Orlando Jones Guest Stars on "Necessary Roughness"

By Jamie Ruby

Orlando JonesNecessary Roughness follows a divorcee, Dani Santino (Callie Thorne), who becones a therapist for a professional football team and others living in the spotlight. The series also stars Mehcad Brooks as football player TK, who Santino tries to help, even if he's not all that receptive at first.

On the series, Orlando Jones plays the character of Lazarus "Laz" Rollins, a life coach sought out by TK.

The comedian has appeared on television before in series such as MADtv, which he also wrote for, Ghost Whisperer, and House M.D. Jones has also worked in film with movies such as Office Space, The Replacements, and the sci-fi comedy where he starred alongside David Duchovny, Evolution.

Jones sat down with the media to talk about his role on Necessary Roughness.

USA Network Conference Call
Necessary Roughness
Orlando Jones
August 16, 2011
1:00pm CT

Orlando JonesQUESTION: What type of research did you do for Laz? To get into the head of a life coach?

ORLANDO JONES: It's funny you should ask that. I actually dated a girl many moons ago whose best friend was a life coach and I actually called her just because at the time that I was dating her, she was just the girl I was going out with crazy friend and all of a sudden I was interested which I think threw her for a loop.

And I just kind of wanted to understand what the training background was for being a life coach, you know, with like a weekend seminar type thing and what it was. And also (to know) what kind of credentials they had and what most of her clients had been. So that was sort of my first call.

And my second call was to a couple of my buddies who were professional athletes. I just wanted to see what their therapy life was like for a lot of the problems they go through, you know, adjustment to family or things going on with the team and so on and so forth.

So that kind of was the - that was the gist to the research but I got wildly different answers from the professional side, more like than I did from the side where, you know, girl in California who professes to be a life coach.

QUESTION: Can you talk about working opposite Mehcad Brooks and what that was like?

ORLANDO JONES: Mehcad is awesome. I think we are convinced that we were separated at birth. Obviously, he got more of the hormones than I did. So he's a little bigger than me which is usually unusual because, you know, actors are often like midgets. So it was kind of funny that the onset was I'm 6'1" and I think he is like 6' 2" or 6' 3".

So Mehcad Brooks is I think wildly talented and a really fantastic actor but most importantly to me, I just think his ethic about working and wanting to do everything he can to have all the elements there when you're doing the scene are really incredible. I love the guy. I really look forward to working with him again.

QUESTION: Since you grew up around professional sports, what was your first impression of Laz? Did he remind you of anybody you knew?

ORLANDO JONES: Yes. I mean, he did. You know, it actually feels like a lot of times assistant coaches fulfill that role because they're the ones often that meet the family and know the dynamic of the player before the player comes into the system.

So it's interesting how much of that and how much the guys who do what Laz does (appear) and what their perspective is. Because they all have this sort of very plenty perspective which is, "I'm going to go out there and hustle and I'm going to make you some money. And I'm going to make you do the right advice," and so on and so forth.

But, it's really like, "You know, as long as you can put money in my pocket, I'm willing to help you. And if you can't, I'm not." But they don't see it like they're being sort of bloodsuckers. They really see it more like somebody who's going to fulfill this role no matter what and they are sort of doing you a service by virtue of the fact that they put a lot of money in your pocket in the process.

So, it's interesting to me that professional sports has this on - (in its face), but it's rarely talked about. So it was kind of exciting to me that somebody was delving into that area and talking about what happens off the field as work. So I think that's most of it.

QUESTION: Do you feel Laz is more like a wizard behind the curtain pulling the strings, or if he's more like a celebrity whisperer, somebody who manipulates them a little bit?

ORLANDO JONES: Honestly, I would say maybe a mixture of both. I don't think that he's much of a puppet because I think that Mehcad's character, he's already "behaving badly." He's already the $100 million superstar of the team and he's also - you know, that amount of money often goes to a kid who's less than 23, 24 years old. So you're going to expect them to behave the way they behave.

