John Stamos – New Kid in ER
by Deborah Wagner
Originally posted on December 10, 2006.
For John Stamos, a two-episode gig on ER last season has turned into somewhat of a re-birth for his career. Now a full time cast member, Stamos has breathed some new life and enthusiasm into the award-winning hospital drama; which is in its thirteenth season. Stamos is also branching out in his roles, showing us a little more of himself in other recent parts like A&E’s TV movie Wedding Wars.
Stamos has undoubtedly grown and matured into a pretty fine actor since first debuting on General Hospital as Blackie Parrish back in 1981. Now with Full House’s Uncle Jesse and the mullet far in his past, this 43 year-old actor is busier than ever, without a lot of down time between shooting ER, making movies, specials and continuing to rock on his side gig as sometime drummer with the Beach Boys.
With an impressive career that has spanned over 25 years, Stamos has mastered many avenues of entertainment. However, in spite of the attention and acclaim (and being voted People’s Sexiest Man Alive), Stamos doesn’t let it go to his head. He’s funny, friendly, talented and enjoying the fruits of a long, successful career.
Hi John, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me.
Where are you?
I am in Philadelphia.
Ohhhhhh… the home of Bob Saget!
Yes, the home of Bob Saget. (Laughs) Actually, I live in Abington which I believe is where he grew up.
Oh really? You know, you guys should erect some kind of sign or something as you drive in saying “Bob Saget Country.”
How about Sagetville? We’ll just change the name from Abington to Sagetville?
(Laughs) Yeah, Sagetville. That’s funny. That would be perfect!
Actually, his picture is up in my favorite Chinese Restaurant.
Oh really, WOW! Fascinating. (Laughs) What is this interview for?
This is for PopEntertainment.com. It’s a web magazine. And we have hundreds of different interviews on there including a few past and present ER cast member stories.
Are you guys fans of ER?
Very cool. So, what do you want to talk about?
I guess we’ll start way, way back…. You obviously started as an actor on General Hospital playing Blackie Parrish.
Oh God, how long ago was that? 25 years ago, I think.
Yeah, it was. It’s often said that soaps are stepping stones and great training for actors. Do you feel you learned a lot about acting from the show?
I did, yeah. First and foremost you learn discipline. You’ve got to be there everyday and there‘s a lot of dialogue. When the character started to get popular, I was learning 30 pages a day of dialogue or something. You’d have to go through every emotion in one hour; sad, mad, crying, up and down, all over. So, for that it was good. I was very fortunate to break out and do other things. I think it can get detrimental if you stay on those shows too long… but I did learn a lot.
Another early role for you was Full House which was a light comedy. Now, you are doing serious drama. Which one is more of a challenge for you as an actor?
Well, somebody in a movie said that dying is easy, comedy is hard. Comedy is really hard. It was hard maybe coming off of Jake in Progress, which I did last year [and going straight to ER.] The Tony Gates character has a sense of humor which I really like. I think one of my jobs on ER is to add a little levity to the show. But, they are both hard and they’re both challenging.
What’s it like entering an award winning TV drama already in its thirteenth season, and you’re the new guy in town?
Ahhhh yeah… The NFG is what they called me for awhile.
The NFG, huh?
Yeah, the New F-in’ Guy. (laughs) You know it’s really been a highlight of my career. It’s hands down – and I hate to sound, whatever – but it’s my favorite job I’ve ever had. I love it. They were great. I came into it hopefully with a humble eye and someone who wanted to learn and kinda play by the way they work – which coincided with the way I like to work, so it was just kind of a natural fit. One of the things that I am most proud of on that show is how when I see it I look like I don’t stick out. I think I do fit in. It was just the right time for me to be in the show. So it’s all been a great experience.