John Ross Bowie Q&A: ‘Speechless’

“Cerebral palsy means a lot of things to a lot of different people,” explains John Ross Bowie about what he’s been learning from his work on the show “Speechless.” For the ABC comedy, Bowie’s character Jimmy DiMeo is married to Maya (Minnie Driver), and they have son J.J. (Micah Fowler), a victim of cerebral palsy. In our recent webchat (watch the exclusive video above), he adds, “It’s a huge vast community. Whenever I go anywhere now, I look at the accessibility issues of the place. I think, ‘How would we get Micah in here?’ That’s something that would never have crossed my mind 14 months ago.”

He says that “Jimmy is so cool and unflappable. It’s fun to pretend for 23 weeks that I’m this guy that lets things slide and doesn’t sweat the small stuff.  That coolness Jimmy has is not me, and its really fun to explore and try to find the part of myself that can do that. He’s not concerned with other people’s opinions and not concerned with pet worries.”

Bowie has a background in improv with the UCB. Bringing those skills to “Speechless” he says that “we don’t have a ton of time to do improv and the scripts are really good. The main thing that improv helps with is listening, and noticing tiny little changes in performance, and staying in the moment. What improv should give you is the ability to hang on every word and listen like it’s the first time you are hearing it.”

He was recently joined by his old improv buddy, Rob Corrdry, who guest starred in the Thanksgiving episode playing Jimmy’s insensitive brother. Bowie reveals, “I’ve known Rob for more than 20 years. He was the best man at my wedding. It was really fun to have him on set and we played a lot on that scene. Watching Rob play a tone deaf douchbag is like watching Van Goh paint a landscape. I hope we get to see my brother again.”

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UPLOADED May 17, 2017 8:50 am