“And Just Like That…” star Evan Handler sat down with The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk in the latest episode of “At Home With The Creative Coalition,” a podcast featuring unplugged and uncensored conversations with today’s biggest stars. In the newest episode, Handler opens up about why playing the character of Harry on “Sex and the City” was so daunting, the challenges of doing nude scenes, how David Duchovny went off script during his audition for “Californication,” the scrapped storyline that changed the show, working with O.J. Simpson just before the murders, and more. Highlights below.
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Highlights from “At Home With The Creative Coalition” featuring Evan Handler –
On why it was so daunting to play the character of Harry on “Sex and the City”:
“You have to understand, I’m a 40, 41 year-old guy – 41, 42, I don’t remember exactly. I hadn’t been so much called upon to kiss a woman on the lips in my entire acting career. I don’t think you could have pointed to anything romantic or sexual that I had been asked to do. And then the entrée to that is, ‘Oh, let’s ask you to be the guy least likely to be perceived as sexual. The guy least likely to be perceived as attractive to this woman. And now, really show us your best sexual, romantic stuff.’ So it was challenging and daunting.”
On the challenges of doing nude scenes in “Sex and the City”:
“Then there are the episodes where the screen directions are just, ‘Harry naked on the couch, Harry naked doing this, Harry naked doing that.’ So it was a lot of nude stuff… It was very, very difficult. It was unnerving. It was – you know, one of the probably greatest obstacles to me, as an actor, is a high degree of self-consciousness, is not the most innate, like, sense of freedom. So, you know, it engaged all those gears, required me as best I was able to overcome that sort of stuff.”
On how David Duchovny complicated his “Californication” audition:
“The audition process was really interesting in that when I did that [screen] test, you know, the test deal with David [Duchovny] there, I had three, four or five pages – whatever it was. David didn’t have anything sitting in front of him. And David didn’t say, necessarily, the lines that were on my pages so I couldn’t necessarily say what was on the pages back. So we did a scene that was probably about half of what I had on my pages and half not.”
On the original plotline of his “Californication” character, Charlie Runkle, who was intended to be a closeted gay man:
“I had already been told by [‘Californication’ creator Tom Kapinos] somehow between the original audition and that audition that this was based on a screenplay that he had written that didn’t really work. Showtime had seen it and asked him if he wanted to develop a series from it, and Charlie Runkle was, in its original incarnation, intended to be a closeted gay man who, over the course of the series, came out […] It was then after we did the pilot at some point, Tom asked me, ‘Would you be disappointed if the character was not gay in the series?’ I said it wouldn’t make any difference to me one way or the other. But now, with the history of the series, it’s hard to imagine what it would have been or how it could have gone in that direction because it became such a – even mockably, if you’re so inclined – heterosexual rampage of very male-oriented heterosexual humor that would not be as palatable today as it was even just a few years ago.”
On working with O.J. Simpson just weeks before the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman:
“I had done a TV pilot with O.J. [Simpson] five weeks before those murders occurred […] I had worked with O.J. for a period of about three weeks, I think. Half of it in Los Angeles and half in Puerto Rico, and I just knew O.J. as the most famous person that I’d ever been around at that point […] So I knew O.J. as a guy who was sad about a breakup and wanted to get back together with his ex-wife, who’d be going off to call her. And then, in the weeks after that, I was at Yaddo, the writers/artists colony in New York, working on the first draft of the book, ‘Time on Fire,’ and I heard that his ex-wife had been murdered, and I said, ‘Oh, how terrible for O.J. I know he really wanted to get back together with her’ […] And then the chase happened […] and kind of realized the whole landscape had been a very different thing and came to realize in the ensuing days and weeks the abuse history of O.J. with Nicole and a very different view of the guy that I had just spent three weeks working with.”
More about “At Home With The Creative Coalition”
Hosted by The Creative Coalition CEO Robin Bronk, “At Home With The Creative Coalition” brings listeners intimate portraits, key moments of discovery, and “art and soul” conversations with iconic entertainment industry personalities from the big screen to the boardroom, from L.A. to D.C. Listen now at http://thecreativecoalition.org/podcast.
Upcoming guests include Justin Bartha (“The Hangover,” “National Treasure”), Kerry Ehrin (“The Morning Show”), New York Times Bestselling Author Susan Isaacs (“Compromising Positions”), Molly Smith Metzler (“Maid”), Joe Pantoliano (“The Sopranos,” “The Matrix”), Yolonda Ross (“The Chi”), Reid Scott (“Echo”), and Grammy Award-nominated songwriter and musician KT Tunstall (“Black Horse and the Cherry Tree,” “Suddenly I See”).
Previous guests include Jason Alexander (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Shiri Appleby (“UnREAL”), David Alan Basche (“The Exes”), Asante Blackk (“This Is Us”), Carly Chaikin (“Mr. Robot”), Wilson Cruz (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Alan Cumming (“Schmigadoon!, “The Good Wife”), Ethan Cutkosky (“Shameless”), The Creative Coalition President and actor Tim Daly (“Madam Secretary”), Lea DeLaria (“Orange Is the New Black”), Griffin Dunne (“This Is Us”), Michael Fishman (“Roseanne,” “The Conners”), Jim Gaffigan (“The Jim Gaffigan Show”), Willie Garson (“And Just Like That…”), Judy Gold (“The Other F Word”), Nicholas Gonzalez (“The Good Doctor”), Clark Gregg (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Tony Hale (“Veep,” “Arrested Development”), Patricia Heaton (“Everybody Loves Raymond,” “The Middle”), Jon Huertas (“This Is Us”), Jason Isaacs (“Star Trek: Discovery,” “Harry Potter”), Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Chad Lowe (“Supergirl”), Aasif Mandvi (“The Daily Show”), Rachel Mason (“Circus of Books”), Marlee Matlin (“CODA”), AnnaLynne McCord (“Let’s Get Physical”), Eric McCormack (“Will and Grace”), International Bestselling Author Patrick McGinnis (“The 10% Entrepreneur,” “Fear of Missing Out”),Wendi McLendon-Covey (“The Goldbergs”), Katherine McNamara (“Shadowhunters”), Marta Milans (“Shazam!”), Rob Morrow (“Billions”), Kathy Najimy (“Younger”), Ken Olin (“This Is Us”), Haley Joel Osment (“Future Man,” “Entourage”), Bill Prady (“The Big Bang Theory”), Jessica Queller (“Supergirl”), Anthony Rapp (“Star Trek: Discovery”), Mona Scott-Young (“Love & Hip Hop”), Alena Smith (“Dickinson”), Julie Taymor (“The Lion King”), Krista Vernoff (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Matt Walsh (“Veep”), Alfre Woodard (“Clemency,” “Luke Cage”), Constance Zimmer (“Good Trouble”), and David Zucker (“Airplane!,” “Scary Movie”).
More about The Creative Coalition
The Creative Coalition is the premier nonprofit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) social and public advocacy organization of the arts and entertainment community. Founded in 1989 by prominent members of the creative community, The Creative Coalition is dedicated to educating, mobilizing, and activating its members on issues of public importance. Actor Tim Daly serves as the organization’s President. The Creative Coalition also creates award-winning public service campaigns including #RightToBearArts to promote the efficacy of the arts. The Creative Coalition harnesses the unique platforms of the arts community and entertainment industry to make positive impacts on social welfare issues. For more information, visit https://thecreativecoalition.org.