Overcoming Friend-envy with Kevin Connolly

March 28, 2014

Kevin Connolly is a television veteran with over 20 years of experience on the small screen. Best known for his role as E in HBO’s Entourage, Kevin’s latest project is CBS’s Friends with Better Lives, an ensemble sitcom also featuring Brooklyn Decker and James Van Der Beek. Kevin spoke with DIRECTV about his co-stars, his approach to directing, and the future of the New York Islanders.

Friends with Better Lives has an amazing cast. How quickly did everybody gel on the project?

It was definitely a process. It came together slowly but surely. Being a part of a strong ensemble cast was what I was most looking forward to going into the first season.

Friend-envy seems to be the major theme of FWBL. No matter how successful you become, is it possible to totally overcome the green-eyed monster?

Yes, I’d like to think so, and this isn’t envy with venom. It’s more something you think about when you look at your friend’s vacations on Facebook.

How was it taping in front of a live studio audience, especially after working on a show like Entourage for so long?

I did 100 episodes of a live-audience sitcom in the mid 90s called Unhappily Ever After, so I do have that experience. Having said that, it’s been a while and took some getting used to. Taping in front of a studio audience isn’t as easy as it may seem.
 
James Van Der Beek has called FWBL “an old-school sitcom.” Do you think that’s accurate?

Yeah, I would agree with that.

Tell us a bit about your process as a director and how you handle things differently between film and television projects. Will you be directing any episodes of Friends with Better Lives?
 
The speed at which you move in television is far different than that of film. When you’re working in television you need to get twice as much done in half the time. As far as me directing Friends with Better Lives, I think I’ll probably just focus on the acting end of it for now. If the show were to last, maybe that would be something I would approach the producers about down the road.

You’re one of the better-known celebrity fans of the New York Islanders. What do they have to do next season to turn things around? This season has been a mess!

Without making excuses for the Islanders, they have had some tough luck this season with injuries and personnel. But the core of a young, strong squad is in place, and I think the move to Brooklyn will be good for the young players and fans.

Friends with Better Lives premieres Monday, March 31 at 9/8c on CBS.

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