Keir O'Donnell has had quite a career playing quirky, slightly off-color guys in big, broad comedies. Admittedly while chatting with him at last month's TCA ceremonies, I half wanted to interrupt the interview to ask him to paint a portrait of me the way his Wedding Crashers character did of Vince Vaughn. But that's just because no matter what kind of guy he's playing, he goes all in and makes him come alive on the screen.
Needless to say, some of O'Donnell's past characters haven't been the most popular kids in class. And next week when ABC's new drama My Generation premieres, he will continue that pattern with his role of Kenneth Finley, the school nerd. But with O'Donnell in the role, Kenneth is much more than the geeky kid slightly on the outskirts of high school. In his own words: "he's not just a nerd, he's also an infertile nerd!"
But seriously folks, Kenneth grows up a lot in the ten years in between points we get to see his character. He goes from being a super smart kid, soaking up all of the wisdom in the classroom, and dating his dream girl to being the guy doling out the wisdom and living with his dream girl...as platonic roommates while her husband is deployed overseas. But at his core he has always been the same sweet, fun-loving guy who just wants a family of his own and needs to find his place in this town and this circle of friends and this life.
O'Donnell sat down with My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture last month to talk about everything from why he wanted to do the show, to what role they initially called him in for and why he wanted to play Kenneth instead, to the heightened reality of high school and the message he hopes viewers take away from it.
(PS look for a Mehcad Brooks cameo, as he crossed behind O'Donnell in the frame to do his own interview!)
My Generation will premiere on ABC next Thursday, September 23rd at 8pm. Set your DVR season pass now; you won't be disappointed!