Yeah, you know him as Jennifer Coolidge lovin' Finch in The American Pie movies and from the FOX hit 'Til Death, but what you may not know is Eddie Kaye Thomas has been acting steadliy on stage, screen and TV since he first appeared on Broadway at age 11 in John Guare's “Four Baboons Adoring the Sun". We know him because he's dating our "adopted sister" Ari Graynor who he met when working on the off-boradway hit "Dog Sees God". And we LOVE him because he was a sport and opened this year's Hot in Hollywood benefit IN DRAG! Now he's starring in ABC Family's "Nature of the Beast" which airs this Sunday October 21st. Check out our chat with him:
MM: What most people don't know, is that it was your idea to get America (Ferrera) to do a # with you for HIH. Whose idea was it to do "You Gotta have a Gimick" from Gypsy with you (and Jerry O'Connell) in drag?
EKT: I first said that I would do HIH in February. At that time it felt like August was so far away that it might never ever come, but sure enough, May turned into June, June into July, and then Michael Medico is calling asking for my cup size. It all happened very fast and the idea to do a number from Gypsy was actually America's idea. Her first idea was to sing "Let The Good Times Roll" and use various rolling objects (Big Wheels, Rollerblades, Tires etc.) throughout the song. She then suggested "You Gotta Have A Gimmick" and that seemed like a better suggestion. She basically had all the good ideas and I just did what I was told.
MM: Thank you so much for being such a good sport and opening the show. Were you nervous? What the hell was it like to be in heels and drag for the first time? (It was the first time, right?!?)
EKT: As sick as it seems I actually did a drag show when I was 12. It was an off-off Broadwy show about a group of Actresses in a dressing room. My character was actually a tomboyish girl so my outfits were not half as risque as the one I wore at HIH, but I did get to meet some of New York's finest Drag queens and that is an eduactaion that you can't buy from a catalogue.
MM: I bet. Now onto TV...Congratulations on your hit Til' Death. Is there a difference between 'Til Death's first season and the second?
EKT: Its a real shame that more shows don't get the oppurtunity that 'Til Death is getting. I feel like it takes a year for a show (especially a comedy) to find out what it is. In our first season we were all figuring out what our sense of humour was gonna be and what the feel of the show was. From the opening credits to the music in between scenes- no one knew for sure what worked best. But by the end of the year we figured out that this was a modern take on a very classic formula. A realistc look at marraige and relationships ala "I love Lucy", "The Honeymooners" or "All In The Family". Now that we have a vibe for the show, it has opened the door for the writers to create some really funny stuff, that I think peole who have seen the show are really responding to. Alot of the comments I have been getting this year is how surprised people have been about how much better the show has gotten since last year.
MM: Speaking of surpised... Are there any surprises coming up on the show?
EKT: Brad (Garret) likes to answer this question by saying that He will put on Black face and start investigating Murders in New Orleans while the rest of us find out if we are more well hung than a 6th grader...Plot twists and turns arent really a part of our show. We just want people to tune in, stop thinking and laugh.
MM: So next up is your ABC Family movie: "Nature of the Beast" where you play a warewolf. How long did it take in the make-up chair to make you into a warewolf?
EKT: It was a three hour process sitting in a chair. The prosthtic took a little over an hour and the rest of the time was spent putting the hair on piece by piece. The whole process was very exciting. It made me feel very actor-ish to get to sit in a make-up chair for that long and become a whole other person. The movie has a very old school horror film feel, and it felt that way while we were shooting. We were trying to make it scary, but also fun enough that nine year olds wouldn't run away from their TVs screaming. I think that cable has somewhat replaced the old Drive-In theater. Where in the fiftys the studios were mass producing horror films for release in the theaters we now do it on places like ABC Family. I think its exciting that there is a venue for movies that aren't nescasssarily oscar contenders, but would still be fun to watch. Halloween is one of the great arbitrary holidays that is a good excuse to all get together and do something fun. Hopefully "Nature Of The Beast" can add to some peoples holiday joy.
MM: I hear you just did a really cool promo in New York for the movie.
EKT: I actually just did it this morning [Thursday]. ABC Family decorated a double decker tourist bus with "Nature Of The Beast" logos and put a bunch of people dressed as werewolves on top made to look like tourists travelling around the city.
MM: Who or what do you think is hot in Hollywood?
EKT: Hot In Hollywood is the hottest thing in Hollywood...except for "The Hills" on MTV, that's pretty hot too...and Tere's tacos on Melrose...and Sweet Lady Jane on Melrose...and Pinkberry, and the fact that there is soon going to be a Whole Foods where they are putting the new W hotel.
MM: Last question, but most important... m&m's plain or peanut?
EKT: I use to be all about plain but nowadays I feel like it's a waste to not have peanut m&ms..those new dark chocalate ones are bullshit. Isn't it bad for the enviorment? I mean, come on, who really eats dark chocalate. Whenever you get those mini Hersheys, the dark chocalate are ALWAYS the last to go. First is Goodbar, then Crackle, then Plain, then if anyone is really, really craving the chocalate they'll have a Special Dark. We should tell Hersheys to stop wasting paper and keep m&ms the way they are.