Jeffrey Tambor has played two of the most celebrated (and likely loathed) characters in recent TV history. He starred as Hank Kingsley, the self-absorbed sidekick on “The Larry Sanders Show” and then as George Bluth, the patriarch on the revered comedy “Arrested Development.” And Tambor can’t wait to give his dry comic acting style another go on the new NBC series “Bent.”
Tambor plays Walt, a struggling actor who is divorced and living with his son, a contractor, played by David Walton. Of course it wouldn’t be a Tambor role if there weren’t a few tones of extreme narcissism. In this case Walt believes himself to be a ladies man, even if he really isn’t.
“[Walt] thinks he’s a lothario. He thinks he’s hot. And he’s constantly flirting and constantly on the make,” Tabmor says. “I think he thinks he looks like Robert Redford. I like characters like that. I like characters that are difficult. I like edge.”
While the series centers around Alex Meyers (Amanda Peet) as she looks to get her life and home back in order following a rocky break up, the entire cast, including Tambor’s character, all have significant flaws.
“Even though the plot is ostensibly about this housebuilding, it’s not what this series is about,” Tambor says. “It’s about everyone really striving…everyone is really trying to overcome something.”
Tambor says he believes it is this focus on the characters flaws that keeps the show real and relatable for potential viewers.
“I think people will be able to say ‘Oh, I recognize those people. Those are people just like me.’ And then you’re off to the races,” Tambor explains.
One example viewers can look forward to in an upcoming episode is when Walt reunites with his ex-wife played by Marcia Gay Harden.
“They are the Bickersons. They’re the couple that can’t keep their hands off each other but can’t say two sentences together. I think people will be able to relate to that,” Tambor adds.
“Bent” debuts on NBC on Wednesday (March 21) at 9 p.m. ET.