Blake Lee plays hopeless romantic, down on his luck, Tom on ABC’s comedy MIXOLOGY. I spoke with Blake about his time on PARKS AND RECREATION, what he thinks of Maya (Ginger Gonzaga) and Tom’s chemistry, and what we will see in tonight’s episode.
You played Derek on PARKS AND RECREATION in the early seasons of the show, what was that like?
Blake Lee: That was the coolest experience of my life! I was such a huge fan of Amy Poehler’s and the show and all the people on the show. I was acquaintances with Aubrey Plaza and she recommended me for the job and they thought I was funny and it was the biggest, craziest compliment. I thought it was going to be a one-time thing and they just kept writing, Derek back in the show and it was so surreal. I learned a lot of improv from them because I wasn’t trained or anything like that, but just watching them, I really tried to study them. The only place I’ve ever felt a similar atmosphere is on our show (MIXOLOGY) and on set, honestly because they all get along and it was a great experience. You hear these horror stories of people not getting along or they hate going to their job, and we have such a cool job and I learned so much about how to act on set from Amy, Nick Offerman, Aubrey, and everyone.
Do you still watch PARKS? Do you think Derek could ever make another appearance?
I do watch the show, yes! And I do think so. The last episode Derek was in was the wedding of Aubrey and Chris (Pratt) and it’s not like we left on bad terms and hopefully he’ll be back. I would love to play that character again.
What happens with Tom tonight on MIXOLOGY? Last time the show focused on him we saw him try to impress Maya, how will they interact in tonight’s episode?
There’s a moment in this episode where Tom’s ex-fiancé, whom he is mourning over comes into the bar. There’s this big moment where, this woman who he hasn’t thought of this whole night because he is focusing on Maya is there and he’s basically now faced with both of them. Does he go back into the old patterns or does he just make her jealous with Maya. So, a lot of questions come up that he has to face.
Can you tell us a little bit about his flashback in tonight’s episode?
In this episode you see more of his relationship with Laura (Sarah Wright) and how hard she was on him, it makes you love Tom more.
Do you think Tom and Maya could work; they have such different personalities?
I do think so, I think that both Tom and Maya need things from each other, she could be a little softer and a little more caring, and he could be a little tougher. I think that they could help each other learn how to be those things.
I feel like Tom and Liv (Kate Simses) would make such a good match. Do you think they could ever work on the show?
I definitely think they could too! Later on in the season you might see a little glimpse of that. I think it could either work or it could be a disaster, they are almost too much alike.
What else can we expect to see from Tom this season?
Tom is there with his two best friends who obviously are the angel and devil on his shoulders, you see him stop listening to them as much for advice and he kind of starts to trust his own instincts and just listens to himself. You see him realize that that’s all he’s had to do this whole time, and I think it’s just him being aware that it’s okay to just be Tom and be the nice guy and say what he wants to say.
What storyline on the show do you really like?
I really, really love watching Liv and Ron (Adam Campbell) I think it’s so funny. They do the weirdest things, like the scene where she goes into the bathroom and steals his wallet, it’s so over the top but you do believe it. This weird girl is so giddy with this guy and you do believe it, you think, “maybe she would do all of these things to him.” So I really love that storyline. And also with Cal (Craig Frank) and Kacey’s (Vanessa Lengies) it’s from the heart and it was so good. I think that they are so, so good together.
You can watch MIXOLOGY tonight at 9:30 on ABC, and you can follow Blake on twitter at @blakeleeblake
Victoria Nelli loves TV so much that she is paying $30,000 a year to learn about it in College. When she’s not learning about TV she enjoys writing about her favorite shows, interviewing anyone in the industry that will let her, and ranting about how underrated Parks and Recreation is. She is very much aware of her Netflix addiction, and no she will not be seeking help anytime soon. You can follow her on Twitter @VictoriaNelli