For over 50 years, Ed Begley Jr. has been a staple in Hollywood – both on the big screen and small – playing a multitude of memorable characters in some of our favourite films of all time. When asked for his top three favorite roles, it was easy to go straight to working with Meryl Streep. “St. Elsewhere was one. Getting to work with Meryl Streep, was one of the bigger moments of my career obviously. As most people would say, everybody that’s worked with that goddess would say the same. I’ve been very lucky. Also doing Arrested Development. Better Call Saul. Blessed in my twilight years here.”
Today, Begley Jr stars in ABC’s new hit Bless this Mess opposite Dax Shepherd and Lake Bell, currently in its second season, returning to the schedule on January 21st. “You know it’s an exciting opportunity for me to play a part like this in my 70’s. I turned 70 in September and I just kind of assumed that after 52 years the business thing would slow down a bit. But I’ve never been busier and that’s really thanks to the wonderful work that Liz Merriweather has given me. I love this part, I love the show.”
“And then they told me that Pam Grier is going to be my love interest in the show. I am a big fan of Pam Grier of course, like most like-minded people are. I never met her before. I certainly never worked with her and so just everyday is a joy. I play a guy that’s been through a lot clearly, think he has a bit of PTSD and certainly has some very odd opinions about things, but he’s a sweet guy deep down and loves concerts and loves Nebraska, both things that are very easy for me to love.”
Bless this Mess is created by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether. Single Parents and New Girl are also created by Meriwether. “I knew it was going to be a hit because it was very funny and engaging, very heartwarming. All of that was there. But I knew most importantly with Liz Meriwether and Lake Bell, who I knew, had the chops to pull it off.”
Speaking of Meriwether’s success, he says. “She deserves it. She assembles the best writers. That writing room is one of the best in town. They’re amazing, what they do every week, what they give us, which is funny, heartwarming, and always off beat. You know, you don’t see it coming. I never expect the twists and turns that they throw into the mix in this show. Every week is exciting for me to have that table read and see what’s happening next.”
The environment, living sustainable and climate change has always been a huge part of Ed Begley Jr.’s life. “You know, most people say to me, I can’t afford an electric car like you have, I can’t afford a lot of solar panels like you have on your roof. I totally understand, because neither could I when I started out. When I started out in 1970 I was a broke and struggling actor. You can get energy saving lightbulbs and put them in, energy saving thermostats, weather stripping, bike riding, public transportation that was available near you, home gardening, home composting, everything on that list I just gave you is cheap, cheap, cheap. Not only is it going to save the environment, it’s going to also save you money. What’s wrong with that?”
He also says currently he is endorsing Elizabeth Warren for 2020 Democratic nominee.