PopGurls Interview: My Boys' Kyle Howard
Written by Amy
Way back in 2000, I fell in love with a (sadly) short-lived show on The WB called "Grosse Pointe." It was smart and snarky, a supposed inside view on a teen-oriented drama. One of the standouts was the incredibly cute Kyle Howard as Dave the Stand-In, who was always trying to get larger role and his own personal break in the biz. From then, I've always kept an eye out for Kyle and tuned in for more WB fare like Run of the House and Related, as well as his impressive count of guest roles on CSI:, Friends and many more.
Now he co-stars in a new show on TBS, My Boys. He plays Bobby, a sportswriter and romantic foil for the show's main character, PJ. He chatted with PopGurls about why he thinks My Boys is so relatable, what it's like to to be on the CSI: autopsy slab and the one thing he just can't do.
So, you play a sportswriter in My Boys -- do you follow any sports?
(laughs) Not really – I'm pretty much an idiot when it comes to most sports stuff. My sister is actually a huge sports nut, so I get some sort of osmosis from her.
So you're winging it here.
Totally. (laughs) That's why they call it acting.
PJ has her own man harem of sorts to hang with -- do you have your own crew?
Yeah, I totally do. To me, that is my No. 1 thing -- it's what makes me happy, what makes me comfortable. That's one of things that I really like about [My Boys] -- they're most themselves and most fun when they're around their friends. That's the basis of the show, and it's relatable because most of the people that I know are the same way.
The gang on My Boys hangs out in a bar. What's your comfort zone?
It changes -- a few a years ago, my friends and I would be out four or five nights a week. It was ridiculous. (laughs) I feel kind of lame saying it -- I'm only 28 -- but I feel like I'm totally too old for that now. I feel hangovers more than I used to, and when I'm out partying all the time, I feel like a loser. Maybe I became more responsible in my late 20s. I want to be productive… want to wake up before one in the afternoon. I'd say more often than not, I'm at my house with my buddies -- or at a house where everybody comes over to play pool or poker.
Actually, we have this rad theater in L.A. called the ArcLight -- it's epic. It's new and clean and comfortable, with reserved seats so you can order your seats and show up a minute before it starts. They have amazing popcorn -- people will come and buy popcorn and leave, they won't even go to the movies. We go there all the time. It's one of those places where we'll sit out front before or after the movie and just count how many people we run into that we know because all of our friends go there. That's one of the big hang-out things to do.
So, with all that time in bars, what's the best pickup line you've ever heard?
You know, there's a really genius one and I don't know if I saw it in a movie or read it in a script -- it's pretty straightforward, it's really ballsy. The guy goes up to a girl and says "I'll bet you a drink that I can kiss you without touching your lips." And the girl is like, "Whatever, of course you can't. I'll take that bet." Then guy kisses her and says, "Okay, you win."
I would never have the balls to really do it. It's the perfect movie line.
Would you consider Bobby a player? He does hook up with PJ in the first episode.
I wouldn't say he's a player… PJ and I have this very awkward thing in the pilot when she turns into a dude on me and freaks me out. And then we have the "that was weird, we tried it but we'll go back to being friends. I'll see you at work" discussion. A few episodes later, I start dating this girl and PJ is all bent out of shape about it. She's all jealous of the girl and everything and it's so that typical girl thing, where [even though] we had the talk and everything is settled, and she's being weird when I show up with the girl. I guess guys do it, too, but girls do it more.
Again, it's all the stuff that I love about the show. It's real and from that, it's funny. I think that the funniest stuff is the most relatable stuff.
I have to say that I was a HUGE fan of Grosse Pointe.
Oh, me too, dude.
It was brilliant and wickedly funny. I still think that it's one of the most underrated and underappreciated shows. I'm so excited that the DVDs are finally out.
I know! It took forever! I'm really stoked about it coming out, too, because I heard that they were coming out in the beginning of the year and they kept pushing it back and pushing it back.
It's been so long [since the show premiered in 2000] -- it's going to be fun to look back at them because I don't think I've seen any of that stuff since the show was on. I'm really looking forward to watching the episodes again, and I know that Darren Starr and one of the producers, Robin Schiff, did commentary on some of the episodes. It'll be fun to listen to their memories.
And you know, if it were on now, it would be a totally different story [with its success] -- I think it was a little early. With Entourage and [other shows], I feel like people who aren't in L.A. or New York are more on that train about watching shows about the [entertainment] business.
It would make a brilliant pairing with Entourage.
Yeah. At the time, I hadn't been in the business as long, but I had done a few TV shows and it was really fun to do something sort of tongue-in-cheek that almost pokes fun at what we were even doing. That show was the epitome of that for me -- it was a job, but we had so much fun making fun of ourselves, and that was unique. You don't often get that chance because people are serious and all business. That's ultimately made the show what it was.
And they really went for it -- we had jokes in the pilot that they had to reshoot when Aaron Spelling saw the pilot. There was a whole eating disorder back story, with puking in the limo before she got out. They really went for it.
I remember they made Lindsey Sloane dye her hair because her character, Marcy, was too like Tori Spelling.
Oh yeah, there were lots of issues about that.