So I don't know that he's doing that as much as he is indulging the behavior but he's taking a different approach. I think the best example I can give is I look at the character like this: obviously, drug use is prevalent both in professional sports and not in professional sports.

I once have heard somebody say to a kid who is - who had problems smoking weed, "Listen, if you're going to do it, do it at home. Don't go out in the street." And I turned around and was like, "Whose parents are these? This is the craziest thing I've ever heard." But the attitude was I'd rather you do it in a controlled environment wherein I can help you if something happens or you won't get arrested by the police than you go do it out in the open where anybody can see you.

And I think that's Laz's attitude. If you're going to behave badly, I want to show you how to behave badly in such a way that can both make us money but also keep you a little bit out of trouble. So I think it's a little self-serving...and I think it's just a skewed perspective on what his behavior is already going to be.

QUESTION: You're doing a two-episode arc. Would you relish the opportunity to be a reoccurring arch-nemesis of Dr. Dani and/or Nico?

ORLANDO JONES: Yes. I mean, I love the show. I think it could be a lot of fun to see where that goes. I think it really changes that - the dynamic because, Dr. Dani's approach is so - you know, it's clinical, it's factual, it's based on something. So I think anything that gives her something to play off of is wonderful as Callie, I think, is great. So that comes (about and) be amazing. Had a great time in the show and it'd be fun to go back.

QUESTION: Is Laz's relationship with Dani adversarial?

ORLANDO JONES: Frankly, it could go either way. I think the relationship no matter what, it's going to have some adversarial element because Laz sees the world so much differently than she does. And she's a mom and Laz is more interacting with the players on sort of a day-to-day basis. So I think he's going to be a pain in Nico's butt to a certain degree. And I think the decisions and the ways that he would approach doing things are so different than Dani.

I think she absolutely questioned is that the right move and do you want to temper that decision before you do it whereas I think Laz will just jump in and say, "Let's just see where the chips fall." And it think that those two different approaches are always going to create some adversarial relationships.

QUESTION: Do you think Laz's motivations are more altruistic or is he just in it for the money?

ORLANDO JONES: I see it very much as both. In the research part of it, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the middle ground is and - I think Laz is genuine in the fact that he really does think he's helping and that he is grooming TK. So I think he's genuine but I do think he's altruistic at the same time.

So I look at him like he's a creature who has these massive audiences and they all love him and they believe him and then he helps his people, but he's a creature who doesn't believe in God. So that's how I see it.

QUESTION: As an actor how do you approach a guest role where you only have two episodes to create a character?

ORLANDO JONES: To some degree the approach is the same and to some degree the approach is different. You know, most of my career has been in the movie business where you're going to live with whomever it is for three, four months or longer. A lot of the ground work I think ends up being done by the writers and you ultimately look at the arc of the episode and try, at least from my perspective, to view the character with as much nuance as you possibly can.

And I think... that's really been the challenge. It's really easy to play Laz as this really sort of sleazy guy who just sort of comes in and takes advantage of TK. I kind of feel like that's kind of straight on - up the middle and on the nose and you should have seen it coming.

So what I wanted to get my head around when approaching something and it gets kind of low, low, low, what's the reality of it and what's the best side of the worst guy.

And often when you're doing something where you have a role, this guy is a lovely person. He's welcoming. Well, what is he trying to hide? What's his secret? So, ultimately I think we're kind of binary people and there's two of us living inside all the time...So I think the tough part is trying to...find the moment in the scenes that you have in order to give the character some life and some interest and nuance.

So that's generally the approach, and it's difficult primarily because it's (dictated) by screen time so you try and deal with it as best you possibly can and look at each scene and not what the objective is that's happening in the story but then how you can make the objective of the story a little bit more interesting than it's going to be than if you just hit it on the nose.

QUESTION: Is there anything you were surprised to learn about yourself from this character? You're playing a life coach, did you walk away with any new life lessons?

ORLANDO JONES: I don't know that I have time to do that. I definitely have previously not been the biggest (fan) of the life coaches. I always thought of it sort of like, "Seriously, that's really what you do?" So I think I definitely gained a little bit more respect for that profession because I do think that if they're (core), they really are trying to help people so it's kind of positive look on your people who are devoting their lives to try and...do better for themselves and do better for others.

