Maybe you don’t think of them while you’re out there boogeying to “I Will Survive” or doing the chicken dance, but those guys in the wedding band are people, too.
Sometimes they’re very funny people, in fact, with entertaining lives, as is the case with the new TBS comedy “Wedding Band,” premiering Saturday, Nov. 10. It’s about four friends who spend their weekends as wannabe rock gods in their cleverly named group, Mother of the Bride. Brian Austin Green (“Beverly Hills, 90210″) plays Tommy, the hunky lead singer who still lives for good times and pretty girls. Then there are Eddie (Peter Cambor), the sometimes responsible husband, father and businessman; Stevie (Harold Perrineau), the studio musician looking for something different; and Barry (Derek Miller), the loose cannon drummer whose energy level puts Jack Black to shame.
Green, who recently welcomed a baby boy with wife Megan Fox, says part of the joy in playing Tommy is getting to safely revisit (or “regress,” as he puts it) his own reckless youth.
“It’s fun, it’s definitely different,” he says. “I get to the end of an episode and think, ‘Thank God I’m not this guy anymore because it’s so draining.’ I don’t drink anymore, I don’t go out to places anymore, I live a pretty easygoing life. I just don’t think my brain and my body could take it if I did anything other than this. I don’t know how people at 35, 40 still party as hard as Tommy does. It’s impressive, for sure.”
The hard-partying lifestyle is key to how Green, 39, plays Tommy, but he says it’s not the entire character. Underneath all the hedonism, there is a core selflessness to him.
“He’s perpetually hung over, he’s out of his mind, but he’s a good guy,” Green says. “That’s the endearing thing. He’s a drunk, and he’s a partier, but at the end of the day he works his ass off to do his job to the best of his ability and really make special days for people, and he’d kill himself trying.”
The pacing may seem odd to viewers used to their TV comedies coming in half-hour bites. But with its multiple main characters and sometimes intricate plots, “Wedding Band” makes full use of its one-hour run time, creating a vibe Green says is more akin to “fun short movies than long episodes of television.” Sometimes it involves talking Tommy’s old flame out of dumping her current beau, or maybe turning a couple of high-school nerds into studs by helping them throw the most legendary (but nonalcoholic) rager in memory.
Aside from him and his co-stars getting to play the instruments themselves, one of the highlights for Green so far has been getting to work with his wife — something they had previously agreed not to do. But when a last-minute conflict left a large guest role open, Fox stepped in.
“I never wanted to make an episode where people were so distracted by the fact that we were both in it that they didn’t actually watch the episode and just enjoy that,” Green says. “But I think the part was good enough and funny enough, and the characters were opposite enough that it was interesting. I think people immediately will get away from the fact that we’re married just by watching what it is we’re doing. Once [we] got past that initial, ‘Holy s***, we’re on the same set running lines. This is weird,’ then it was fun. We trust each other, we know each other enough to put ourselves out there and not feel embarrassed or awkward.”