‘The Neighborhood’s Max Greenfield on Dave’s Bully Tactics & What’s Next

Monty Brinton/CBS

The Neighborhood has returned for more fun in Season 2 and in the latest installment “Welcome to the Bully,” Max Greenfield’s Dave deals with one sticky situation.

When Grover (Hank Greenspan) gets into a fight at school with a bully, Gemma (Beth Behrs) and Dave must deal with the fallout as best they know how. Ultimately, the situation leads to some uncharacteristic behavior from the usually non-confrontational Dave.

Below, Greenfield teases what’s to come as well as what’s next for the season.

In tonight’s episode, Dave gets wrapped up in a situation with a bully, do you think fans will be surprised by how he handles things?

Max Greenfield: I think the the writers did a great job. I know [creator] Jim Reynolds was really excited about this episode because it definitely shows a different side of Dave, and I loved it — the writers do such a wonderful job. They really incorporated so many different perspectives on that subject in these two separate incidences. I think different people will view it in different ways and it will hopefully unite. But I think it’s a fun episode that tackles a common problem.

Each episode of The Neighborhood implements a great life lesson. What makes this episode particularly important?

If you’re a parent… dear lord, every other day it’s a topic and it’s such a weird thing because especially as a parent you so badly don’t ever want your child to be bullied, but then almost more so you don’t want them to be a bully, and you’re like, ‘How can I just avoid this altogether?’

Both Dave and Gemma are usually non-confrontational. Was it fun getting to deviate from that a bit in this episode?

Yeah, I thought it was really fun. I also thought it was really smart how the writers did it cause they had sort of teased it to me. And I was like, ‘How do you show a fight on a multi-cam?’ And the way they teased it out and made it an off-camera thing and made it a reveal to the audience. I just thought it plays really well.

(Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS)

You get to sport a black eye in the episode, how long did take to create that look?

Oh my gosh, our hair and makeup team is so good. Jill [Cady] has done Beth’s makeup forever and she was brought in to do my black eye and she did it in about three minutes. It was the craziest thing and it looked so good.

Despite the heavier topics addressed on the show, it’s so much fun watching you and the rest of the cast on-screen together. What’s the set dynamic like in Season 2 vs. Season 1?

A lot of the time you run the risk of where a show does well the first season and everyone is really excited and then you get back to the second season. And what tends to happen is the charm seems to rub off a little bit — people get a little bit sore with the monotony of it all, and that has just not been the case with this show. Thankfully, I think we have an entire group who really genuinely loves what they do and I think we’re really excited to do it each week and beyond that we get along. Truly.

(Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS)

What else can you tease for the upcoming episodes and Dave this season?

I remember doing New Girl and there were like seasonal arcs we would have and one of the interesting things about that show was the characters — especially my character — really did evolve and change and not that it’s not happening on this show, I think it’s happening at a much slower rate. So it’s more of an episodic answer.

There’s one episode where the Butlers have to come live in the Johnsons’ house for the night and we set it all up for them. I really enjoyed that episode, it was very fun. There’s an ending to that episode that I just love, I think Cedric [the Entertainer] and I came up with some really good stuff. There’s a wedding renewal on the Butlers’ end, I know there’s a bowling situation coming up, which is really funny. And we’ve just been having a blast.

The Neighborhood, Mondays, 8/7c, CBS