So that, you know, I think I gained a little bit more respect for the profession and for me, that was because it was something I previously just made fun of.

QUESTION: Laz spends a lot of time with TK, but is there a particular character on the show that you would have liked to have shared a few more scenes with?

ORLANDO JONES: Yes. Callie and I have known each other for a while from New York so I would have loved to interact with her more, as well as Marc Blucas' character. I like the...characters on the show. I certainly was (relegating) more on TK and Nico and Callie and I a little bit of running into each other but for the most part, our interaction is (relegated) through TK out of love who have gotten through the differences in our philosophies and the differences in our approaches to working with athletes. That would have been interesting. I would love to do that.

QUESTION: Anymore you can tell us about your character on this show and anything that might happen?

ORLANDO JONES: Well, I definitely can't give anything away.

But, let's see, let me think. I think he's a bit of a (snazzy) dresser, I can tell you that. And I'm almost sure that he's a Corey Hart fan.

QUESTION: What, he wears sunglasses at night?

ORLANDO JONES: I didn't say that. I just said I think he's a Corey Hart fan.

But yes, I think I've been dancing around the edges. So I think I've given you as much as I can give you without blowing the episodes.

QUESTION: How is it working with the cast? Were they very welcoming? Are they a fun group to work with?

ORLANDO JONES: I have to settle a lot of guest star stuff and when you do it, you'll never know what environment you're walking into. This one is particularly welcoming, inviting. The cast is really, really lovely. And I don't say that in a difficult sort of be as an actor kind of way.

I mean lovely in the sense that...you get a call after work like, "Hey, we're going here. Let's go hang out." It's a lot more like there's a real family and a real community happening on this show which I think if you're seeing on screen, it's really wonderful and it's really special. It is not the way it generally is. Generally any group of people that kind of breaks and it clicks, that's not what that is. It's really like a theater environment and I think that part of the reason the show is so wonderful is they're so giving and open and respectful of each other. So it's really something special going on there.

QUESTION: You do a lot of movies and occasionally guest starring roles. Are you looking to do more television?

ORLANDO JONES: I don't know that I look at the medium, you know, people are watching stuff on iPads and phones, I'm not sure if it really matters anymore. So for me it's more about the commitment. I mean, finding the right role on television is difficult because you sign a seven-year contract.

So on television, it's really just been about finding the right things that's going to be the right long-term fit. And in movies it's a little different because it's a finite period of time. So I think for me that's sort of the difference but the right role, with the right cast and so on and so forth, that's really what you look for, be it in a guest starring role or otherwise.

And this was a role where there's a really wonderful cast and showrunners and fantastic writers. So this is kind of the best of all possible worlds, so it's - if that happens in another show, I would definitely do that. And if it happens in a film, I would do that.

But half of the people I know from TV are not doing film and half the people I know from film are not doing TV. So I'm not sure where it's all going to land. But for me it's really more about the character than it is anything else.

QUESTION: When you're looking for a role, is there a particular type of character you look for or is it just a matter of it's a good script and it's a good cast and I'm going to go with it?

ORLANDO JONES: No, there are other factors, obviously. I think one of the big factors is have I done this before? You want to grow and do different things. So that becomes part of it. So the other part of it, I think is also just about - how do I put this? I think it's more difficult now because so much stuff is a little - it's a little on the (nose) for my taste.

So trying to find stuff that's going to be noteworthy. At some point, I'm going to end up in a situation where I'm talking to people like you and I hate to feel like I'm the guy that's lying. So I go, "Oh, it was wonderful. The cast was incredible and it was such a great experience," like, I don't do that well.

So, you know, trying to make sure you actually feel that way about the character. I don't know how often somebody gets a phone call saying, "Hey, here's a role for a life coach to a professional athlete." To me, I'm like, yes, don't hear that every day. That sounds awesome.

