Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With Ground Floor‘s John C. McGinley

 

It’s hard to make people laugh.

The difficulty of being able to make people laugh is why being a stand-up comedian is one of the toughest professions in the world. It also explains why it is much easier to write a great drama script than to successfully author a comedy treatment because not everyone finds the same things funny.

For every Seinfeld, there is a Guys With Kids., for every Modern Family, there is a GCB and for every The Big Bang Theory there is a Partners. It’s for that reason that when a comedy works, it really works.

Ground Floor is a TBS original series that has been picked up in Canada by The Comedy Network and premieres tonight. The 10-episode, half-hour series follows the relationship between banker hotshot Brody (Skylar Astin), and support worker Jennifer (Briga Heelan). After their one-night stand, Brody and Jennifer are surprised to learn that they both work in the same building with Brody occupying a position in the elitist top floor and Jennifer working with the rest of the lowly support staff on the ground floor. The result is a modern-day Romeo & Juliet forbidden love story that produces witty writing and a lot of laughs.

 

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Cast Of Ground Floor

 

One of the best parts of the series is John C. McGinley. The actor plays Remington Mansfield (Brody’s boss) on the show. Similar to the kind of tough-love mentoring character he so famously played on Scrubs for nine seasons, Mr. Mansfield takes Brody under his wing while still remaining highly skeptical of his relationship with the “girl on the ground floor.”

On Monday, I had the chance to catch up with McGinley and discuss Ground Floor. We chatted about the pressures of playing a highly recognizable character for so long and if that kind of typecasting resulted in difficulty with securing other work. We also chatted about his monopoly on securing roles that require a tough-love mentor and if his on-screen tutelage also translates off-screen with the younger actors that he is often surrounded by. I peppered him with questions about the similarities between Ground Floor and Sons of Anarchy in the sense that both use elements of Shakespeare to influence their respective storyline direction. McGinley told me about reuniting with Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence on Ground Floor as well. Check out the interview above!

Ground Floor premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. on The Comedy Network and at 10 p.m. on TBS

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