“I had to move to Los Angeles from Illinois to learn that my dream life was actually not like a David Lee Roth video. And once I sort of woke up to that I was like, okay, here’s what I want: I want to have a happy life with my wife and my home and our poodles and my wood shop.” [x]
When WILL & GRACE became the hit it did, your wife Megan was catapulted to an entirely different level in terms of fame. Did getting to experience that alongside her help you in dealing with the popularity of Ron Swanson?
Well Megan is about 11 years older than me, and interestingly she got WILL & GRACE right about at the same age that I got PARKS AND RECREATION and it’s been one of the great blessings of our marriage, having gone through all these lessons on Megan’s arm, sort of learning vicariously how to deal when all of these new pressures come into our lives. Of course, the difference between us is that Megan is so brimming with talent that her whole life, even though she didn’t get her “big break” until WILL & GRACE, her whole life her talent was being recognized — either on the Broadway stage or as a young women in Chicago — she was by far the young ingenue of Chicago musical theatre in the early to mid 80′s. In fact, William Morris snatched her up and there was a moment she was going to have Rebecca De Mornay’s part in Risky Business but then they changed producers and re-cast things. You know, she’s had moments. She has a scene in About Last Night where she’s the girl that Rob Lowe makes out with her where Demi Moore decides to try and dump him. Everyone has known she was a knock out star and it is a testament to how hard the business is that it took Megan Mullally to the age of 38 to break out on a national level. If you ever see her in a broadway musical you’d be like what is the f*ck going on? She’s a tiny beautiful elfin women and she walks on stage and everything you ever heard of Ethel Merman comes to mind. Just a light explodes from behind her and her voice just knocks you over… can you tell I’m a fan?
Yes, and to be perfectly honest, it’s ridiculously sweet.
We feel very lucky in that regard. I can’t sing like Megan, so I always say that she’s like an incredible chocolate cake and I’m like a pint of Guinness. We’re both delicious, but mine is a much more acquired taste. Maybe it’s a bigger astonishment to me that I got a part like this than it was to Megan, but I certainly am so much better prepared for a lot of the new parts of my life being in the limelight to the extent that I am from watching Megan go through it first.