NBC’s new romantic comedy, BENT, is getting viewers buzzing. Co-stars Amanda Peet and David Walton heat up prime-time television which began premiering this Spring. The half hour sitcom stars Alex(Amanda Peet) and Pete(David Walton) who are polar opposites. Alex, a type-A personality, straight-laced high strung lawyer who just got divorced, begins the process of renovating her house and life. Pete, a carefree womanizing surfer dude/contractor, tries to piece his life together gets hired by Alex. Opposites attract this season as Alex and Pete turn up the heat in the kitchen, both turning over a new leaf and begin a friendship through external and internal renovation.
TWID: There have been a lot of new romantic comedies debuting this year. What do you think it is about “Bent”, that’ will set it apart from the other shows?
Amanda Peet: When I read the script, I felt it was uniquely charming with a lot of super quirky gross out comedies as well as a lot of softer comedies that aren’t really grown up. I felt it was charming and very real. I think it’s hard to find something that’s romantic on T.V. that’s also sort of sexy and suspenseful in a love story way.
David Walton: It’s hard in television. I think what a lot of T.V. shows I watch do is they’ll try to push for a lot of jokes. And, then, it’s almost as if the writers are like, “Uh Oh. We gotta put some heart in here!” In the end they jam it in there and try to have the audience somewhat moved as well. Tad also has this incredible ability to infuse touching and engaging heartfelt moments throughout an episode. By the end, you never have to shift into this sappy moment, but you are touched and moved in a way as well as tired of laughing. It’s super-unique.
Tad Quill: May I might add that Amanda and David have such incredible chemistry. I think this makes it unique. We also have a really remarkable ensemble around them.We have Jeff Tambor who’s done so many things and is so talented, but he also brings a kind of emotional depth to it. J.B. Smoove, who’s just laugh out loud funny, and Jessie Clements who I have not seen in a straight up comedy before, but he’s from Friday Night Lights and he was hilarious. We also have Margo Harshman who is wonderful and Joey King-it’s a wonderful cast.
TWID: Amanda and David, what do you think your characters bring to the table or bring to the show that aren’t seen on other shows?
Amanda Peet: I think that first of all, I feel like David Walton is just a revelation. He’s so brilliant and funny. I don’t think there’s anybody like him. It’s a really unique and very real sort of depiction of somebody who’s a little bit in a state of arrested development, but he has a really good heart and amazing instincts. As Tad was saying, he’s at this crossroad and meets this extremely serious woman who has a lot of responsibility. So, I think what’s fun about it is sort of how different their lifestyles are and whether or not they can overcome that.
TWID: Could you tell us a little bit about the chemistry between the characters and where that’s coming from?
David Walton: Well, first of all, what does he look like? No. The chemistry is maybe a lightning-in-the-bottle type thing where you have this – it’s very naturalistic and funny, and I wish I were as witty as my character is. So, when you have that kind of rapid fire-machine-gun talking chemistry, things start to come alive. Also, Amanda, I’m not sure she’s ever not had chemistry with her co-stars. I just feel honored to be able to act with her. She’s an amazing actress. So funny and so charming and vulnerable. She can play like five different things at once. And it all comes through. There’s not a person I’ve met. When I say I’m in the show with Amanda Peet, it’s not like, “oh my god I love her.” I think a lot of that is because she’s very generous and that’s a lot of what chemistry has to do with.
TWID: You’ve got the guy that’s sort of had a little trouble in his life, and woman – sort of an opposites attract kind of thing that’s going on between them?
David Walton: Yes, who knows why attraction happen. Even this day and this age of science figuring everything out it’s still a mysterious thing. On the surface, yes, she’s very attractive. She’s smarter than most of the girls out of probably every girl I ever met. And she doesn’t take any b.s. Also, at the same time, she seems to get my sense of humor… There’s just an ease in which they immediately start connecting and that’s how people get married.
Amanda Peet: I’m not sure. I always think it’s an opposites attract kind of thing. I feel it was definitely well-portrayed in the writing and David and I followed what was there. I feel it’s always exciting to see two people who can’t stand each other or can’t stand the way the other one lives and throw in some attraction to see what happens.
TWID: What is it about a good romantic comedy that makes it work?
Amanda Peet: Yes, ot’s all about your partner. Once we found David Walton, it became very exciting. I think it’s sort of an ineffable quality when you strike gold with a romantic comedy. I guess I attribute it to being partners with David Walton primarily. Also, Tad’s a very smart and funny guy. I think while these two people are very different, they definitely have that kind of witty repartee that I always love seeing in a romantic comedy where you have a really formidable opponent who is equally saucy and who can really give you a run for your money. I always find that to be really sexy. So, hopefully, we achieve that. I don’t’ know how badly we’re focused on achieving that very thing, but hopefully that’s the by-product.
TWID: Between the relationship of Amanda’s character and David’s character, what are three songs that you both can compare your relationship to?
David Walton: I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner.
Amanda Peet: Ain’t Nobody by Chaka Khan.
David Walton: And Hits from the Bong.
Amanda Peet: You Sexy Mother F#%ker by Prince. Mine were better, David.
A connection between a man and a woman becomes interesting when both parties least expect it. Catching up with Amanda and David gives us an insight as to what will unfold with their new hit show on NBC. It will be interesting to follow how they get along, what attracts them to each other, and most of all, the kind of connection they will have as the season progresses. And that’s WhatItDo!
Article Written By: Elizabeth Lavulo
*photos courtesy of Neil Jacobs/NBC
*video courtesy of NBC