Home Economics: Topher Grace Discusses "That '70s Show" Role, Success

If there was ever a time of a person being at the right place at the right time for Hollywood success stories, it would be Topher Grace. The star of the ABC series Home Economics landed his breakout role on Fox's That '70s Show in 1998 playing the awkward lead in Eric Forman. While the star left the series after seven seasons, he returned for the season eight finale ultimately appearing in 179 of the 200 episodes. Grace spoke with PeopleTV's Couch Surfing on how his first TV audition turned out just as awkward as his character came to be and how it changed his life forever.

Home Economics: Topher Grace Reflects Breaking Out on
Image courtesy of 20th Television

"I had a weird origin story where I was in a high school play, and I was really only in that because I sprained my ankle and I couldn't be on the tennis team," Grace said. "I was at a boarding school in New Hampshire and the girl who did the sets, her parents were big-time Hollywood producers and produced That '70s Show and Third Rock From the Sun." When the actor became a freshman at USC in Los Angeles, producers called him to read for the Fox series. "I'd never auditioned for anything in my life," he recalled. "This is how green I was, they said, 'Bring a headshot and a resume.' Ok, I can do a resume because I worked at Dunkin' Donuts, I worked at Sun Coast Video; I know what that looks like…So I brought it, and it was like this terrible resume of jobs I did at the mall and the picture was me and my friends at Six Flags."

HOLLYWOOD, CA/USA - JAN 4 2020: Topher Grace arrives to The Art of Elysium 13th Annual Black Tie Artistic Experience "HEAVEN" on January 4, 2020 in Hollywood, CA (Ga Fullner / Shutterstock.com)
HOLLYWOOD, CA/USA – JAN 4 2020: Topher Grace arrives to The Art of Elysium 13th Annual Black Tie Artistic Experience "HEAVEN" on January 4, 2020 in Hollywood, CA (Ga Fullner / Shutterstock.com)

Grace was 19 at the time he got the part obviously too young to remember the two years he lived in the decade. "I remember thinking when I got the role, 'The '70s, what were the '70s and bellbottoms?' I had to do all this research," he continued. "Do kids who are 19, the age I was then, do they look at 1998 that way?" Before landing the ABC sitcom, Grace landed some higher profile roles in Spider-Man 3 (2007), Predators (2010), Interstellar (2014), BlackkKlansman (2018), and Black Mirror (2019). Home Economics airs Wednesdays on ABC.

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About Tom Chang

I'm a follower of pop culture from gaming, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, film, and TV for over 30 years. I grew up reading magazines like Starlog, Mad, and Fangoria. As a writer for over 10 years, Star Wars was the first sci-fi franchise I fell in love with. I'm a nerd-of-all-trades.
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