'Cougar Town's' Brian Van Holt on directing 'amazing' Matthew Perry: 'A little nerve-wracking'

brian-van-holt-directs-cougar-town-doug-hyun.jpgStepping up the the plate as director of an episode of the TV series you're a star on is no small task. When that episode includes TV icon Matthew Perry as a guest star? It gets a little tougher.

Luckily, Brian Van Holt had the support of his cast and crew when he directed Tuesday's (Jan. 14) episode of "Cougar Town" because, as he tells Zap2it, it was a daunting endeavor.

"It was a little nerve-wracking, at first. It was a big episode, especially having Matthew on it, you know," he says. "It was a big episode, an important episode, so that brings some pressure. But it's a great script and everybody really stepped up and made it possible, made my job easier, made it a great experience."

Having Perry in the episode with his former "Friends" co-star Courteney Cox proved to be an asset to the first-time director (because, how couldn't it?). "I got really lucky having Matthew in this episode, really fortunate, because obviously he brings so much to the table. You don't have to direct him and it just makes me look like I know what I'm doing," Van Holt jokes.

"Courteney and Matthew are icons and it's great to work with them. It's great to watch them work. They have such chemistry," he adds. "To be able to direct them was special and was surreal at times, but I also didn't need to direct. I just sort of pointed the camera at them and let them go. They're really good together."

Last week's Season 5 opener saw Van Holt's Bobby Cobb strike it sort-of rich thanks to the global sales of Penny Can, but he won't be living the high life this season. "I wish I could say that Bobby has moved onto a bigger boat in a bigger parking lot based on the Penny Can residuals, but he's not so good with his finances," he laughs. "He's not the most responsible human being."

So, what can we expect for Gulfhaven's biggest goof this season? "It's more of the same, except for just weirder and more bizarre. He and Andy [ Ian Gomez], their storylines, it gets funny," Van Holt teases. "How can I describe it? It gets silly and it gets out there, but there's also a lot of bromance this year going on for Bobby between Andy and also with Grayson [ Josh Hopkins]. There's a great episode between Grayson and Bobby. It's funny. The finale is -- our finale is so funny. I can't wait to see it."

Bromance is all well and fine, but what about Riggs, Bobby's girlfriend from last season played by Maria Thayer? "She was so funny, but they didn't want to go in that direction with Bobby. I think Bobby's gonna be [limited] to Dog Travis," he says with a laugh, adding, "Unfortunately."

That doesn't mean that romance will be entirely ignored. "I don't think it'll end the comedy, but he does start to evolve a little more and by the end [of the season] there's a subtle kind of longing for a partner, you know, a relationship," Van Holt admits. "Everybody else around him, now that his son Travis [ Dan Byrd] is in a relationship, everybody around him -- except for Tom [ Bob Clendenin], but Tom has bigger presence on our show. Maybe they'll make Bobby and Tom a couple. (Laughs) But throughout the season, you'll see a bit of a longing for a relationship. It comes out."

"Cougar Town" airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on TBS.
Photo/Video credit: Doug Hyun
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