Pete Gardner – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
By: Stacy Miller
Q) How would you say your character of Darryl has evolved since you started playing him?
A) How has he evolved…I would say that Darryl has become much surer of himself. He’s also a little clearer of what his relationships are and aren’t and he kind of knows those boundaries where he didn’t know them before. But I feel like he understood where he stood with Paula finally last year and there was a lot of growth there. I feel like he’s getting to be sure of himself. At the same time, he still struggles because things don’t always work out the way he wants them to go but he seems to know what he wants more than he has in the past.
Q) What role do you feel Darryl plays in the narrative of Rebecca’s journey?
A) Well, I think that they both are on parallel journeys. One seems to be going one way trying to find love and acceptance from her friends and love interest. Darryl is doing the exact same thing although he’s doing it in a much more straightforward way while she kind of goes around where anything that becomes too difficult for her she finds a way around it. Darryl deals with it straight on and has to deal with the repercussions of it. Rachel [Bloom] has said it a couple of times that Darryl and Rebecca are sort of on parallel journeys.
Q) Why do you think Darryl and White Josh work so well together? Do you think the issue of adoption will cause problems in their relationship as the season progresses?
A) I think it works because they seem to accept each other completely. They seem to be very open and they deal with their issues together. I think that with the adoption it is to show that this is a real relationship not just a fairytale. They are just like anyone else.
Q) Do you think that we will see Darryl face discrimination because of his sexuality?
A) I don’t know. That would be interesting. I’m not the writers so I’m not really sure. I have to be fluid in my beliefs in what Darryl would or wouldn’t do. I think it would be really interesting to see someone else receive that kind of treatment and Darryl have to defend them. I think he was looking for that when Darryl came out as bi, but no one treated him like that. Darryl is so easy going that it would be interesting to see something like that. I think that would be a great thing to see with Darryl and Nathaniel (Scott Michael Foster).
Q) How do you think if Darryl and White Josh broke up Darryl would handle it?
A) That’s kind of hard to say because that’s really up to the writers. I can’t really say how that would go because that’s not really up to me. But they could do it one of three ways: He could fall apart. He could become empowered and move on. Or it could be a combination of all those things.
Q) Is there any other character that you wished Darryl shared more scene with?
A) I really enjoy playing with everybody. I love playing with Donna Lynne [Champlin]. She’s really great. It’s like playing tennis. You send something to her and she sends it right back. Rachel is fantastic. Gabrielle [Ruiz] is fantastic. Scott Michael Foster is fantastic. David Hull is great. But the one person that I don’t work with much that I think is fantastic is Vella [Lovell], who plays Heather. I think she is hilarious. She just kills me. She’s very funny. I would like to see more stuff with Darryl and Heather, but I don’t know how they would work that out. The good thing was when they brought Scott in because the love relationship between Rebecca and Nathaniel was in Whitefeather so that was a good way for me to crossover. Before it was all the stuff that was happening at the bar and all the stuff that was happening at the office was kind of separate. Now the two worlds can be brought together.
Q) What has been your toughest challenge in playing Darryl?
A) Wow…I think that if it had to be anything, it would be the dancing. [laughs] Everything else is great because the way I see it, there’s no wrong way to play Darryl. It’s so much fun for me. When we do a scene, I usually do around three or four takes. They’re usually all different. They’re usually all different emotions. And the singing…Even though I’m not the world’s greatest singer, I love doing the singing. But the dancing…I think that I’ve gotten better at it, but that’s the most challenging thing. Especially when you’re dancing with a group, you don’t want to be out of sync because it blows the take and draws too much attention to you. I’ve gotten better and there’s no one better than Kat Burns as a choreographer. She’s fantastic. She’s super great. Not only is she a good choreographer, but she’s also a good person. She makes it a lot fun. Sometimes where there’s something that I’m struggling with, she’ll make adjustments to make it easier for me. I did a song not too long ago and it was great because I’ve gotten so used to the process.
Q) You mentioned about dancing which leads into my next question…Will we see Darryl involved in any more dance numbers this season?
A) We will. [laughs] I’m a part of a couple more numbers. It’s so much fun. And also the great thing is usually if you’re singing something, you’re not the primary dancer. There’s usually other dancers behind you. To get to work with these other dancers…they’re just fantastic. They’re so much fun to watch. They’re so fluid. They do it so easily. They hear it once or get it explained to them once and they just do it. It’s amazing.
Q) You’re pretty active on social media. Do you like getting feedback on the episodes? How do you feel when you receive those?
A) It’s so nice. It’s amazing how it touches people. I’m always so surprised by that. For me, it’s interesting, fun work. But to the people that it touches, I’m always so flattered by that. It’s wonderful that they enjoy it. It’s the greatest feeling especially when I meet people who watch the show out and about in the world. The nice thing that they say is that the show is something they share with their families and it’s like their time to enjoy something together. To me, that is just fantastic that it brings people together whether as a family, or as a couple or whatever. It’s really flattering and it makes the work extra special.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supports you and the show?
A) Thank you so much. It means a lot to me. Sometimes I’m not having the best day for whatever reason and I’ll look on something on social media or I’ll run into somebody on the street and I’ll get these wonderful interactions with people. People are always so friendly and so nice. I’m always so happy to take a picture with people because I know that it is really their experience. They’re meeting someone from television and it’s exciting. I’m glad to share that with them because I know that the show means something to them. They’re very diehard fans. The show brings people together; parents and their kids, couples. Even though our numbers aren’t fantastic they’re always consistent because the people who watch the show always watch the show so I appreciate them. It means a lot to us and we have fun doing it for them.