Greg Grunberg On How Geeking Out With Kevin Smith is 'Easy'
Don’t mess with fanboys—they know how to deliver! Actor Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Alias) and auteur director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats) host Geeking Out, an entertainment-news and talk show that finds the two sci-fi/fantasy nuts deep-dishing with J.J. Abrams, Damon Lindelof, Matt Damon, Nathan Fillion and other giants of the genre. This week, they grill Mike Colter and Simone Missick, stars of the new Netflix superhero series Luke Cage and take fans behind closed doors at Lucasfilm. Yep, Grunberg (above right, with Smith) says he’s died and gone to geek heaven.
What do you and Smith bring to your interviews that we real reporters can’t? And be nice.
With us, it’s more of a peer-to-peer kind of thing. Kevin and I would be having these exact same conversations with our friends—actors, directors, producers—over a hot dog lunch. We just hang out. It’s easy. It’s comfortable. The only thing that’s different is that we now do it on AMC.
Genre fans are wonderfully loving, but they can also be a hard-assed crowd, no?
Doing this show is like opening up a deli in a Jewish neighborhood. You have one shot, man! You better have the best matzo ball soup on the block or the customers go elsewhere. Kevin and I have to be genuine. We can’t pull punches. I can’t pretend that I love Suicide Squad.
But if you’re interviewing your industry buds, how honest can you really be? Aren’t you still an actor for hire?
Kevin really speaks his mind. He’s like, “F--k ’em if they can’t take a joke.” But, yeah, I’m always looking for work, so I have to be careful. I’ll even ask for a job right in the middle of an interview. [Laughs] I know how to grovel.
You’ve been pals with J.J. Abrams since childhood. What does he think of all this?
He’s not quite sure. I bumped into him on the red carpet at the Star Trek: Beyond premiere and he’s like, “Are these your cameras? Aw, God, my best friend has turned into Kim Kardashian!”
Do you feel the heat of the competition? After all, we’re living in a podcast world where every fan is a potential scoopster.
It’s true. When we went to San Diego Comic-Con with Geeking Out, people would stop me and say, “Love your work. I’m a fan!” And before I could say, “Wow, thanks!” they’re pulling out a microphone with their photo pasted on it going, “Can I ask you a couple of questions?” It’s 2016. Everybody’s got a show.
Geeking Out, Sundays, midnight/11c, AMC.