When former star of The Walking Dead, Michael Cudlitz, began filming his new ABC family sitcom, he was already familiar with the studio. Although he knew the building, it’s not mainly for the reason one would expect.
The Kids Are Alright shoots at Calvert Studios in Van Nuys California, where Cudlitz spent a lot of his time in the 90’s. He actually ran the construction department on the building and assisted in bringing its infrastructure together.
Not only that, but he also filmed his recurring role on Beverly Hills, 90210 in that very studio.
He told The Hollywood Reporter that he supported his family being a foreman as he did his first six episodes.
It’s how I was able to support my family right out of college. I was a foreman for a buddy of mine who was the coordinator on the first four or first six episodes of [the original 90210]. He left to go do another show because we all thought the show was not, on paper, a very good show. So, we all just thought it was going to go away. Then it blew up.
He recalls there being a discussion of his construction being a conflict of interest if he wanted to be on the show. Check out a video of him acting as a West Beverly High football player and Brenda Walsh’s prom date, Tony.
“They pulled me in the office and said, ‘We didn’t know you were really an actor,’
In his interview with THR about moving from “The Walking Dead”, Cudlitz revealed his thought process for going from a sci-fi drama to a comedy.
I said to my wife when I got off The Walking Dead, “I want a comedy in town.” I just put that out there. During pilot season 2017 I had some offers to do some dramatic stuff, coming right off The Walking Dead. All of it was actually in Los Angeles, so that was half the equation…but I passed on them. Everything I passed on actually did get picked up. Now, these are incredibly first-world problems as an actor. I probably sound like a douche saying that, but it was not what I was looking for. I was in that rare moment in one’s career where I was able to make those decisions. I just did not want to be doing the same stuff that I had been doing.… I was done killing things for a while. I wanted a little less angst. I wanted to be laughing on set for all the right reasons.
He goes ahead to say Tim Doyle’s (Last Man Standing) script was just amazing. Also, he says he was appealed to play Mike Cleary a gruff retro dad and father to eight boys because he thinks that is what is in the heart of every parent’s mission. He seems to be thrilled to act that role because he exposes failures and repercussions parents go through.
Also, he talked about his role as director of episode seven of season 9 of The Walking Dead.
I let them know pretty early on that I wanted to direct, but I also let them know that I didn’t expect it. I was going to shadow [Walking Dead director and exec producer] Greg Nicotero and it was a way to keep me in Atlanta so people wouldn’t know Abraham was actually dead [which was a secret for more than a year]. I kept in contact with [former showrunner] Scott Gimple…then I got a call in December or January. I was in New York, and I got a call from [season nine showrunner] Angela Kang and Scott who asked if I’d be interested in directing. I immediately said yes.
You can catch The Kids Are Alright on Tuesdays at 8:30 PM on ABC.