Grant Show is one of those actors who's been a part of my life ever since I can remember having crushes. The Beverly Hills, 90210 episode where he waltzed in as Kelly Taylor's love interest/carpenter is clear as day to me, and it's also what launched the show's steamer, nuttier '90s spinoff, Melrose Place.
Well, the '90s moved on, and so did Show. Most recently, he played the big-hearted Tom on CBS's Swingtown, and tonight, he'll make his debut on Private Practice for the first installment of his multiepisode arc as Addison's brother Archer (how great are those sibling names?). He was gracious enough to let me chat him up about this new character, the fate of Swingtown, and his thoughts on the Melrose Place reboot. Here are highlights:
How did you get involved with Private Practice? Did you know Shonda Rhimes?
I do now! They were looking for someone to play Addison's brother. I just went in and met them — I had never met them before — just sat down . . . and as it turned out, the kind of character I was looking to play was what they wanted out of this guy, so it just kind of worked out. I've been playing Tom, who's this sexual character, he's a nice guy, he's a good guy . . . So I wanted to play that kind of character just the other side of the coin, not such a nice guy, and that's kind of what they were looking for in Archer.
Was it a relief to toss the mustache?
Yeah, as soon as they called wrap on the [last] episode of Swingtown, I went into the makeup trailer and shaved it off.
Oh, that was a real mustache?
Yeah, it was really mine. I wore it for a year and half.
To see the rest of our chat (caution: a couple of light spoilers), just read more.
From the previews, it looks like Archer comes to town and sleeps with Naomi?
Yeah, the basis of what's happening is, I'm trying to get Addison to come back. The Montgomerys are extremely wealthy — they’re like the Vanderbilts — and I think, I mean, the kids, the siblings that I’ve met in those families, they have a really strange dynamic. Not quite incestuous, but it's really kind of like "us against the world." Archer was really wanting her to come home, and so I come out to California and am just, "Enough of this. Enough fun and games out here. Get your ass home." I do everything I can to try to screw up her life, and one of those things is to sleep with Naomi, but I come back in like five episodes from now. I come back, and I think it's going to start to develop a little bit more real, the thing between me and Naomi.
How have you found the cast and set dynamic?
Oh they're great I love working with Kate [Walsh], I absolutely love working with her. She's so up for any idea. She's such a wonderful actress. So's the whole cast!
What about the new Melrose Place? Have they contacted you at all?
Nope, no. No one has. I don't think they're anywhere near that stage, though. I don't think they've written it. I don't think they have any idea what they want to do with it yet. Would I want to do it? I don’t know. Depends on what it is, you know what I mean?
Yeah — what do you make of these reboots? Is there a part of you that wishes they'd leave the '90s alone?
You know when I think it'll be a good idea? If people watch it or not — you know what I mean? 's working, right?
Well . . .
Is 90210 working?
Um, it’s improving.
[Laughs] As far as whether I'd do that show or not — I don’t know . . . I have no idea. You know, I kinda think not. I don't really want to be the old guy on a show with a bunch of kids. But if it wasn’t that, if it was something else, maybe I would.
What’s the status of Swingtown?
I think it's dead, unfortunately. They haven't told me that it is, but, you know, my contract is up [in December]. I think it was a little bit more than CBS thought it would be [laughs]. I had a great time playing Tom.
Is there much of a difference between heading over to Private Practice and working on a period piece set in the '70s?
For me, it doesn't feel all that different, other than the wardrobe and the stuff around me. I guess the really big difference is I can breathe in the clothes that I’m wearing . . . Those tight-ass pants I was wearing all the time! They were miserable!
If they asked, would you stay on Private Practice forever more?
Oh, I think we could work out a deal, yeah.
Photos courtesy of 2008 ABC, Inc.