Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Exclusive Patrick Fabian Interview on 'Working Class'

Read our exclusive interview with Patrick Fabian, who stars as grocery store boss Rob Parker in CMT’s first original sitcom ‘Working Class,’ which debuts at 8 p.m. on Friday, January 28, 2011. The series follows the attraction between Rob and one of his workers, Carli Mitchell (who is portrayed by Melissa Peterman of ‘Reba’ fame), a twice-divorced single mother of three who is struggling to make ends meet in her upper-middle-class neighborhood. Fabian discusses with us, among things, why the series is different from other series he has appeared on, and what it’s like working with Peterman and their other co-star, television icon Ed Asner.

Shockya (SY): You play the role of Rob Diamond on the show, the boss of the grocery store, and you are primarily known for your guest-starring roles on various TV shows. What is it about ‘Working Class’ that makes it different from the other shows you’ve appeared on?

Patrick Fabian (PF): Well, first off, the character’s name is actually Rob Parker. Originally, he was called Rob Diamond, and I think they changed it for a number of reasons. For one, in my mind, Rob Diamond sounds like someone who’s going to steal your money, doesn’t it? He sounds like a skeevy guy (laughs). I play Melissa Peterman’s boss. What’s really fun about being in a sitcom with Melissa is that I’ve played a lot of corporate CEO’s, sort of a**wholes. I’ve played a lot of teachers in my work. But being able to be in a sitcom with her, I get the chance change it up and be funny, which is really great. We have a chemistry. We’re from the opposite sides of the track. I’m a rich guy, she’s sort of more working class, hence the title. But we both find each other really attractive. I think that’s where we’re going to explore our characters down the line.

SY: As you said, you’re working with Melissa, and Ed Asner on the show. What were your experiences like working with them on the set?

PF: Well, you know, Melissa is so funny. She’s the funniest girl on television. She’s also come from improv. She’s quick on her feet. She’s good to go no matter what’s thrown at her. We were shooting the show in a three-day cycle, having somebody who’s really good like that is imperative. She busted me up on set all the time. Ed Anser, by the way, a TV legend, he’s all about the work and all about the funny and making it happen. But he’s fantastic to work with as well. He’s kind of like that crotchety old grandfather that everyone has in their family. Except of course he’s an old softie, and he’d hate me for saying that, but it’s true. He’s a real softie underneath. Working with him was a real fun experience because he’s such a pro. With his experience, you can go ahead and learn from him. He was so funny, and he would steal scenes from me just by doing a look. I would say, “Wait a second, Ed. Get out of my background.” So it was a good lesson.

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