So you look for those elements, obviously, whenever you got to do something. And if there's something that's been done a thousand times before, then you hope that or you want it to be a different approach to it. So I've seen the (Procedure) before but when I saw Dexter, I went, "Now, that's interesting." You know, the cop is a serial killer. Wow that's different than before.

So I mean, generally you look for stuff that...I call it disruption. Something that disrupts what was previously there and forges a new path and that's probably the primary factor.

QUESTION: Athletes and actors have a lot in common, the celebrity and the ability to act out and there's a lot of ego involved. Does that make it a little easier that you're able to get a little bit in the head of TK and know where he's coming from?

ORLANDO JONES: Well, I think it does to some degree. I think the trick of it is - it depends on how sober they are. So I think there's some symbolic outrageous behaviors that you hear about. I mean, there's the great story out that Plaxico Burress shot himself, right? And then...

...it's all over the news that Plaxico Burress shot himself. And so what I thought was interesting about, at least the parts of that story that I heard, is that one of his teammates had gone on an anniversary trip with his wife and the limo driver had held them at gun point and then it just happened a week before. So Plaxico Burress having heard that from his close friends, his teammates, was like, "You got robbed by a limo driver? Forget that. I'm now taking a gun." So he takes a gun out with him and he ends up shooting himself.

So the story that we heard was the story that's...some NFL player who shot himself, what an idiot. But from his perspective, it was, "Well, wait a second, people are getting robbed too in my profession left and right, so I should carry a firearm to protect myself."

So I think that that's what's interesting about being able to do this kind of role and this kind of show and I think that's what's great about this show is you get to delve into the underside of what happens the day before in that guy's life that led to the tragedy. And that becomes, to me, more interesting than just hearing the sound bites in the tabloid story as opposed to actually hearing, for lack of a better word, what would be the real story.

I don't think it's easier because the real story generally has a lot more to do with what your hopes and your fears are and what's going on in your head. So it doesn't allow you to get that far ahead of this because you're kind of delving into the truth as opposed to, "Oh, it is one that, you know, (unintelligible)," and everybody heard that.

QUESTION: It doesn't sound like you'd be headed off to a life coach if you were going through some sort of a personal crisis. How do you deal with that pressure?

ORLANDO JONES: To be honest with you, it's weird because, like everybody will tell you, a lot is your family and friends; these people that you've known for a long time. So you've built the trust with them before.

I think it's been a learning curve, to be honest with you, that just sort of comes with it. And- the one thing I can guarantee you is people are going to make mistakes, and I'm no exception to that one. I definitely made those mistakes in (unintelligible).

But I think it's great if you can get a mentor, which I think I was fortunate enough to get, who can lead you away from some of those minefields if you get to listen to them. It's difficult to me, at least in my profession, to go to a life coach per se because they don't really know what the minefields are because they're not really in it. You know what I mean?

I'm not an (accountant). You know what I mean? So it's different when you've got an actor who's older and blah, blah, blah. He's already done all these who can sort of grab you in the back of your neck and go, "Kid, go down that road but I can tell you how it's going to lead," and then you have an opportunity to listen or not listen.

So for me...there are a lot of actors that's been great to me and helped me navigate this world once again. The life coach thinks - you know, in my world doesn't really think. You know, for me it makes the most sense but somebody else might be (great).

QUESTION: From the previews, it looks like Laz is not a welcome addition to the TK support team. Can you tell us about the conflicts that ensue?

ORLANDO JONES: Definitely not particularly a welcome addition but I think primarily because he's a bit of a - he's unknown. And I think there's always a question when somebody says they're a life coach. Well, where did you study? And where (do) your credentials come from? So a lot of the conflicts that ensue have to do with the fact that he is a complete and total unknown.

So I would say he's a lot more like the guy who shows up the door that you've never heard of before who now all of a sudden is chummy with the boss and having a (lethal) impact on the outcome of your life but you don't know where this person comes from. So without giving anything away, that's the first part of the conflict and it certainly begins to evolve from there.

QUESTION: So how would you compare Laz to Harry (from Evolution)?

