James Marsden Recalls ‘Bizarre Experience’ Serving on Jury Duty When Lawyer Praised His Work Mid-Trial
James Marsden had quite the unique experience serving on jury duty.
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE about his new Amazon Freevee series Jury Duty, the 49-year-old actor discussed his own real life experience serving on the jury of a Los Angeles court.
“I just served once before and it was a bizarre experience because it was here in L.A., and I walked into the courtroom and there was a wall of headshots of actors who have served jury duty before — in a government building!” said Marsden, who plays a heightened version of himself and a member of the jury in the new docu-style comedy.
“I was thinking in my mind, ‘Well, if anybody recognizes me, then maybe I would be a distraction,'” he added during his PEOPLE in 10 interview. “I don’t know. I wasn’t really trying to get off jury duty.”
To Marsden’s surprise, he ultimately did become a distraction in the courthouse when one of the lawyers took a moment to praise his work in the middle of the trial.
“One of the lawyers’ opening arguments – in the middle of an opening argument, he turned to me and he goes, ‘And I’ve loved everything you’ve done,'” Marsden recalled, adding that the trial was for “an eviction case or something.”
He joked that the interaction made him want to say, “Judge, I should go,” but then remembered how “it was a courthouse with a wall full of headshots so, they’re gonna love that.”
While the lawyer may have been impressed by Marsden’s long list of credits — which includes films like The Notebook, Enchanted, Hairspray, X-Men and Sonic the Hedgehog 2, as well as TV series Dead to Me and Westworld — Marsden’s three kids are less than impressed by it, the actor previously told PEOPLE.
“My kids have always been in the best way, kind of wonderfully underwhelmed with what I do,” he joked in February. “They think it’s cool and they’re proud of me, but… I’m Dad. They like to me to be Dad.”
However the Dead to Me star — who shares son Jack, 22, and daughter Mary, 17, with ex-wife Lisa Linde, and son William, 10, with ex Rose Costa — said at least one of his kids is interested in following his footsteps into show business.
“My daughter has [expressed interest], but my boys, not yet. Not so far,” Marsden shared. “My daughter is a very, very talented young lady, and so we’ll see. We’ll see. I wouldn’t discourage them for sure.”