When Marry Me premiered on NBC in the fall of 2014, it quickly became the new favorite quirky comedy from David Caspe, the creator of Happy Endings. Starring Casey Wilson and Ken Marino, Marry Me is the very sweet and very funny journey of one couple to finally making it to the altar. Nerdist had the opportunity to speak with Marino about his role on the show, his perfect chemistry with his co-stars and, of course, the upcoming Wet Hot American Summer series coming to Netflix.
The day I visited the set of Marry Me, the Wet Hot American Summer Netflix prequel was not only announced but it was confirmed that everyone from the original cult favorite would be returning. I had to ask Marino if he was excited. While he wasn’t able to reveal much, he did tell me, “Yes, it’s really cool. I’m really excited about it. I’m very excited about it. But I can tell you that it’s – if you heard it was a prequel then I can say… from what I’m to understand it’s a prequel. I don’t know what I’m supposed to say about it! I just don’t want to – I know that Dave for a while was like, ‘Don’t make the announcement because nothing’s official,’ but they’re shooting. I’m excited too and I’m thrilled that everyone’s back because half the people became huge movie stars!”
For Marino, it was surprising that he and his TV wife, SNL alum Casey Wilson, had never extensively worked together before, something he was excited to rectify. “We’ve worked with mutual friends and we were kind of part of the same comedy community and we did work, she was nice enough to do a small thing on Burning Love and I did a part on Happy Endings, you know, one episode where we went on a date, so we worked a little bit together… but we never got to work together so this was kind of a dream come true because I’ve always thought that she was super funny and loved her on Happy Endings and I’ve seen her do stuff with June who is her writing partner and they also perform together sometimes and I’ve worked with June on Burning Love so it was nice to meet the other half of that team and work with Casey because Casey’s just so talented.” Marino continued, “We have a lot of fun together so it’s nice and I think because we work with a lot of the same people it’s odd that we haven’t worked together because I think we sort of energy and sense of what’s funny in comedy and stuff like that.”
For fans of Marino, it would appear that his character Jake is a departure from the roles that he is best known for, like Ron Donald in Party Down or Victor Kulak in Wet Hot. Was it a challenge for him to take on the part of the straight man? Said Marino, “I have played a lot of a**holes in the past and a lot of jerks and a lot of bigger characters, absolutely, so it was nice to have the opportunity to play this part which is more of an every man, good guy, loves his finance. He’s not a terrible human being. Was it a challenge? I don’t know. I’d think of myself as a good guy so I just try to tap into who I am but Jake and myself are a little different. I know Jake in the script is 6’1, I’m 6 foot, so I have to act an inch taller which is hard because sometimes when I act too hard I’m 6’3 and directors come in and I have to act less and I’m 5’8 and I’m not acting enough and it’s a whole thing.” He explained, “It’s fun to be a straight man. When you work with someone like Casey or John Gemberling, you’re not necessarily responsible to nail the jokes. You’re the person sometimes who is just setting it up and that’s fun. It’s equally as getting the joke… I enjoy that. I enjoy playing the straight man or reacting to someone’s zaniness or craziness and I also enjoy the other side of it, the kind of being the odd one in the room and so David [Caspe] has found a nice balance to that and has been kind enough to give both of those things to the character of Jake.”
Catch up on season one of Marry Me on NBC.com! New episodes, starring Casey Wilson, Ken Marino, John Gemberling, Sarah Wright, Tymberlee Hill, Tim Meadows, Dan Bucatinsky and JoBeth Williams, premiere Tuesday nights on NBC.