ORLANDO JONES: Wow. Hysterical. I did not see that one coming. Well done. Harry is a volleyball coach who teaches part-time geology. That's really to me what he was. So I think he kind of - he was hanging out in the college campus. He's really having a good time. He kind of has the zest for life and then a meteor hit and his life changed.

He was always sort of catching himself throughout everything that was going on in life. We couldn't quite believe that it's happening. So he was always vacillating between trying to be the serious scientist while at the same time going, "Can you believe that we got refrigeration? It's awesome."

So I think Laz is definitely a lot more in control of what's going on. Laz definitely knows what's going on. He has an objective in mind. He had set moves that he plans on making that has financial rewards (at the end). So I think that he is not pitching himself to be in a situation with professional athletes. He has a lot more ego. I think he feels like they should be pitching themselves because they got someone of his caliber to work with them.

So I think they're wildly different characters with very different (unintelligible). They're very different just sort of general approaches to every day.

QUESTION: Do you think Dr. Dani is skeptical about Laz being involved with TK, in a maternal way? Has she become that protective of him? Or why do you think she's so skeptical of their relationship?

ORLANDO JONES: I think it's three-fold. I think one is, I think it is a little bit maternal because she spent some time with TK. And I think the other is, again, his credentials, where did he - what is his previous experience and who are his clients and that sort of thing. And I think lastly, she - just a little bit out of nowhere to be working with someone. I think it's a little weird, when you're working with somebody and all of a sudden somebody else shows up and you're no longer working with them. That's always a little bit of like, "Okay, hold on. What happened? You're doing what?"

So I think all of those things kind of come together that throw her for a loop. But it's TK's decision. So she has to respect that. So again, we definitely interact on the show but our interaction is sort of bordered by TK's decision. So - and I think those are the reasons that she's sort of uncomfortable with it.

QUESTION: And how does Laz interact with some of the other characters, Matt or Nico? Are they as, untrusting of Laz as Dr. Dani is or do they understand a little more about why he would want a life coach?

ORLANDO JONES: Well, I think obviously Dani has a great relationship with Nico and the staff there. So I think that, in the world of professional athletes, it's like if they have identified the person that they want you to help and then the player goes out and gets someone on their own and it just - I think it's sort of the same reaction which is, "Who is this person?" And I think their first phone call is more than likely asking her what does that mean. It puts her in an awkward position because she can't be responsible for me, she doesn't know me.

So I think that he becomes sort of disruptive to the entire - he's disruptive to everything surrounding TK the moment he shows up.

QUESTION: The landscape of TV is changing with so many of the cable stations producing high caliber material and the networks sort of not up to par. Were you excited to jump on that bandwagon and get on one of the most popular cable networks? And do you hope that this will lead to a recurring role in future seasons?

ORLANDO JONES: Yes. I mean, it could. I think it could be really great. And I think your assessment is - it's true on a lot of levels. There's a lot of interesting stuff happening on cable from Breaking Bad to Justified, Necessary Roughness, you know, Burn Notice and the like. So I think USA is incredible. I love (it), it's something that I watch a lot. And I do think there's some interesting things on network as well, don't get me wrong. But I do think that what's changed a lot is there isn't a lot of interesting character stuff going on - really going on.

And I think it's unfortunately most true on the film side. I think that's really where - it's this cookie cutter is - (the day is long) now. So I think you're left to turn to...I would say the real actors' ground, which is the theater which is where I'm (confined) the last couple of years just because it's amazing that (unintelligible) eight shows a week and do it.

Yes, you know, I've been looking for the right thing on cable, to be honest with you, for a while. But it's about finding really what the right thing is. And it's a tough find for me because there are some things that I think would be great to do for a couple of months. But, you know, seven years is just a long stretch sometimes.

And I also think that it has a lot to do with the writers that you're going to work with, the executive producer that you're going to work with. So I had a great time when I went and did House last year. It was a lot of fun. It was a fun role and the whole nine. But that role is something that people are like, "Oh, you're going to be recurring." And I was like, "Man, it was really great to be on this show and I loved it and it'd be nice to go back and visit but I can't see myself doing that every week."

