Hank Azaria Interview: ‘Brockmire’
“It’s kind of the point,” is how Hank Azaria describes being able to find endearing qualities about Jim Brockmire through his pleasant voice despite his awful characteristics during our recent chat (watch the exclusive video above). “That’s one of the comedic premises is that no matter how off you are going, no matter how sick you are or crazy or awful — if you sound like that and then give the count afterwards, you kind of get away with it.”
On “Brockmire” for IFC, Azaria portrays a baseball announcer who is looking to claw his way up back to the big leagues after an on-air meltdown, but finds his alcohol and drug addiction often getting in the way. Azaria could find his way into the Best Comedy Actor category as he is an Emmy favorite with six wins already under his belt. He’s won four for “The Simpsons” in the Best Voice-Over Performance category (1998, 2001, 2003 and 2015), Best Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Tuesdays with Morrie” in 2000 and Best Drama Guest Actor for “Ray Donovan” in 2016.
Azaria also discusses with us that there’s a good amount of his own life that he uses to channel a character like Jim Brockmire. “I have an ex-wife, some difficult family members, I know what it’s like to have really rough times where you lean too heavily on drugs and alcohol and the intended misery and fun that goes along with it.” But he also relates to Brockmire as someone who uses and is known so well for their distinctive voice. “I know what it’s like to be a vocal person and feel separate from people who thing they know who you are.”
But Azaria also shares some of Brockmire’s more endearing qualities such as his passion for baseball along with other sports. But he’s also found that as he’s gotten older that there’s another aspect of sports that he’s grown to appreciate. “Maybe equally or more than I love sports, I love sports analysis, sports talk and sports commentary. The show is not just a love letter to baseball but to the people that talk about it,” he says. He elaborated that one of the amazing things that he’s gotten to experience in doing this show is getting to know some of the people in that field that he admires including titans of the industry like Bob Costas and Joe Buck.