Credit: Jason Merritt, Getty Images Photo: Chris Bauer at True Blood Season 5 Premiere Party

Chris Bauer is on the East Coast for once, earning rave reviews in the off-Broadway play What Rhymes in America — in which he portrays a divorcé interacting with three women: his daughter, his friend, and his crush. He describes the story as “full of grief and intense desire for connection and people’s best attempts to live the life they feel they deserve.”

But he also talked to Broadway.com about his role as the lovable, occasionally-nude Sheriff Andy Bellefleur.

“I had no idea where the show or Andy was going to go,” he says. “Like everybody else, the only material I had was the pilot script. My wife [costume designer Laura Bauer], interestingly enough, was the one who said, ‘You have to do this show. This show’s going to be a hit.’”

Chris says that while Andy “started off one-note,” he’s enjoyed his character’s trajectory so far, especially now that Andy is a father of supernatural babies.

And what’s been the most outrageous moment on set? “From my perspective—I’m 46 years old—the craziest thing they asked me to do was take off my clothes. Especially with some of those guys I work with; you almost want to poke your finger in them to see if they’re actually computer generated, because they’re just these genetic specimens. So it was a little crazy. I doubled up on the physical trainer and cut out the carbs.”

But as much craziness as his role requires, he does have his boundaries, including acting out any scenes that involve harm to children. (And the interviewers notes that he made these comments before the Newtown, Conn., tragedy.)

“There was a scene in True Blood where I was addicted to vampire blood; I pull up to this shack in the cop car, screaming and running around, and there was this five-year-old boy, an extra, who didn't know that was going to happen. He burst into tears and got so upset. I walked up to him and said, ‘You know this is all pretend, and this is going to be a really fun day. Watch me: Next time I’m going to scream even louder.’ It actually turned into kind of a fun little connection.”

Hmm, forget America — what rhymes with “awesome human being”?

Source: Broadway.com

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