You know, this is something that's a lot more fun and I like - Necessary Roughness is more my kind of show. Not that I don't love House but this is more in the real (help), given how much time my family spend in professional sports. So it feels more like home to me. So...I have to agree with you, I think the most interesting stuff in entertainment right now is happening on cable, irrespective of the venue. You know, more money and - more money being spent on the future but I can't say it's more entertaining to watch.

QUESTION: Necessary Roughness is sort of a light-hearted drama. How do you approach a dramatic role? How do you balance the comedy and the drama?

ORLANDO JONES: To be honest with you, I don't really look at them that way. I kind of look at them more like what's - it's really about what the story is, right? So I kind of figure the story is the story. So you know the story you're telling. And by and large, (we) don't really need new stories, we tend to know what they are.

So I think it's more about how your character feels the (safest) and the nuances and the shades and the color in the story and less about trying to discover when you're doing comedy or drama, they're really the same thing to the most part. I mean, timing is a little different but they're not very different from each other.

So I think in most of the movies that I love, there's always the - particularly my favorite comedies are really heavy dramas. You know, 48 Hours is a very, very violent, graphic drama. You know, so I don't tend to lend myself very well to the broader sort of Dodgeball kind of comedies which are really just full on broad comedy. I mean, I kind of struggle and there's a lot of comedy world. I tend to like it a lot more grounded.

So my approach to comedy tends to be fairly dramatic because I think the funniest stuff is the stuff that just sort of comes out of the moment in real life and real situations and if you can find that balance of the reality in comedy, I think it's a lot better than when you just - you know, doing what I did on MADtv which is sketch which is, by definition, way over the top.

In a light-hearted drama or a comedy, I still try to - I'll find the common ground and find the truth and so on and so forth. And I tend to see it that way. But because I see that, I think it definitely takes me out of a lot of the things that many of my friends do just to (unintelligible) kind of comedic stuff.

QUESTION: Did you find though there was instant chemistry when you started working with the cast? Or did you need a bit of time to find your footing?

ORLANDO JONES: Well, fortunately I was in good - Callie and I already knew each other and Marc Blucas and I already knew each other. So really the people I was meeting was Mehcad and Nico. So Mehcad and I sort of immediately hit it off and Nico and I had the same experience.

So it was pretty seamless. What I can say is that normally what you're describing is what happens, you kind of show up and there's already different groups going on. But because they're such a close-knit group already, I think I kind of was pre-vetted because I already knew two of them so I kind of walked in and was like, "Hey, everybody. We know each other from dah, dah, dah." We kind of hit the ground running and really had a great time together.

So I managed to jump over that hurdle this time and it was - I think it will show up on the screen in fact. So I'm excited about that.

QUESTION: Why do you think people tune in to watch Necessary Roughness?

ORLANDO JONES: I think he show is extremely well written. I think it has, in my opinion, one of the more underrated casts on television. I think that people are prone (to throw) lots of words about, you know, this person is amazing or that person is amazing and so on and so forth.

And I think they are sometimes true. I think that sometimes that actor has a great pedigree and people like saying good things about them. I think this cast is just really good, phenomenal work. And I think they're doing it on a subject matter that we previously haven't seen before which to me just grants them greater kudos.

It's just I think it's compelling to want to see and also to humanize a lot of the people that people think are just sort of (knocking) them but which are people who are wildly successful who (have) done well for themselves financially or who reign the spotlight, then I think what this does is sort of illuminates that, irrespective of what's happening in your life or what the (outcome will be). There are still formidable problems that of course we have to overcome.

So that's what the (unintelligible) is showing me but I think also that the cast really brings - I think they're bringing some truth to that. So I sort of I don't need this happening. And I think, for me anyway, that's reason enough to tune in because sometimes I just struck out of it when I kind of go, "Okay, that's so ridiculous. I just don't buy it." But on this show, I really don't need to - you know, the people are going through what they're going through and I enjoy it very much.

