When “Parenthood” (Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on NBC) viewers haven’t been crying over Kristina’s devastating breast cancer, they’ve been caught up in the budding love triangle between Sarah (Lauren Graham), her fiance Mark (Jason Ritter) and her photographer boss Hank (Ray Romano).
After a darkroom kiss — which Hank initiated, but Sarah didn’t stop — she can’t sleep and has decided to move herself and her high schooler son Drew (Miles Heizer) in with Mark. In the upcoming episode, “I’ll Be Right Here,” Drew’s not happy about the move and Sarah opens up to her brother Adam (Peter Krause) about the kiss.
Below, Graham discusses her excitement about working with Romano — whom she knows from their early days — and Romano opens up about improv-ing with Graham, playing Ritter’s rival and when everything will blow up in their faces.
Lauren, what was your reaction when you found out that there would be a character coming in between Sarah and Mark?
Graham: Well, I can just tell you that I had heard that Ray and Jason Katims [the show's creator and executive producer] had been talking and I jumped on that bandwagon too. I very much wanted Ray to be on the show and very much wanted to work with him. I didn’t really know what that would look like, but I was a huge fan of “[Everybody Loves] Raymond,” but also “Men of a Certain Age” and I knew he could do something really interesting and that this show would be a really good place for him. Sarah is sort of a character where every year, at the end of the year, I’m like, “What’s going to happen next year?” I’m sort of untethered in a way that sometimes feels bad. I’m the only one that doesn’t have a set family unit in a way so I rely on a new character like that to move things forward and I knew he would be amazing and I was right.
Romano: And just a little tidbit is our paths crossed in New York at The Improv.
Graham: That’s right! [Laughs.] Well, our paths have crossed in so many ways, but I was a cocktail waitress at the comedy club The Improv when Ray was just kind of starting out.
Romano: Yeah. It was about two or three years in, when I was just starting stand-up.
Graham: So that’s where it all began. [Laughs.]