Eric Stonestreet Interviews
You’ve said before that you base Cameron off of your own mother; what’s your fondest memory of her where you think, “That’s a Cameron moment?”
There’s a single moment in the pilot episode where it was this inspiration. When I walk in and see the mural that’s panted (in Lily’s featuring Mitchell and Cameron as Michaelangelo-esque naked angels with carefully placed drapery). The script said, “Cameron gasps” but all I could hear was my mom. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard my mother say, “Ohhh, my God.” I told my mom you’re gonna be happy to know that I got the part, and that I based it off you and there was that “Ohhh, my God!!” It’s not as much based on her, it’s just an anchor in something that’s familiar. Lots of actors do that with characters. She was the easiest and most forward thing in my mind, her mannerisms and her body language.
Soon we get to see Cameron show his skills as a clown, which I understand taps into your background.
I wanted to be a clown as a kid. That’s very well documented, you’ll even see some old pictures of me. By 5 I was wearing clown shoes and makeup. My birthday is in September, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey always came to town. I was always fascinated by clowns. When it was explained to me that they were people in makeup, it made perfect sense to me. That’s what I wanted to do.
There has already been an impressive stable of guest stars with Shelley Long, Edward Norton (appearing with Elizabeth Banks in tonight’s episode) and now Minnie Driver. Who’s on your wish list?
If I could pick one person to play Cameron’s mom, my dream would be Kathy Bates. Her as my mom from the farm and being the loving supporting mom would be incredible. I have no idea if TV is on Kathy Bates’ radar. They are so good to get great people. But I hope they keep finding great unknown people. I can sympathize with them. Going out for roles and not getting them in favor of someone more famous. That was me eight months ago.
On whether he expected the show to be so successful: No. I had a very, very good idea that based on the writers’ history and their very extensive careers that we had a really, really good shot at being something great. Anybody that tells you in this business they knew it was going to be this well-received is crazy. Actually, being this well-received makes you a little nervous.
On what’s next for Cameron, Mitchell, and baby Lily: We have an episode coming up where we’re Ferberizing the baby when she won’t go to sleep, and Mitchell is very much committed to letting her cry it out, and Cameron of course can’t for the life of him imagine why you would let a baby cry it out like that, so there’s drama there. It’s what’s great about the show — yeah, they’re a couple of guys raising a baby, but the focus really on that relationship is the challenges of a relationship, the challenges of parenthood, and just trying to find the happy medium of keeping up a relationship while raising a kid.
[image source: Getty]