How Not Taking Himself Seriously Landed James Marsden in Emmy Contention
‘Tis the season again for FYC events, stunts and promos but it’s all new for James Marsden.
The veteran actor turned up in Studio City on June 14 to stand on Laurel Canyon Boulevard in front of a taco truck to greet fans and speak to press about his Freevee series Jury Duty.
A traveling taco truck is just one of the many FYC offerings that have rolled across Los Angeles in recent weeks, among them Peacock’s “BLSHT Day” (allowing consumers to score Poker Face-themed items at various shops), Max’s Barry stunt at Canter’s Deli (Henry Winkler handing out pastrami and reuben sandwiches), Hulu’s Yeastie Boys collaboration for Only Murders in the Building (bagels rebranded in honor of characters played by Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez). Up next: Netflix will mount its first-ever restaurant, a Los Angeles pop-up that will feature chefs Curtis Stone, Dominique Crenn, Ming Tsai, Nadiya Hussain, Ann Kim, Rodney Scott, Jacques Torres and Andrew Zimmern.
“I’ve never been in this conversation so it’s not a typical tour that I’m used to,” Marsden told The Hollywood Reporter of the FYC swirl with the hum of Laurel Canyon traffic in the air. “It makes it so much more fun to do this type of stuff. Promoting projects can sometimes be a slog, especially if you don’t like the project. I’ve been really lucky over the years that it’s usually something I’m proud of, and [Jury Duty] was a completely different experience. I’ve never been a part of something that has gone as meteoric as quickly as this thing has. TikTok grabbed it, and we got to witness the power of that engine.”
Marsden then connected the dots from TikTok to how he landed smack dab in the middle of Emmy campaigning. “Now we’re here on the side of the road selling tacos, which, yeah, doesn’t sound like a success story but it is,” he said, laughing. “Whatever speaks to the audience and the fans, it will work. We’re here just hanging out with people who love the show, and there’s an element of fun to it. It doesn’t have to be stiff, sit-down dinners with name cards. You can have that as well, but this event speaks to the tone of what we were doing with the show: flying by the seat of our pants with our fingers crossed hoping that it would work.”
Jury Duty, created by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, follows the inner workings of a jury trial through the eyes of juror Ronald Gladden, a solar contractor from San Diego, who is unaware that his jury duty summons was not official, and that everyone in the courtroom aside from him is an actor. Marsden stars as himself, but a fictionalized version.
“There’s a whole element of this that is me not taking myself too seriously and being able to make fun of myself and lampoon ‘the Hollywood entitled actor,’” he explained. “I just think it’s hilarious and it was so much fun for me to dive into, especially for a show like this where you’re supposed to act like no one is looking — he says with a laugh.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter