David Walton Previews Andrew's Brush With Fame on '9JKL'
Josh (Mark Feuerstein) may be the former television star on CBS’ 9JKL, but his brother Andrew (David Walton) could give him a run for his money: On Monday’s new episode, "TV MD," heart surgeon Andrew finds fame as a medical correspondent on a local show.
Here's an exclusive clip from the "TV MD" episode, with Andrew's family giving their feedback on how they thought he handled his potentially starmaking turn:
Walton talked with TV Insider about Andrew’s accidental big break, the ripple effect it has on his on-screen family, and more.
What can you preview about Andrew’s big episode?
David Walton: This is an episode where it gives backstory about why Andrew and Josh have such a competitive relationship. One of these local shows wants me to come on as a Dr. Oz type, and Josh trains me to function on-camera. I go on, I’m a huge hit, and I start to become famous in the New York area for my onscreen personality. And Josh, who is struggling as an actor, gets really jealous of my fame. When I start to see that, I start to rub it in.
It gets to the point where we have a huge fight in a restaurant, and we both realize our mother has been almost manipulating us to be competitive with each other. We confront her, and it’s all very funny.
I think it’s also the episode to date with the deepest layer of what a family is, and what the dynamic is, and what makes family so loving and also aggravating. I think it’s a deep one. I think that’s where the show will continue to go, and I think that’s what people want to see.
What is his father’s take on this?
Harry, he doesn’t have a ton to say; when there’s conflict with the boys, he just wants us to get along. He’s a little bit heads in the clouds about it all. Judy is really doing it. Harry has unconditional love. We just actively confront our mother—we have a lot to say to her.
How is the newfound attention impacting Andrew’s relationship with his wife?
Eve is way into it. What I love about our relationship is we’re competitive with each other; we’re competitive with the world. We’re ambitious and we want things to go well for both of us. She’s into it.
Is this on-screen persona something he wants to pursue going forward?
There will be some forces outside of his control that knock him down.
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One of the fun aspects of this episode is that Mark’s real-life parents—who helped inspire the series—are in it. Did you get to interact with them while they filmed?
No, they did a FaceTime, so I wasn’t there. I’ve met them—they’ve been at various stages in the production and taping of the pilot. I feel like I know them now, because Mark always tells stories about them. I think it’s so sweet when we’re doing a family show to have the parents that it’s actually based on, in a subtle way, in the show. I can’t wait to see the final cut.
Your character is also based loosely on Mark’s real-life brother. How has that been portraying a real person?
I wish I had something more interesting, but they started writing to the actor. There’s an inspirational point at the pilot, but ultimately the minute I got hired, there was zero percent going back to trying to figure out what the real brother is like. I don’t think the real brother is nearly as vain as my character has turned out to be. I don’t know what they see in me—I don’t consider myself all that vain, but clearly I don’t know myself all that well! It’s like the writers are holding up a mirror to how the world really sees you.
It’s fiction! You have an extraordinary cast on the show—in addition to Mark, there’s your onscreen parents Elliott Gould (Harry) and Linda Lavin (Judy), as well as your onscreen wife Liza Lapira (Eve). What has it been like working with them so far?
It’s so cool. Linda and Elliott have like 160 years of life experience between them. They’ve had such rich, fascinating lives that every time you’re with them, you want more stories of what life was like for them.
One of the most satisfying things I did, I asked Elliott to talk about his old movies. He’s been in so many. You could see this glint in his eye talking about this movie California Split, that he and George Segal were in together. I got the story on it, and I was like, I’m going to watch it. I ended up getting it on iTunes and streaming it during downtime during the day.
So I’d start playing California Split on my computer—watch about 20 minutes, and then go rehearse an episode where it was me and Elliott a lot. It was really a surreal and exciting thing to be watching a movie with this man, seeing him almost at the same age I’m at now, seeing him in this completely different kind of performance, and then go rehearse with him [on this show] and be like, “Wait, what was that scene like?” I was so glad I did it; I’ll always cherish and remember being able to watch a movie and then go and talk to the movie star while you’re working with them.
That makes sense. Outside of this episode, is there anything else you’re excited for fans to see?
In the next episode, Josh starts being attracted to our new nanny, which starts some conflicts. And then the episode I just mentioned rehearsing, Henry and Andrew get the flu together, and our personalities shift very deeply while we’re sick. The neediness of the Roberts men is very disturbing!
9JKL, Mondays, 9:30/8:30c, CBS