined a lot of takes! The scene where Josh and I first meet, a lot of that is Josh’s improv in which I try not to laugh and keep the scene going. We touch fingers, which I thought was pretty funny.”
When we visited the Los Angeles set of 1600 Penn, series star Josh Gad previewed Amell’s character of D.B., Becca’s baby daddy, by comparing him to his own character.
“We’re two side to the same coin,” Gad told us, and Amell laughed in agreement with Gad’s assessment.
“I don’t know if they had planned it that way [but] my character was always not the brightest bulb. It’s hard to think of a polite way to say it: the character’s an idiot, but he’s really sweet. He’s always coming from a very good place.”
We meet D.B. in the fourth episode when the President intervenes, having his best men track down the kid that got his own kid pregnant. It is a comedy of errors when D.B. is taken into “custody” by the President, as he assumes they think he’s a spy. Becca told him who she really was, but the bar in which the met was so loud—and you know, alcohol filled—he didn’t hear her correctly. But now he is thrust into this family’s life for the long haul.
“He just somehow falls right into it, and I think it’s the lack of thinking that makes him eager to go along,” Amell said. “It’s just kind of like ‘Oh, who cares? I’ll fly by the seat of my pants sort of thing. This is great. Things couldn’t be better. I’m in a relationship with the President’s daughter!’”
Amell was quick to add that although D.B. feels he is in a relationship with Becca, she may not agree. But as the episodes go on, he is confident she will come around to him.
“How could you not? He’s such a sweet, lovable guy,” Amell said. “Becca’s character is so strong and so independent and so smart, we’re polar-opposites pretty much, but we do have a lot of fun together.”
D.B. is embraced by the First Family pretty instantaneously, but so far Amell said the show has not played with a “meeting of the families” or mingling to become one big, blended union.
“We haven’t met any of my friends or family yet. You’ll see my boss, who’s kind of out there, and you’ll see where I work in [my] first episode. I was talking to Jason and Josh and Mike about who they want my family to be—there’s a lot of talk of an Uncle Randy, and the names they’ve thrown around are fantastic. I’m really excited to see them; I feel like it’s almost going to be like the Griswolds,” Amell said.
1600 Penn airs on NBC on Thursday nights at 9:30 p.m. “Meet the Parent” airs on January 24th 2013.
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