Actor Ryan Cartwright has worked with actors such as Jon Hamm and Ed Helms, but none of those experiences compare to the one he is having right now with Kevin James on “Kevin Can Wait.” Cartwright plays Chale, Kevin’s son-in-law on the CBS program and the interactions between the two are both funny and awkward at the same time.
Cartwright spoke to CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about his time on “Kevin Can Wait”, transitioning from British television to American television and explains how he and James have established such impeccable chemistry.
DJ Sixsmith: What has it been like working with the cast of Kevin Can Wait?
Ryan Cartwright: It’s great! It’s funny because I always wanted to get a little job in New York. I’m based in Los Angeles and I’m from England. I grew up seeing the beaches of LA in the movies I watched. I hadn’t really spent any time in New York. I’ve been in LA for 12 years and I was always wishing that I would get a little part that would bring me to New York for a weekend or a week or two. Then I got this part and then I found out I would be in New York for eight months out of the year! I got exactly what I wished for. The city is amazing. I didn’t realize how far out Long Island is from the city. It’s like a whole different world out there. Everyone on the show is a blast, its super fun. Kevin James acts and writes the show. When the writers say good bye to us, they go straight back into the writer’s room and they are up until 2 or 3 am.
DS: You play Kevin James’s son in law Chale in the show. How would you describe your experience working alongside Kevin James?
RC: He’s great. I notice whenever we get the new script, there is a perfect awkwardness in the scenes that are written for me and Kevin. We keep that awkwardness going in our relationship on set as well. We laugh and joke, but I don’t think we’ve had a single hand shake that’s worked out perfectly. I think if we can keep it awkward in real life, than we can keep our on-screen relationship fresh as well.
DS: You are originally from England. What is the biggest difference between British television and American television?
RC: I think it is similar now. When I left the U.K., there wasn’t British TV that was seen in the United States apart from the British Office and that was back when only DVD’s would travel to the states. Now, 12 years later you see everything. There are so many channels. Part of the golden age of TV is that America imports so much more from the U.K. and there are so many more US/UK co-productions. The sitcoms in England have much smaller writer rooms still and do only 6-10 episodes a year.
DS: You’ve been on a lot of different television and movie sets. What makes “Kevin Can Wait” special and different from other sitcoms?
RC: I think the whole Long Island element. It’s not just where Kevin is from, but his family is out there and his brother is out there. The show has a very communal feel to it. There will be references to things in the script that I don’t get, but our audience in Long Island gets it.
DS: What can viewers expect for the rest of the season from you and Kevin?
RC: Kevin and I will continue to have really good back and forth. There is a fun episode coming up where we go on a little road trip and it’s like “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” We have to get along and at the same time achieve the same goal. That episode felt perfect. It was pretty easy to make him feel uncomfortable in that episode. It’s a good little adventure for the two of us.
Catch the newest episode of “Kevin Can Wait” tonight in it’s new time at 8pm EST on CBS & CBS All Access.