Daniel Stewart Sherman, who plays Jeremy on AMC’s Lodge 49, talks about how “adorkable” his character is and shooting the Human Chess scene.
Q: What was it about this role that spoke to you?
A: I knew that Jeremy was a manager who runs this restaurant that was kind of like a Hooters-style restaurant. When I first saw the character, I thought of how this type of character is usually portrayed as a sleazebag – takes advantage of his power, drinks too much, hits on the girls – and that wasn’t this guy at all. He’s really just a working father and husband who is trying to make a living. That’s what was so great about him. I want him to be as loveable as possible – and I think that’s what he wants in life. He’s kind of like a buffoon. A loveable buffoon. There’s this great word that floats around in my vocabulary, which is “adorkable.”
Q: From Shamroxx to Higher Steaks, Jeremy has made quite the transition from Season 1 to Season 2. How’s he handling these changes…besides physically sweating through it all?
A: I think change, in general, is scary to him. It’s scary to me, too. [Laughs] It throws a wrench into his daily existence. So, when Shamroxx suddenly goes down, there’s a moment of “what’s going to happen next?” The corporation sends him over to this other place, so there’s a little bit of comfort in that, and yet he’s still freaking out because it’s not where he’s been. It’s a new venue, there are new prices, the clientele is different and he has to put on a different approach with everything – even having to interview Liz because that’s protocol. And then of course, amid the craziness, he ends up getting demoted. [Laughs] In a way, it’s good for him because it takes the pressure off. I think he’s afraid that he’ll lose his job completely if he messes up.
Q: How have you enjoyed building the bond/camaraderie between Jeremy, Liz, Gerson and Champ?
A: That’s the best part of going to work. It’s effortless. I do many takes where I’m just trying not to laugh. The episode where Liz makes her speech off the cuff, if you look at me, you can see me applauding and dropping my head down because I personally am laughing. It’s so much fun because we’ve got all these great ideas and we just try things. You get to explore with these people. It’s so fun.
Q: What keeps Jeremy and Liz in the same orbit? Why do you think she brings him so much comfort?
A: I think it’s more than just a crush. He’s able to hang out with her along with the guys. He considers her a friend and, in many ways, a rock. He always looks at her like the Everest that he’ll never be able to climb, but at the same time, he loves admiring the mountain. In the meantime, he enjoys the bond that they have with the guys and the fact that it’s in their work environment. When he gets frustrated, she grounds him. She always calms him down and she doesn’t even have to try hard.
Q: Higher Steaks isn’t paying its employees and Liz goes to battle for them, even paying them with her own money. What does that mean to Jeremy – especially as her own former boss?
A: It was so important for us to see what she’s willing to do to make things right. We get to see Liz be a hero figure who steps up – and not just for her friends, but for everybody. She doesn’t just have a quiet separate meeting with Gerson, Champ and Jeremy. She has it in front of the whole restaurant – all those waiters and waitresses and hosts – she’s speaking to everybody. She goes to bat for everybody. I think that says a lot about her character. Sonya [Cassidy] is the same way. She’s very giving and nurturing on set. Liz is there for you and it generates that warm, fuzzy feeling when you watch it. Warm, fuzzy feelings on Lodge 49 are very precise in their placement on the show. Jim [Gavin] is very smart about placing those moments at just the right time.
Q: You’ve been a part of so many hilarious/bizarre scenes from Human Chess to the rat infestation. What’s been your favorite to shoot?
A: The chess scene is definitely up there. It made me think of Office Space and what you have to do for corporate. I’ve seen these seminars at hotels and convention centers and you’ve got these people who are spending millions and millions of dollars for their staff to get acquainted with their product and each other, and they go to these extraordinary lengths like this. I couldn’t get enough of the giant chess game. There are companies out there that will do that. These things happen at these corporate excursions. It just made me smile to be a part of something so ridiculous. I also love the scenes in my Shamroxx office where I’m just giving an evaluation and sitting in the chair because it’s all about the dialogue. The first scene that I have with Liz where I just had highlights put in my hair and she tells me that she’s been stealing avocados – that’s the scene I auditioned with. It’s such a funny scene and it’s so simple.
Q: What excited you most about Season 2?
A: First off, I was excited about the fact that even though Shamroxx closed, I still had something to do on the show. I was worried when I read about the rats. [Laughs] They kept us around and we’re slowly coming apart of the other world with Liz and now with Dud. It’s very exciting to see where we’re going and how we’re progressing. We’re not just the guys that Liz works with. We’re friends of the Dudleys.
Read an interview with Eric Allan Kramer, who plays Scott.
Lodge 49 airs Mondays at 10/9c.
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