Ian Gomez & Alfred Molina Enjoy Character Status on Turner Networks

At The Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, Langham Hotel, Pasadena, CA
Ian Gomez
Ian Gomez

At the ongoing 2013 winter meeting of the Television Critics Association (TCA), held at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena, Turner Networks launched the 12-day event on Jan 4 with press conferences for two drama series – the 4th season return of Cougar Town (moving from ABC Network to TBS cable on Wed, Jan 8) and the premiere of Monday Mornings (launches Monday, Feb 4 on TNT).  Ian Gomez, who has played the comedic best friend of the leading character on a number of series (The Drew Carey Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Felicity) is only too happy to find himself in the same situation on this series, centered around the machinations of Courtney Cox’s 40-something divorcee, Jules Cobb.  “My character, Andy Torres, is everybody’s friend,” chuckles Gomez who is of Puerto Rican and Russian Jewish descent. “Andy is the husband of Ellie (Christa Miller), Jules’ neighbor and best friend. And Andy is best friends with Jules’s ex husband Bobby  (Brian Van Holt). My character is constantly in the mix of some insane situation. I love doing it. I also love that our show got picked up by TBS.” Cougar Town was created by Bill Lawrence and Kevin Biegel.

Alfred Molina
Alfred Molina

Striking a more dramatic note, Monday Mornings – created by David E. Kelley and CNN Chief Medical Correspendent Dr. Sanjay Gupta – follows the lives of doctors who are constantly pushed to their professional and personal limits, physically and psychologically. “I portray the head hospital administrator, Dr. Harding Hooten, so I guess my character does a lot of the pushing,” says Alfred Molina, who was born in London of an Italian mother and a Spanish immigrant father from Madrid.

“What attracted me to this show, apart from the money, was just great writing, a wonderful character and a chance to legitimately chew some scenery, which was a nice change.  Normally, you get criticized for it. It’s the only time in TV when directors actually said to me, ‘Be a bit louder,’ which is nice.

But it always boils down to the same things. It’s always about the writing and whether you can see yourself playing this person, living with this person for hopefully a reasonable amount of time. I am also happy I get to use my native British accent. I think it’s worked in the sense that it’s created a kind of distance between Harding and his medical team, which, in a way, is very reflective of the relationship he has with them. He cares about them. He’s concerned with their welfare, but ultimately, he’s running this huge enterprise, this big hospital, and he can’t necessarily be everyone’s friend. So there’s a kind of professional thing that’s going on there, and I think the difference in the accent helps that.

It also means that I can be sexually ambivalent as well, which is a great advantage when you don’t quite know how to play a scene. There’s gay, there’s straight, and there’s British.” Rounding out the cast of series regulars are Jamie Bamber, Bill Irwin, Sarayu Rao, Ving Rhames Keong Sim and Emily Swallow.