Fred Savage might be one of the more beloved former child stars out there. And though some shows generate plenty of behind the scenes gossip, Savage promises that his years as Kevin Arnold on “The Wonder Years” would generate no such sordid tales.
“It would be a lot of scenes of actors learning their lines and going to bed on time and going to school and making sure you can do the show and prepare for your AP exams at school,” explains Savage of any potential behind the scenes TV movie. “A lot of filling out of college applications.”
He’s set to return to TV in a regular acting role for the first time in a long time with “The Grinder,” a comedy where he plays brother to Rob Lowe. Lowe’s character is a TV actor whose longrunning lawyer procedural (the titular “Grinder”) has just come to an end, and he decides that the best thing to do next is move home and help his little brother (Savage) out with his law practice. It might be odd to think of Savage as the non-Hollywood brother, considering he was a child star, but Savage says that’s not really the case.
“I like to think of myself as not so Hollywood, and I think it helps being next to Rob Lowe, because compared to Rob, I’m not Hollywood at all. It’s as odd as playing any character who’s a little different from yourself,” he explains.
Savage’s character, Stewart, is the straight man for much of the pilot, since he can’t believe people respond so well to Lowe’s fake lawyer jumping into the courtroom, which may be a highly unrealistic, but which Savage says is grounded in reality. “All of us at some point in our lives, and I know me for sure, feel like we’re the only one who knows what’s going on and can’t believe everyone else is along for the ride,” he says. “It’s fun to exercise that muscles. Hopefully people kind of see themselves in Stewart.”
Though he’s staying focused on “The Grinder” right now, Savage is very aware of the current craze for reviving older properties, which he says he understands.
“We all have our favorite media moments. Shows that we’re nostalgic for and love, shows that we loved and might be embarrassed to admit that we love, and the fact that now that now there’s more outlets than ever to produce really excellent content, I think is terrific,” he says. “It gives people who pine for those shows or movies or things they loved growing up – there’s a chance to revisit them again.”
And will we see a certain former “Wonder Years” co-star appearing on the show?
“Danica [McKellar] is so good at so many things and being a comedic actress is one of the things she’s better than just about everyone at,” says Savage. “She’d be a great attorney. She’s serious, she argues well, she’s focused. I don’t think there’s plans right now, but I think we’d be lucky to have someone like Danica on the show.”