Brian Van Holt Feels 'Blessed' to Direct Matthew Perry in 'Cougar Town'
Brian Van Holt hit the jackpot when he was cast as freeloadin', beer-swillin' Bobby Cobb, the full-on Floridian ex-husband of Jules (Courteney Cox) in everyone's favorite wine-soaked comedy, "Cougar Town."
Fans of the cult hit were stoked when the show found a second life on TBS after ABC let Cox and her talented friends go (because ABC is really great at nurturing offbeat half-hour shows). The move to cable has been good for the cul-de-sac comedy, which becomes paradoxically zanier and more grounded every week. Where else can a mother-son shower sex snafu be played for slapstick comedy and earnest familial pathos? Ah, Florida.
This week Van Holt hits two more jackpots: He directs the episode — awesome! — and the episode features a "Friends" reunion with guest star Matthew Perry — more awesome! Van Holt is grateful to have been at the helm of this action-packed episode wherein Jules gets into a fender-bender with Sam (Perry). The two go on a date, which is awkward given that Jules is, you know, married to Grayson (Josh Hopkins).
We talked to Van Holt about drinking, directing, and dancing. Drink up, read on.
So, what came first, the beard or the directing gig?
There's a little gray area. There was some time between scenes. I haven't seen the first episode, but my friend said there were going to be some scenes where the beard was longer or shorter and that they might not match. I grew the beard for a film, to be honest.
Let's talk about your episode. How did you like directing?
I really loved it. It's a lot of work, for sure, and there was definitely some pressure, but I found that I was really happy and I really enjoyed directing. You don't really sleep, and your brain is constantly moving and very active. I actually really enjoyed it.
And you got to take on some good action. A car accident!
We had a car accident. We had snow in Florida, a doppelganger, and a flash mob. We had a lot going on in the episode.
Is there a particular scene that you're most excited about?
Well, I had to direct a flash mob scene. And I've never even been involved in one of those, never directed anything like that. I think that was probably the most exciting scene.
What song was everyone dancing to?
It was "Hooked on a Feeling."
Nice. "Cougar Town" always nails it with the references. Does Courteney dance?
She might. I don't want to give it away.
And you have Matthew Perry. How was it working with him?