Matthew Perry to Focus More on Writing, Thinking Good Thoughts About 'Studio 60'
By Nicki Gostin Posted Feb 16th 2011 07:30PM
You came up with the idea for 'Mr. Sunshine,' right?
I did. The character I play, his name is Ben Donovan and he's sort of spent his 40 years only thinking about himself.
Is it autobiographical at all?
A tad. For TV, everything is cranked up a notch. I don't think my actual life would be as entertaining. Something happened in the first episode that made him change his ways; he's been set upon a path riddled with mistakes of trying to be a better man.
Did you have an epiphany like that?
Do you want to elaborate?
Alrighty, your last big TV show was 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,' which was written by Aaron Sorkin. Did you think "slam dunk"?
We all thought slam dunk, but I was pretty proud of that show.
I remember it came out the same time as '30 Rock' and thought that '30 Rock' won't last.
That's what everybody thought. I think Tina Fey probably thought that, too.
Do you enjoy script writing?
I do, it's fun. It's sort of writing by committee for the most part. I wrote the pilot with two other people, and someone else came in to help out, and there's a whole writing staff of people who sit around in a room. It's a very funny room.
Do you see that as your future?
Yes, I was doing a lot of jobs on this. I was acting and producing, and I thought of it, so it's a very busy job. If we're fortunate enough to have it keep going, I'll have to continue to learn as I go to do all the things and micromanage all those things.
Must have been exhausting.
Yeah, I found I kept having to have dinner in a moving golf cart. It's probably not good for your health.
Is your dream to win an Oscar for best screenplay?
I think my dream would be to win an Oscar for anything, for makeup.
Didn't the writers use a lot of your lines on 'Friends'?
Yeah, they did.
Ever feel like, "Hey, I should be getting a paycheck for that, too"?
(Laughs) No, we were all pretty well taken care of. But yes, it was that experience and the experience on 'Studio 60' that made me want to try to do something on my own.
Your show is on after 'Modern Family.' Could there be a better time slot?
It's really exactly where you want it to be. So we've got a spot and if people don't like us then we won't be there anymore.
You sound very Zen about it.
You know, I've been doing this a very long time, so I do my best to enjoy the journey and not be focused on the results because if I'm focused on the results, I can think a job that I've been working for a year and a half on could be over in two days.
I remember you as Sandy on 'Growing Pains.'
Yes, I had a very serious arc. I died on it! I just did an episode and then another and then another and then I found out I was dead. It was a bit of a downer.
Favorite guilty pleasure?
I have chocolate Quik everyday.
You do? Wow, I wish I could have strawberry Quik every day.
Why can't you?
Because I would be the largest man in the United States.
Not if you put in one teaspoon.
That's not what I do. I put a ton of stuff in.
'Mr. Sunshine' airs Wednesday nights at 9:30 ET, only on ABC.
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