We're chatting with "The Man" himself…yes, that Kevin, of AMC's Kevin Can F**k Himself, about what goes into the role as well as his thoughts on the critically-acclaimed series' themes. Eric Petersen, an actor with an acting resume ranging from Broadway to the small screen, stars as Kevin McRoberts, the incorrigible sitcom husband to Allison McRoberts. Find out below what Petersen has to say about Boston accents, Kevin's personality, and more.
Bleeding Cool: You've had many roles on Broadway, such as Shrek in Shrek: The Musical, do you bring any of that experience to your current role?
Eric Petersen: I think as an actor, every single experience you have informs your work. And, yes, I would say the things I learned from playing parts like Shrek have informed how I play the role of Kevin. I obviously have learned comedic timing from years of doing comedic plays, musicals, and TV shows. Since you asked about Shrek, I would say there is some Shrek in the way I play Kevin. Both characters could be considered unlikeable. The thing about Shrek is that he changes and becomes a better person/ogre, the jury is still out about if Kevin will ever change and evolve.
BC: As a former Newburyport, Massachusetts, and general New England area resident, I'm impressed with your ability to navigate Kevin's accent and personality. How have you prepared yourself for stepping into that role?
EP: Well thank you very much for saying that! I really wanted to make sure that I got the accent and the feeling of New Englanders right. I kept saying that I just didn't want to end up on some YouTube compilation of "Bad Boston Accents"! [laughs] I definitely did a lot of work on the accent, but also the general feel of that authentic Boston guy was important to me. There is a way that this guy stands, and gestures, and talks that is very specific. The way that Kevin always stands with his feet very wide and taking up space is a conscious choice. He is always trying to own the room, even though he has no real reason to believe he has any right to feel that way. I watched a lot of Boston movies and lived in a small town outside of Boston while filming, which really influenced the vibe I was crafting for this character.
BC: In your opinion, what makes Kevin Can F**k Himself worth the watch? What makes it unique?
EP: I think what makes our show "Kevin Can F**k Himself" worth the watch is that it brings so many things to the table. If you want drama, we got that. If you want comedy, we got that. If you want a great story of female empowerment, we got that. If you want a show that has a real message about current society and the television industry, we got that. The show really is unlike any other show, ever, on TV. The way that we switch formats between multi-cam comedy and single-cam drama is the first of its kind. And the way that the two styles elevate each other and push the plot forward is the genius of our show creator Valerie Armstrong. It is a show that speaks to women and men and says a lot of things to both sides of that coin.
BC: Without giving away any spoilers, what has been your favorite moment from this season?
EP: My favorite moment of the season was actually the entirety of Episode 6. I loved the way that episode was like a French Farce, lots of doors slamming, multiple locations, an eating contest, and the fact that the multi-cam part of the show and the single-cam part of the show really collided. I also got to do a lot of physical comedy in that episode, which I love. Lastly, the performances from everyone in our cast really shone in that episode.
BC: Do you see any important message or theme resonating with people after watching Kevin Can F**k Himself?
EP: I think the real theme or message of our show is obviously that of female empowerment, and women taking back the power of their own stories. I hope because of that, women will really feel seen and heard as they watch the show. There is a real message to men who are watching as well. I think it may be a real reflection moment for a lot of guys. Seeing how some "typical guy behaviors" really affect their spouse/partner and can chip away at someone's confidence should be an eye-opening moment for male viewers. Once men see how the wife character is truly affected by the "dumb husband" and his "antics," I hope they will feel a sense of empathy that maybe wasn't there before.
BC: If your character Kevin was to watch the series himself, what would his reaction be?
EP: I think if Kevin watched this show, he might not get it. Being the egotistical, self-centered person he is, Kevin would probably feel like the sitcom stuff was really funny, but he would wonder why we need to spend so much time with the female characters. He would be dead wrong. If you don't like "Kevin Can F**k Himself", you might just be a Kevin.
Many thanks again to Eric Petersen for talking about his role in Kevin Can F**k Himself with us. Audiences can watch the show early on AMC+, with earlier episodes available to stream and the newest ones premiering on Sundays a week ahead of regular showings on AMC that air at 9 PM EST.
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