QUESTION: What would you like to say to everybody who's a fan and supporter of you and your work?

ORLANDO JONES: Oh that's easy. Thank you. I feel really grateful. I still sort of see myself as the (flat nose) kid from South Carolina. So - because I didn't really grow up in the whole New York, LA, Hollywood setting I kind of still very much feel like I'm...from the Midwest to the South who is very much living this dream today because (I didn't grow up and neither come from it).

I really try and work hard to have the audience not to get bored because I think I would be bored because I like to think that just over and over and over again. And so it's a part of my decision being positive to go, "Hey, you know, I've had really great fans that have stuck with me for a very, very long time now."

And I really respect that fact that there's a lot of things calling for their attention. And the fact that they spend it going to see me or going to check me out is something that I will never fully be able to - I don't know how to say the proper thank you. But I hope before I bite the dust that I'll figure out how to actually do something that's more (useful) than saying thanks which just sounds like some (unintelligible) suck-up, (jackass). But I actually really mean it.

SCIFI VISION: Could talk about working with David Duchovny on Evolution?

Orlando JonesORLANDO JONES: Oh, sure. You know, Duchovny and I have remained friends from years (since we met off that movie). I think Duchovny is wildly talented. I was so excited when Californication came on and I remember I called him and he answered the phone and he's kind of like, "What?" And I was like, "Dude, the show is awesome." And he was like, "You were the only person to call me." I was like, "How can I be the first person to call you? It's like, the show just premiered."

So we've always had that sort of connection in of itself. He extremely funny and I think I'm glad Californication happened for people to see how funny he is. The truth of the matter is, unlike most people, he's actually that funny in real life. I can't say enough good things about the guy but I know that this is an incredible guy and we had a lot of fun on Evolution. It was a little funny that they paid us to do that.

SCIFI VISION: What's something that your fans would be surprised to know about you?

ORLANDO JONES: I always say that I have not done a comedy in five years. I think people are very surprised about that.

SCIFI VISION: Are you looking forward to trying to do that again or does it not matter to you either way?

ORLANDO JONES: It would be fun. You know, for (50 minutes) or so it really has to do with what the role is. I don't - a lot of comedy for me is very much sketched. You know, I came out at MADtv and The Replacements and all that kind of jazz but it's very different. It's very different navigating that world now and looking for the kind of comedy that I particularly tend to like.

So because of that, I found myself in dramas because I say for whatever reason people are - you know, has seen enough dramatic work now that I find myself getting that call and that call became a bigger call than the comedy call which is just kind of still a little bit shocking to me. But I think that's primarily because there really aren't any half hour sitcoms (either) from single camera to very keen multi-cameras and the comedy movies that are being made are (the same) black people.

SCIFI VISION: What would be your ultimate dream role?

ORLANDO JONES: There was this time when I think at least the comedies that I really like though, I thought were phenomenal, be (unintelligible) and it's a dramatic story. So I tend to like the stuff that some people may consider throwbacks. You know, the Silver Streak of the world or Stir Crazy or 48 Hours or Beverly Hills Cop.

I mean, really look at those movies as dramas. You know, 48 Hours is I'm trying to find the person who murdered my partner. In Beverly Hills Cop I'm trying to find the guy who murdered my best friend. They're not like they're goofball sort of comedy stuff that we are more akin to seeing now. And, you know, they're more in keeping with the old Abbott and Costello movies, right? Everybody in those movies were into drama except for Abbott and Costello who were in a comedy.

So I tend to look at those movies and feel more connection to them than I do some of the broader parody stuff where people are trying to parody a parody, which I don't even know how that works, or people are just doing a broad comedy movie based on another (unintelligible). I don't know where the Laz is in those movies and so a lot of times I'm like, "Thanks a lot but I'm really not your guy." Or if I feel like I did it on MADtv already and that's where it belongs.

So I think for me it's just trying to wrap my head around what makes sense. So in a perfect world, definitely a drama, an action comedy would be a lot of fun to do. I think those are the top of my favorites.

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