Talks Men Of A Certain Age and Ray Romano
Read "original" Brittany Curran interview with Wild About Movies (circa 2006)
Recently, Brittany Curran, who grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and presently resides in Los Angeles, sat with Wild About Movies publisher Tim Nasson to talk about her in the Top Rated new cable show of 2009, "Men Of A Certain Age." In the TNT original series Brittany Curran plays the daughter of Ray Romano, who first found fame in the Top Rated television situation comedy of the 2000's, "Everybody Loves Raymond."
Tim Nasson: How did you find out you booked "Men of a Certain Age" and how did you feel?
Brittany Curran: Director Scott Winant was actually the one who let the cat out of the bag. I had been in Florida at Disney World on vacation with my family for two weeks and got a call that Ihad to return to LA for a second screen test. Fortunately, I already had to return on thesame day to film the "The Suite Life on Deck." I rushed from the Disney set in Hollywood to the TNT building in Burbank for my second screen test. I sat in a waitingroom with five 13 year old boys, but no other girls. The Casting director Wendy O'Brien called me into the screening room. So, I was sitting in the screen test room with Mike Royce, Ray Romano, Scott Winant, and TNT executives. We all chatted for a little while and I'm thinking, "This is odd... fantastic, but still odd." They were acting as if I was already cast in the role. Scott turns to me and says, "Welcome to the family, Brittany." I stared at him for a moment and hesitantly said, "Wait, am I on the show, did I get the role?" Scott slowly turned to one of the TNT executives and said, "Uh-oh was I not supposed to say that?" After watching all the boys screen test, then sharing our opinions, I departed to finish shooting the remainder of my Disney show. Later that evening I was in a limo heading to the airport to take a red-eye back to my vacation. I got a call from my manager, Irene Dreayer, telling me I was officially offered the role of Lucy. I nearly fainted I was so excited.
Tim Nasson: Talk a little bit about your character Lucy.
Brittany Curran: I play Lucy Tranelli, your all-American teenage girl. She's the daughter of Joe (played by Ray Romano). She's actually quite normal and sane compared to other characters I've played in the past. She is deeply in love... with her Blackberry, that is. She and Joe get along for the most part, although in one episode she has a little bit of a boy problem and through a course of events angrily screams her lungs out at Ray. That was pretty satisfying, getting the chance to yell at Ray Romano and on top of that get paid for it too. My character Lucy was actually named after Ray's real-life mother, which I think is pretty cool.
Tim Nasson: What is it like working on the set of "Men of a Certain Age"?
Brittany Curran: It doesn't feel like "working" at all. I get to go to "work" every day with Ray Romano, a man who I grew up absolutely admiring, and how amazing is that?! The whole crew andthe cast really groove well together, everyone gets along. Personally, I think a drop dead-gorgeous 20 year old boy would be a nice addition to the cast but, can't have everything, right? Our show runner Mike Royce is absolutely hilarious. I remember one episode, Ray, Breaden LeMasters (plays my little brother), and I were rigged up in a truck for half the day. Mike was sitting at the top of the truck facing us and holding a microphone. So, I jokingly said to him, "It looks as if you're about to do a stand-up comedy routine." What does Mike do? He performs one of Ray's stand-up routines! It was awesome! It's an honor to be able to work with these comic geniuses everyday.
Tim Nasson: How is it working with such an amazing cast?
Brittany Curran: It's the best learning experience an actor could have. All of my scenes are with Ray, heis such an amazing dramatic actor. His acting is real and subtle and yet so funny at thesame time; his character is also heart-breaking at times. Just by acting with him, I get togrow and learn as an actor. One of my favorite people on the show is Richard Gant. He's freakin awesome! At the table reads, sometimes he will say his lines so seriously and I'll die laughing, then a minute later he goes into the next scene and scares the crapout of me. At table reads, my scenes always sneak up on me because I'm so engrossed in the story, I'm like, "Oh ya, I'm in this show too!" My dad just keeps saying to me, "Brittany, do you know how amazing it is and what an honor it is to work with guys like Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andrea Braugher?"
Tim Nasson: How is Ray Romano in real life? Does 'everyone' really like Raymond?
Brittany Curran: A gracious, humble, down-to-earth family man. You wouldn't know the guy was loaded with money just by talking to him. And I mean that in a good way. He always gives me ahello hug in the morning and I love chatting with him on set. He's very intelligent. Example: he knows the name and location of every country in the world... he's showed me proof. He's the kind of celebrity who truly deserves every ounce of success he's ever had. His family is great too, I love his real-life daughter Ally, she's awesome. We're gonna get lunch and go shopping sometime soon. I was in the editing suite with Ray yesterday and we were talking about the publicity and posters for the show. He said he was in New York with his family for Thanksgiving and while sitting in a taxi, looked out the window at another taxi and saw his face on a "Men of A Certain Age" poster on the miniature taxi billboard. Of course, he's accustomed to stuff like that, but still had that excited spark that makes him really appreciate success. It's a very charming quality and illustrates the humble man I've found him to be. Oh, one point of contention. Ray's a Yankee fan, I'm a Red Sox fan. We had a bet on who would go further in the playoffs this year. I originally suggested if the Yankees won I would owe him a cup of Starbucks coffee, but if the Red Sox won he would owe me a Starbucks store. Well, we settled on In & Out Burger. So, I owe Ray a burger.
Tim Nasson: What's new in Brittany's life?
Brittany Curran: I was just invited to be on the national board of directors for Kids First: A Quality Coalition for Quality Kids Programming. I finally got my drivers license! I got it about two weeks before my 19th birthday, which was in June. I just bought a violin and am starting to re-learn how to play. Spending time with my family and friends.
Tim Nasson: Heard you were kind of on the Oprah show, do you think woman will enjoy this show?
Brittany Curran: Heck yeah! I'm a woman, and I enjoy the show! It's funny and honest and is incredibly insightful into the three men's(Ray Romano, Scott Bakula, Andre Braugher) lives. Youlearn so much about the psychy of men and why they do the crazy things they do. Youget to see the different facades they put on in front of all different kinds of people, thenyou get to see their true soft sides when they're in private. Ray and Mike always write from experience, so the audience gets a real raw and authentic look into the three guy's lives. Honestly, anyone - including women - can completely identify with their situations. You get to see some of there everyday obstacles, identify with them and even laugh. More directly, the show is saying to men(who are of a certain age): it's ok, we all gothrough with this kind of stuff, why not laugh about it? The writing is wonderful. Oh ya, and it was really cool to kind of be on Oprah. Ray was the guest and Oprah showed clips from "Men Of A Certain Age" and I was kissing Ray's cheek in one of them! My grandma back in Massachusetts called me up excited to tell me that I was on the Oprah show. One of my dreams is to be on Oprah. On that day the viewership was about 45million! So ladies, eat your hearts out, I got to kiss Ray on the cheek!
Visit Brittany Curran's TWITTER page
Below, Brittany Curran, Ray Romano and Brittany's grandma, on the set of "Men Of A Certain Age"