“I didn’t quite know how to play Michael until I went into the wardrobe department,” admits actor Ted Danson during our recent webcam chat (watch above) about his new NBC comedy series “The Good Place.” Upon taking the role of an architect in a place similar to heaven, he continues, “The costume designer for the show said, ‘You may want to look at these,’ and she brought out some bow ties made out of peacock feathers. Michael wears bow ties, and when I see a bow tie on somebody, that person is a certain way in my mind from then on. It is such a defining little article of clothing.”
Created by Michael Schur (“Parks and Recreation,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), the series is about a woman (Kristen Bell) who is killed on earth and wakes up in “The Good Place.” Danson plays her facilitator Michael, the architect of her new specially-designed neighborhood. He has been an apprentice for centuries, so this marks his first assignment in charge. What he doesn’t know is that Bell’s character Eleanor has been mixed up with someone else and she was supposed to be in “The Bad Place” instead.
Regarding the program, Danson says, “The fact that it’s funny but it’s about something at the same time with many twists and turns. It really is about what it means to be good or bad. Everything we do in life has a ripple effect that creates a certain amount of good or bad out in the universe.”
Danson is a television veteran who starred in the long-running NBC comedy “Cheers” from 1982 to 1993. He had 11 straight Emmy nominations for playing bar owner Sam Malone, winning for Best Comedy Actor in 1990 and 1993. His other career nominations were for the telefilm “Something About Amelia” (1984) and drama series “Damages” (2008, 2009, 2010). In addition, he won Golden Globes for the same telefilm and twice for “Cheers” (1990, 1991). Other series have included “Becker,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and “Fargo.”
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