NBC Isn't Out to 'Destroy Drama,' Says 'ER' Vet Anthony Edwards
But Anthony Edwards, whose serious work on 'ER' benefited from the show's perch at 10 p.m., doesn't think his former network is out to "destroy drama." It's about survival, he tells PopEater, and NBC is simply doing what they think is best for their bottom line.
"That's what a commercial network is supposed to be doing," he says, "that's their business ... they're not a public library."
The wealth of channel options on television these days, Edwards believes, has made it less necessary for a big network like NBC to provide programs that otherwise would be too adult for pre-10 viewing.
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"People wanna say, 'Oh, this is the end of dramas!' but who would've thought that you could walk around with all those shows on your iPhone. So as the medium changes, storytellers will fill the area. I mean, places like A&E and Showtime weren't doing the kind of scripted shows that they're doing now when we started 'ER' in 1994."
"You might say there's more opportunity for good drama now then when 'ER' was on."
These days, Edwards, 47, has shifted his career focus away from television and towards Africa, namely a project to build a children's hospital in Kenya.
The 'Top Gun' actor is running in the New York City Marathon on Nov. 1 as part of a grass roots campaign by Shoe4Africa, the charitable organization that has sent thousands of running shoes to Africa. Edwards tells PopEater the Kenyan government approached the nonprofit with a big request: help us build. He notes: "It'll actually be the largest children's hospital in all of Africa with 250 beds." / (Learn More and Donate @ Shoe4Africa.org)
In our extended interview, Edwards talks about his passionate efforts with health care, on playing Uma Thurman's husband in the upcoming film 'Motherhood' (in select theaters Oct. 23) and we snare his thoughts on the idea of -- that's right -- a 'Revenge of the Nerds' movie.
Are you finding it harder to get people to pay attention to health care problems abroad, when the USA is so entrenched in our own debate?
I think people are still receptive to problems abroad because the truth is, we're still a country that lives in incredible excess. It's pretty obvious that we have much more than we need, on every level. Even though we do have challenges here, and people are facing financial crisis, it's nowhere near what the crisis in Africa, where 80% of children die without ever meeting with a health care provider. Such simple things that we take for granted aren't even a foundation. We always have to remind ourselves that we didn't get to choose where we were born. We were lucky to be born here, others weren't. We're only as strong as our weakest link, so people relate to that.
What was it like being Uma Thurman's husband in 'Motherhood'?
Pretty awesome ... I mean, Uma really dove into this movie wholeheartedly and really created this lovely character that we all bounce off of. And as the character required, she can be incredibly beautiful and incredibly scared and lovely and powerful all at different moments.Having been with my wife for all these years, I've seen so much of the complexities of what women go through both being a mother and playing all these different roles that they're required to play. Watch the Trailer >>
With all the remakes of old films popping up in Hollywood, would you endorse a new 'Revenge of the Nerds'?
Of course! It's just an honor to have been a part of something worth re-doing. It's not like they're going 'Okay, we wanna remake the worst comedy of all time. These guys sucked so much that we wanna do it again.' It doesn't show a great amount of imagination, but if they can do it better ... great, go for it. We're just trying to be entertainers here ... not running for office, people.
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