the TV addict

Today’s TV Addict Top 5: Questions with THE MIDDLE Star Charlie McDermott

Have you noticed an appreciable difference in the number of people that come up to you on the street this season with THE MIDDLE performing so well for ABC on Wednesday night?
Charlie McDermott: Honestly — because we’ve been working a lot harder this year and I haven’t really been walking down the street too much — I don’t know! But just from the ratings and talking to members of the media it seems kind of apparent that we’ve had an increased amount success.

Last week’s plot that saw the Heck family host a foreign exchange student was reportedly inspired by star Patricia Heaton’s real-life. Have the writers ever borrowed a story from your real life, and if given the chance, what would you like to see in terms of your character’s future?
The writers haven’t really asked me for any story ideas yet, and part of that is when you have Patty [Patricia Heaton], who is a ten year sitcom veteran [EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND] and a mother of four, who would you ask? If I were the writers she’s probably who I’d go to, not two teenagers, Atticus and Neal who is still just hanging out. That said, what I like about Axl is that he’s starting to get more responsibility and he’s been getting to work. The episode at the Quarry was fun and a far cry from when we shot the pilot where Atticus, Eden, Mike, and Patty all had their own plot-lines, while Axl would sort of just come in and deliver a punch-line.

What’s it like having to constantly restrain yourself around the Kraft Service table knowing full well that most of your day will be spend shooting scenes sans shirt?
[Laughs] It’s hard! When I auditioned for the role, my audition sides had the character in his boxers and I remember thinking if this was something that would last throughout the series. Who knew it would! But I’ve gotten more used to it I guess, it was a little strange at first, especially in the first season where almost the entire year was spent in boxers. Luckily this season I’ve found that they’ve clothed me more this year, but you get used to it pretty quick.

Since breaking onto the scene in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village you haven’t stopped working. What inspired you to become an actor and what advice do you have for kids wanting to break into the business?
From the moment I saw Star Wars when I was five I pretty much knew that I wanted to be involved with movies and television in some aspect. It wasn’t always acting, it started off mostly as directing, but turned into acting when I realized that was pretty much all I was able to do at that age. At 13, I started working professionally, moved from Philadelphia to New York and ended up in Los Angeles. My advice would be make sure it’s something you really, really, want. Oh, and finish high school.

To those who have yet to jump on THE MIDDLE bandwagon, what’s your pitch?
THE MIDDLE is one of those few television shows on right now that the whole family can get together and watch without having to worry about any objectionable content popping up. Honestly, I just think it’s a really great family show.

You can catch THE MIDDLE on Wednesday nights at 8PM on ABC