If you’ve tuned into your television over the last few years, you’ve seen Thomas Barbusca somewhere. This fresh-faced young actor has graced our screens on shows like American Horror Story, Wet Hot American Summer, and Grey’s Anatomy. And if you’re a Geico commercial fan, you’ll remember him as the hilarious Peter Pan that drops in on his classmates’ high school reunion.
Most recently though, Barbusca’s been busy with his new hit comedy The Mick which is currently in its first season on Fox. I had a chance to chat with Barbusca about his role as the obnoxiously entitled yet always clever Chip Pemberton:
TARA MARTINEZ: You just wrapped season one of The Mick. How would you describe your overall experience this season?
THOMAS BARBUSCA: Oh man, it’s been the best experience of my life. Seriously. I’ve loved every single minute — just going to work every day, being on set. It’s only been less than a week, but I miss them all so much.
TM: How did the role of Chip Pemberton come to you? What can you tell me about your audition process?
TB: Well, I remember I had several auditions that week. I just got back from being in Atlanta for three months shooting a movie. I read the script and I laughed so much. I knew I would have fun with it. So, I went in to read for the producers and next thing I know, I was picked for the role.
TM: What is it about Chip that appeals to you? Is there anything about him that you relate to?
TB: No, I think we’re very opposite. Chip is very, very rude and entitled and I’m the opposite of that!
TM: But he’s also really clever at the same time, so that must be interesting to play…
TB: Right, he’s clever in, like, that kind of smart alec way. I don’t think I would take any of his qualities, but he sure is fun to play.
TM: So, what’s your favorite part about playing him?
TB: Alright, first of all, it’s so fun playing him because I get to play this entitled rich kid that is kind of bursting out in a way. He’s ridiculous and he’s fun. I mean, I never know what he’ll do and the writers just take him to the next level. I can’t wait to read the script each week to see what Chip is doing because each week it’s always something crazy and ridiculous.
TM: Have you gotten a script where you were like, ‘oh my gosh, I can’t believe that’s happening’?
TB: When we first starting doing The Mick, like the first couple of episodes, I was really surprised by some of the stuff because it was really outrageous and crazy like drowning my grandfather. I didn’t think that would ever be in the script. And then I just kind of got used to it over the last six months.
TM: What was your favorite scene to film this season?
TB: A few. I mean, shooting ‘The Master’ with Sofia [Black-D’Elia], like the sibling fight, that was really fun. We had like three days of rehearsal for that one scene. And in this next episode that’s coming up next week, ‘The Wolf’, I can’t tell you much about it but it’s really, really funny.
TM: So, you’ve talked about having lots of fun on set and that you miss your fellow castmates. What’s the atmosphere like on set from episode to episode?
TB: Everyone is genuinely happy to see each other every single day. We all get along really great; we talk and laugh and kid around. But then when it’s time to work, we all get together and make the best show possible.
TM: Over the span of your career so far, you’ve worked with a lot of different actors from different backgrounds. Is there anything you’ve learned from these experiences that you carry with you from project to project?
TB: Yeah, I mean, I just learn to stay humble and grounded and appreciate the work that comes my way. I hope I just get to grow as an actor from every experience.
TM: How were you first introduced to acting?
TB: My sister was an actress, she still is. She started young and I saw her doing it and I got jealous and I wanted to do it, too. And I love it.
TM: What is it that you experience while acting that makes you want to continue to do it?
TB: Just, like, working every single day and seeing all these talented actors, it just makes me want to get better and want to keep doing this for a really long time.
You can catch Thomas on The Mick which airs Tuesdays on Fox at 8:30p EST. Be sure to follow him on Twitter at @ThomasBarbusca.
Tara Martinez is a New York-based writer with a passion for pop culture and a penchant for analysis. She frequently covers film, television, and representations of women in the media.