‘Home Economics’ renewed for season 2 by ABC
Topher Grace had a few charmed years, with roles in BlackKkKlansman, The hot zone and Black mirror under his belt. And he’s returning to sitcoms this season with Domestical economy, about a group of adult siblings facing very different financial situations. It’s her first sitcom role since her breakthrough with This 70s show, over 20 years ago. Here he reflects on his career memories and remembers some favorite movies and series.
My first lesson in cinema
My mom only let me watch black and white movies. I was not allowed to watch television when I was a child. At the time, I was mad at her, because everyone was talking about what happened on the The good years. But I’m looking back now and think it was awesome. She also took us to MGM Studios in Orlando, which is a fictional mini-version of Hollywood. I thought, could it be this wonderful? When I was thrown on This 70s show Straight out of high school, the set was built so that they could close the whole house, because they wanted to do a long tracking shot in the opening. It was as if this fictional Hollywood experience was coming to life. The opposite happened when I made my first film, Circulation, because Steven Soderbergh comes from the documentary. There wasn’t a single light on this film – it used available light – and I had never shot anything outdoors before. So there I was in risky neighborhoods in Cincinnati, and that was the lesson: sometimes cinema is an artifice and sometimes it is reality, and there is no wrong way to do it.
‘Home Economics’ renewed for season 2 by ABC
The Masters I have studied
Nobody ever takes you aside and says, “Here’s how to wear a costume,” or whatever. But whenever you have the chance to work with great actors at the top of their game, you learn by osmosis. Watching Brad pitt, or Cate Blanchett or Julia robert do their thing. I had to take dance lessons with Julia Roberts on Mona Lisa smile, and just seeing how she behaved was a lesson for an idiot like me who kept stepping on his toes. The first one I really remember was on Circulation, and I was nervous because Soderbergh isn’t the kind of director who tells you what he wants you to do. Maybe on the second day of the shoot, I said, “Should I do something different?” And he said, “Oh, I don’t know,” and he kind of walked away. Then one day he had a note for me. I must have been really out of place with something, and he walked over to me as I stood with it Michael douglas, who was the first big star I worked with. When Steven arrived, Michael just hissed and walked away. It took a while before I realized how gracious it was because he was such an accomplished professional he knew the moment could be embarrassing for me. So he walked away and gave me my time.
The part that I always wanted
I don’t have many, but I tried to Anakin Skywalker in Attack of the Clones. At the time, someone saw me in a play at school, and I was only chosen This 70s show, and I thought, Oh my god, that’s obviously meant to be. I guess I’m less sad, I didn’t understand that now [laughs]. But I think I still would have taken it because it would have been fun. I was there mainly because my haircut looked like Jake Lloyd’s, I think. And I would always like to be in a Star wars movie one day, but I can’t imagine I’m the right guy for them. Guess I’ll just have to take the tour of Disneyland.
My most difficult role
Playing David Duke in BlackKkKlansman was not as hard as doing research for David Duke, which was just awful. I read his autobiography, which basically resembles his Mein Kampf, and I watched a lot of footage. Watching and reading these things makes you feel like you are a accomplice just by committing to them. Spike Lee actually maintains a fun set for the heaviness of the material, but the research these two months before was heavy, and my wife, Ashley, was very kind to just let me be in a funk. Charlottesville came around this time as well, so it was very present in our lives. But when I finally saw how Spike put the movie together and how powerfully he said what he said, I was so proud to be a part of it.
The movie that makes me cry
I am not a great crier. I went to boarding school at a young age, so you kind of learn not to cry. But i saw Upside down with my wife on one of our first dates, and that part of Bing Bong… Oh man, I was crying. And when you hold it back a lot, let me tell you, when it’s okay, it’s really okay. The tap opens fully. Pixar knows how to reach you.
My most tortured co-stars
i will always be sorry to Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp, who played the parents on This 70s show. It was literally my first audition, Wilmer [Valderrama] barely spoke English, Laura [Preppon] and Ashton [Kutcher] had never played, they were models. Now that I have a bunch of years on me, I can see how brave it was for them to choose these kids who had no experience. It was brave and pretty smart because we had the time to really learn. And when we learned, we were fresh and ready to learn. The only people who got caught in the middle of it were these wonderful professionals playing our parents. Every time I see them now, I apologize, not for anything in particular, just because I was so green.
The most fun I have had on the set
I’m not just saying that: it’s really doing Domestical economy. You can tell, I think so too. Playing is pretending – you should be able to have chemistry with people – but I’ve done things where it doesn’t come at all. I remember driving the first day and thinking, Oh man, who knows? But maybe 48 hours later, I was overconfident. Everyone is individually talented, which I knew when I walked in, but we all clicked instantly. The last day of filming for Season 1 was like the last day of camp. When you feel comfortable with people like that in comedy, it’s just an elixir. When we renewed, I tell you, you’ve never seen five more excited adults.
The characters who are most like me
I was very similar to Eric Forman when we were doing This 70s show, obviously. And I’m a very different person now, but I think I’m very similar to Tom hayward in Domestical economy. He has twins – I don’t have any, but we had a second baby during the pandemic – and it was like, is it even acting? I was at home changing diapers, then I clocked in to work and they gave me two diapers. I think every time you do a show like this, where you work for so many months a year, you can’t help but come across your real life. You steal it.
My most cited role
Oh it’s probably the people calling me an idiot of This 70s show. It’s not the best thing to have yelled at you in the street. But I guess it could be worse.
My guilty pleasure
My wife is really into The single person, and she put me in it. Now when she’s out of town, I’m like, “Well, I’m just going to watch it so I can follow what you’re watching. But I’m on an ABC show myself now, so I think I can admit it: I love it.
Who would play me in my biopic
Well I think everyone would agree that he should be Harry Styles. I mean, I don’t even have to explain why, it’s so obvious. Everyone knows, why even go into it?
My karaoke playlist
I love karaoke. I’m not saying I’m good, but I love doing it. But if I’m in a competitive karaoke situation, which sometimes breaks out, especially with me, then my choice is “A Whole New World” from Aladdin. I pull my wife in duet with me. The trick is to point out all the towns you see from the magic carpet. Really sell the emotion. “Oh look, there are the pyramids! There is the Great Wall! There are a lot of people.