And that's the other thing -- it's the The WB, which wasn't necessarily the best place for it. If it were on FOX or cable -- although cable at that time wasn't what it is now.
Plus, they put in on a Friday night.
It never quite found its groove. It would have been fun to do for a few years. I don't think it would happen living anywhere else, but when I'm out in L.A. people still will come up to me and say, "Dude, that was my favorite show ever." And I'm like "I know, I was its biggest fan too."
You were killed on the "Time of Your Death" episode of CSI: -- what's it really like to lie on the coroner's table nearly naked?
Well, it was a little weird for sure! I've been doing this for 10 or 11 years; I had never died in anything before so I was really stoked about it. And it's funny because it is a little weird climbing up on that table -- it's really cold and sterile and it kind of weirdly puts you there. Of course there's a crew around and cameras, so it's not totally creepy, but it's a little creepy.
I had crazy prosthetics of the autopsy surgery that they do. And there was this thing on my neck where they had opened it up to look at my Adam's apple and esophagus because I had been kicked in the throat.
I was talking to one of the producers and he said, "You know, you should talk to your parents before it airs." He told me that a lot of people will come on the show and they won't tell their wife or mother what the whole episode story was about, and their parents will end up seeing it and freaking out because the makeup they do is really good.
I never would have thought of that.
Neither would I -- it wouldn’t have crossed my mind, but he said that they've heard from people afterwards who said, "Oh yeah, my girlfriend totally started crying." So I totally ran it by people I love and said, "Look, just so you know, I look pretty nasty, don't freak out."
Is it true that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?
(laughs) I don't think it's totally true. It's true 50% of the time -- it's all about the odds. There's definitely things that I've done in Vegas that made their way back to L.A. So, I can't say it's totally true, not for me.
You played a student who pretended to be in love with Ross Gellar in order to elicit a higher grade in an episode of Friends. What's the best lie you came up with to get something you wanted?
Oh man, I'm a terrible liar. For whatever reason, I'm the worst liar. Which is kind of weird because I'm an actor and you'd think that I'd be skilled with that, but I think I'm just too honest, I'm just a chicken about it.
It's good with girls -- if they believe me that I'm not a good liar -- then it lets them know that I'm honest and hopefully they'll be honest, too. But that doesn't always work out either (laughs).
Do you have a tell?
Yeah, I start smiling. I can't not smile. Even to my friends, I have this friend who lies all day long about the stupidest stuff. Usually he'll tell you later on, "Oh, yeah, I was lying about that," but sometimes he'll forget and he totally gets himself into trouble about it. There's been so many times that he's lied to me about something and I've believed it and I start telling people [about the amazing thing he told me] -- and then a week later, he tells me he was lying.
So to get him back, I'm always trying to come up with a great way to lie to him, but every time I can keep a straight face for a minute and then he's totally on to me.
On Related, you played Joel, part of a best friend-turned-lovers relationship. What was your take on the Joel and Rose relationship?
To me, [their relationship] was sort of that quintessential Ross and Rachel thing. Of course they're perfect for each other, of course they're going to end up together -- it's just a matter of when. I think they did a particularly good job of setting that up on Related, and a lot of the credit goes to [Friends co-creator and executive producer] Marta Kauffman. On Friends, it was years of that [tease] and it never got boring and you still sort of questioned it even though you sort of knew.
They did a great job of setting us up as buddies that clearly were perfect for each other. And of [creating Joel's competition, Rose's boyfriend, Alex] so that he wasn't a complete asshole. We both had our qualities, and you found yourself almost pulling for [that couple instead]. That was really smart, everybody wasn't thinking, "of course Rose can't go for that Alex, he's a complete ass!"
I think that had Related lasted more than a season, it would have been drawn out longer than it was. Of course, when they didn't know if they'd be coming back or not -- they needed to have some closure.
You get to pick your own theme song -- what would it be?
(laughs) I have an obscure one. There's this song that I love right now it's by this DJ named Styrofoam. It's called "Couches in Alleys." And then the guy from Death Cab -- Ben Gibbard -- he sings on it. It's really dope.
What five albums do you have in your personal rotation currently?
I'm thinking of what's in my car right now -- there's a Jack Johnson, there's Radiohead, Hail to the Thief. Bloc Party -- I can't wait for their new record to come out, they're amazing. Death Cab for Cutie's Plans, and then a rad mix -- that DJ Styrofoam song, Postal Service, The Album Leaf – it's Sigur Ros-ish. They're really cool.
You're listed on IMDb as a writer. Are you still writing?
You know, I was just looking at that the other day -- they have some really weird stuff up there. The stuff that they have me credited as a writer for is this traveling anti-drug thing I did when I was a kid. I wrote some of the sketches for that, and I think there was a video later.
In the last couple of years I've been writing a lot -- I wrote a couple of pilots. I've been out pitching shows in the last couple of development seasons. It's definitely something I'm interested in. It's not that I don't love acting -- I do, but I've been acting for a long time and I've been looking for that next thing to be excited about.
I've been writing for television because that's what I really know, so it's easier for me to write. And I really like television, too. I'm really happy in TV and I really love it.
My Boys premieres 11/28, and airs Tuesdays at 10pm/9c.
My Boys Menu | Kyle Howard Crush