Exclusive Interview with Sam Lloyd!
This week past we’ve seen a west coast tour of Australia by the the awesome OzComicCon! Now that we’ve covered the fantastic cosplayers here and here and it’s time to share the interviews we conducted with the special guests to our shore. First up is Sam Lloyd, known as the nervous lawyer Ted in Scrubs.
Here’s the audio, or read on!
NB: Don’t be alarmed by the sound of a shrieking child. The smallest Funk was making her first foray into journalism and was pretty excited by the faces Sam pulled during questions.
G-Funk: We’re at the Perth 2014 Oz Comic Con, we’re talking to Sam Lloyd from Scrubs and the band ‘The Blanks’. How are you, Sam?
Sam Lloyd: I’m quite well, how are you?
G: I’m really well as well! First time in Australia?
SL: Second time. The Blanks came out here and toured around about two years ago and did a bunch of cities and had a blast.
G: It’s quite a good place to visit.
SL: Yeah, it’s great!
G: Talking about Scrubs: you’ve got this real sad-sack character…is that you?
SL: Um…I like to think that it’s not me! In fact when people sometimes recognise me on the street they’ll actually go “Wow! What’s changed in your life! You look good!” They’ll say you look younger in person and “wow, it’s great to see you!” and they’re just shocked. I like to say that I have nothing in common with Ted except I don’t have hair and I sleep with my mother but other than that we’re totally different.
G: On the subject of your mother – this isn’t going to go anywhere weird – the photo of Ted’s mother in the show…that’s your mother, isn’t it?
SL: That’s absolutely right, it was my mom! It was really cool that they asked if they could use a picture of my mom and I jumped on that right away and I didn’t tell my mom about it…
SL: Yeah. When they used it she was really nicely framed in the picture behind me and she was so excited when she saw that.
G: So she watched the show?
SL: Yes, she did watch the show and talk about how Ted looked in the show. She would go “I saw it Sam, you don’t look well, what’s wrong?”
“Mom! They put pale make-up on me and put sweat on my face. I’m acting!”
“You just don’t look well.”
But, you know, parents just don’t understand.
G: It’s true. How much fake sweat did you go through to be Ted?
SL: It depended on the situation. Generally I’d have a sheen and it would work out well by the end. They would put on my base make-up, which was a pale make-up anyway, but they wouldn’t powder me. So after an hour or hour and a half it would have a nice sheen on it so that was ‘general Ted’. If he was in a situation that was particularly tension filled we’d start spraying the Evian on my face, or get some Vaseline and put in on. That was something I started in the very first episode of Scrubs, it was kinda my idea. He was speaking in front of these kids and he’s nervous, not a good public speaking, and that would be a nice touch. Little did I know that eight years later I’d still be sticking that stuff on my face and I’m like “WHAT DID I DO THAT FOR?!”
G: The character went from background to Kelso to an integral part of the show. How did that come about?
SL: I just kinda happened that way. Initially when Bill Lawrence said “do you want to do this…it’s in the pilot but it might be recurring…” When a producer tells you that you figure ‘I’m in the pilot’ because talk you cheap in that town, you know? He was a man to his word and as the show kept going they found more for Ted to do, so he grew in to that.
G: I looked at your filmography…you’ve been in EVERY sitcom!
SL: Yeah, I’ve been in just about all of them over the years. Quite a few. Some recurring and some guest stars. I’ve been really lucky to have worked with so many people and so many interesting people. And being on so many great shows.
G: Do you have a favourite out of those?
SL: Well, Seinfeld was one of my favourites. The character I did on Seinfeld I’d done in a play and done him in cabaret settings so I know that guy so well. When you’re a guest star on a show it’s a little tension filled because you’re not quite part of the group. When you’re doing a three-camera show in front of a live audience you have to run through the show for the producers every day. If you’re not on a day you’re line is gone for the next one. So it’s always tension filled, and that show in particular because they were rewriting constantly and there were always plates in the air for that show. But I knew that character so well that I didn’t get nervous, so I just had fun when I was Seinfeld. It was good.
G: It sounds like being a guest star is a lot more work than it looks.
SL: Oh, it is. Actually, in most cases, when you have less lines it’s harder because there’s more attention on that one line. I’ve been on shows where a person has one line and they’re more apt to blow that then if they had twenty. For an actor that’s kinda true, because you have one shot to hit the ball and if you don’t have a solid hit, like I said, they’ll just cut it. You’re coming of the bench, here’s my analogy, you better heat up fast because you don’t have time to get hot. You have to come out hot right when you do it.
G: Do you have the urge to overact when you have the one line, really throw yourself in?
SL: That’s the rub, because the good ones won’t do that. You have to make it look like you’re not trying. There’s a great story about an actor being on stage and he’s got a line like “pass the salt”. One day he does it and it gets a huge laugh. The next day when the line comes up in the same show the actor goes “CAN I HAVE…THE SALT?!” and there’s no laugh. The actor goes “I don’t know what happened, I didn’t get the laugh this time.” The wise actor will say “next time don’t ask for the laugh, ask for the salt” and that’s the trick. If you try to hard the audience knows and they won’t laugh.
G: That’s cool. You have your band ‘The Blanks’. What comes first: The Blanks or acting?
SL: Actually The Blanks came first for about three, four years after Scrubs but now over the last year and a half the acting comes first. I haven’t been in town and now I’m available and hopefully land something soon.
G: I’m getting the signal here…you know, the twirly finger (the lovely publicists telling us to wrap it up)?
SL: Oh yes, the old twirly finger. Wrap it up?
G: There’s a strange looking guy looking for an autograph…
SL: Very strange.
G: (To autograph seeker) Hello Dan. (To Sam) I’d keep away from him.
SL: Not the guy in the phone box over there (gesturing to a fan wearing a TARDIS).
G: No, he’s normal compared to this guy. I’ll let you get back to our fans. It was cool talking to you!
SL: Awesome, it was very nice talking to you!
G: Thank you!
We had a great time hanging out with Sam during the Con, and we hope lots of visitors took the chance to drop in to his booth. Check in soon for our chat with his Scrubs co-star Robert Maschio AKA THE TODD!