Actor, writer, and producer Greg Grunberg is best known for his acting role as Matt Parkman in the award-winning TV series Heroes, and he recently reprised that role in the NBC series Heroes Reborn. He is also known for the role of Pilot Seth Norris on Lost, Agent Weiss on Alias, and Sean Blumberg on Felicity. Grunberg was seen most recently in Star Wars – The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams. He is also in Paramount Picture’s Star Trek Beyond in theaters now.
So as you can see Greg has a lot of geek cred. So it was only natural to team up with a fellow geek in the entertainment business in Kevin Smith to co-host AMC’s new show Geeking Out. This show will take a timely look at pop culture through a fanboy lens and feature talk, clips, celebrity interviews and out-of-the-studio segments. Geeking Out, an AMC and The Weinstein Company co-production, is produced by Matador Content in association with Bandwagon Media with Jerry Carita, Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin, Patrick Reardon, Brad Savage, Smith and Grunberg serving as executive producers.
I was able to chat with Greg about his new show, his different roles in Star Wars, Heroes, and Star Trek, and his new graphic novel Dream Jumper.
Art Eddy: Let’s first talk about your show on AMC called Geeking Out. You and co-host Kevin Smith explore everything in the geek and pop culture world. This show is a great fit for both of you guys. How did this show come about? Was it something that you and Kevin were thinking about for a while now?
Greg Grunberg: I wanted to work with Kevin for a really long time. I have been a fan of his. He is so brilliant. He will take a subject or something with a lot of deep cuts and go deep in on the origins of Batman, Superman, or anything from comic books. Although you should be intimidated by it if you are not up on it, but he makes it accessible and fun. It is awesome.
I have always wanted to work with him. This opportunity came up because I was talking to AMC and The Weinstein Company. We were like let’s find something that is right in our wheelhouse. I think I got decent geek cred with Star Wars, Star Trek, Heroes, and my graphic novel Dream Jumper. It was the perfect time.
We decided to just do something where we sit around and talk with our friends, who are the biggest makers in the business, actors and see what they are geeking out about. Talk about their latest project and what influences them. So far man I have to say that it has been such fun. It is these conversations that we are having anyway along with some watercooler geeking out with these people that are very famous, but are passionate people. It has been great.
AE: For my fellow fanboys, fangirls, and geeks out there this show is a dream come true. For you being in a great show like Heroes and in the Star Wars and Star Trek films you would think that you would get used to all this geeky stuff, but it seems that you are a kid at heart while filming this show. What is best part of filming this series? Is there one episode where you were geeking out more than other episodes?
GG: Any part? What are you talking about? This whole thing is a geek fest for me. (Both laugh.) I mean it really is. To watch Kevin geek out about stuff. He gets emotional about things. He really has been raised on this stuff. Me as well, but I am also a geek for food, cars, and sports. We really do show our passion and geek out.
We had J.J. Abrams on this week’s show. J.J. was on the steps of the Psycho house at Universal. He was talking about how Alfred Hitchcock has influenced him and about his new show Westworld that is going to be premiering on HBO, Star Wars, and my friendship with him. He is close friend. It is hard to geek out about my buddy, but I was still really into hearing those stories.
Then we got Matt Damon, who was auditioning for superhero roles. We got Michael Giacchino conducting the orchestra while composing music for Star Trek while my face is up on the screen. I mean how could you not geek out? It is crazy.
Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion are on this Sunday night. These guys are from Firefly and Serenity and Castle. Alan has a big role in Star Wars: Rogue One. We are just comparing notes and talking. It is a very unique show. I think everyone is really going to love it. It is late night on Sunday night on AMC. It couldn’t be at a better spot.
AE: I am guessing all the episodes in the series will be fantastic, but for you is there one episode that you learned more about a topic or genre or character that you didn’t know about until you filmed that episode?
GG: It happens all the time with Kevin. I will say I really like this. Then he will say, ‘Did you know in 1972 the dude wore this thing that connected this to that? These two characters had a love affair.’
Half of it I don’t really care about. I am like whatever. I am like how about Zoe Saldana? How about Margot Robbie? She is sexy. I am catching up. I think the majority of the audience will be as well. You can’t help but be incredibly hypnotized by Kevin’s knowledge of this stuff. He presents it in such an entertaining way. He is so articulate and smart. So it is really fun. It is a great pairing in the two of us.
Be sure to look out for my full interview with Greg Grunberg coming soon for the My Life of Dad series where we talk fatherhood, geek culture, and more. Plus make sure you follow Greg on Twitter @greggrunberg. Geeking Out premieres tonight at 11pm and starting on August 21st new episodes air Sundays at midnight. For more info on the show follow them on Twitter @GeekingOutAMC and their website at www.amc.com/shows/geeking-out.