A Minute With: Fred Savage and "best friends forever"

Wed Apr 4, 2012 8:29am EDT
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - In the late 1980s, Fred Savage burst onto U.S. television screens as plucky grade school kid Kevin Arnold in "The Wonder Years" becoming a bona fide star and Emmy award nominee.

Unlike many kids who find stardom early, Savage kept a cool head when it came to fame. He stayed away from Hollywood's party scene, went to Stanford and returned not so much an actor as a director and producer. The kid had matured.

Savage, now 35-years-old, debuts a new TV sitcom, "best friends forever," on Wednesday on NBC telling of a New York woman in her early 30s (Lennon Parham) whose best friend and former roommate (Jessica St. Clair) gets divorced and moves back into their old apartment, which she now shares with her boyfriend (Luka Jones).

Savage, the show's director and executive producer, spoke with Reuters about his new show and life outside the acting spotlight.

Q: You're the executive producer and the director which leads me to think you're pretty closely involved with the show, but was it your creation?

A: "It's very much Lennon and Jess's baby. They came up with the idea ... I met with them, and I felt very connected to the material. I had experienced all those things. My wife has an incredibly close best friend. When I was coming into our relationship, I was the interloper. I was the new guy, so I really identified with (the boyfriend). You love this woman and you have to learn how to love everybody who comes with her if you want your relationship to succeed."

Q: And how did you adjust to your own, new life?

A: "It's hard. My journey was very much like Joe's (the boyfriend) and we'll explore Joe's reaction through the first episode. There's all sorts of stages. There's competition and that will never work because competing puts your loved one in the middle. There's shutting them out, but you can't shut them out because they're asking you to choose, and there's rationalization ... but then at the end of the day, acceptance is the best way. Once you succumb to that, you realize how much richer everything is."   Continued...

Actress Maggie Lawson (L) and actor Fred Savage (R), stars of the ABC television comedy series "Crumbs", answer questions from television critics during the ABC Summer press tour hosted by the Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills July 26, 2005. REUTERS/Fred Prouser