During our recent webcam chat with Denis Leary (watch below), the creator and star of “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” discusses how it was always in the back of his mind “to do a show about rock and roll.” He got the idea for the specific premise while on a comedy tour to promote “Rescue Me.” He remembers that everyone in his band “started getting sick of each other,” which inspired the idea of “a band that never made it, but are all co-dependent on each other.”
The new comedy series, which premiered on FX on July 16, stars Leary as Johnny Rock, the lead singer of a punk rock band called the Heathens that broke up in the 1990s, mostly due to Johnny’s drug use and narcissism. But Johnny discovers he has a daughter, Gigi (Elizabeth Gillies), who wants to make it in the music business, prompting him to get the old band back together.
The show could be a big player at next year’s Emmy Awards in comedy categories, but it would not be the first go-round for Leary. He’s been nominated for four trophies during his career: Best Drama Writing for “Rescue Me” in 2005, Best Drama Actor for “Rescue Me” in 2006 and 2007 and Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Recount” in 2008.
But Leary has no hard feelings about never winning. He wears the title of Emmy-loser with pride. He enjoys events like the Golden Globes and the Emmys nevertheless and feels grateful for the recognition because it can attract new viewers to his work.
The 2008 Emmys were especially memorable for him. Leary and his “Recount” co-star Kevin Spacey (who was nominated for Best Movie/Mini Actor) took a cigarette break, and on the way out they passed a room with “literally 60 Emmys” displayed on a table. Leary joked to Spacey that since the trophies weren’t engraved, they could both grab one, sneak out the back and have their drivers pick them up. He didn’t go through with it, of course, but he sometimes wishes he had, especially when he’s at the house of five-time winner Michael J. Fox and Fox won’t even let him borrow one.
Below: Watch our complete interview with Leary, then use the easy drag-and-drop menu to tell us what you think will win Best Comedy Actor this year.
Experts Emmy predictions: All 32 categories
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