Ed Weeks, one of Mindy Kaling’s co-stars on The Mindy Project, has a weightier role this season. Literally. The English actor, who plays Dr. Jeremy Reed, was the office lothario during Season 1, and that was pretty much the size of it. But now that Jeremy is in charge of the practice, stress has gotten the better of him and he has turned to American junk food. Suddenly, the character is packing an extra 15 pounds — and Weeks couldn’t be happier. “I love the new colors I’ve been able to play as Fat Jeremy,” he said recently at the Four Seasons in Irving during a publicity visit for The Mindy Project (8:30 p.m. Tuesday on Fox). “Now, as opposed to playing a Hugh Grant type, a one-dimensionally debonair cad, this character has vulnerability, which I think makes him more relatable.” More importantly, he’s just funnier this way.
1What brought you to the States to further your acting career?
I had been in London for about 10 years doing bit parts, nothing spectacular. I hit 30 and I thought, “I need to make something extraordinary happen.” So I summoned up enough courage to move to Los Angeles. I was a writer initially, with a script under my arm, which I sold to CBS, even though they didn’t move on with it. Then I started auditioning, using an unconvincing American accent. It didn’t work out until The Mindy Project. Mindy, who also created the show, wrote the part for an American actor. But when I auditioned, they let me do it British. Fortunately for me, they liked me.
2Have you always wanted to be in show business? When I was a kid, I would imagine I was the star of my own movie. I would even mock-up movie posters: “Starring Ed Weeks and written by Ed Weeks in an Ed Weeks production!”
3Mindy (who plays Mindy Lahiri, an OB/GYN with a complicated love life) seems willing to do anything for a laugh, no matter how foolish she looks. What do you think of her as a performer?
She is fearless. There was an episode in the first season where she was trying to get out of a beanbag chair. That’s all there was to it, just getting out of the chair, but she turned it into one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. She is a fantastic physical comedienne.
4What was your reaction when the producers asked you this season to gain weight for the role?
I told them that gaining the weight wouldn’t be a problem, but losing it later might be. So they put me in a onesie padded costume instead. Someone zips me into it every morning. It was very odd at first. But it’s great to be acting without having to worry about how I look.
5Was there any culture shock attached to moving to L.A.?
Just the driving. I never drove in England. I had to learn, which was a nightmare. It’s hard to learn a skill like that in your 30s. My car has many war wounds to show for it. But there have been no maimings.
— David Martindale, Special to the Star-Telegram