Mike Kosinski Talks TV Land’s Impastor and Previews “Bird of Pray” [Exclusive]
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
I’m really enjoying this new direction for TV Land.
I’d been hearing great things about their new comedy Impastor and when I caught up on the first two episodes last week, I was not disappointed. Of course, I was pretty sure I’d like it because I’m a fan of Michael Rosenbaum and Sara Rue. But the entire ensemble is great and I’m enjoying seeing a character like Pastor Buddy Dobbs on my screen.
If you don’t know anything about the show (yet), here is the official description from TV Land:
Impastor is a dark comedy from Christopher Vane starring Michael Rosenbaum as Buddy Dobbs, a slacker on the run from his gambling debt. Just when heâ€™s about to end his misery and jump off a bridge, a reverend shows up and talks him down. When the reverend slips off the bridge and falls to his death, he leaves Buddy with the unlikely opportunity to steal the manâ€™s identity and pose as the new gay pastor of a small, tight-knight town, leaving his bartender ex-girlfriend Leanne to clean up the huge mess he left behind. Buddy begins to settle into his new life as a pastor with the help of his preppy new assistant Dora, alluring church treasurer Alexa and enthusiastic secretary Russell â€“ but the church president, Alden Schmidt senses that something isnâ€™t quite right. Curing sex crazed teenagers, stealing kidsâ€™ weed and reading Bible scripture may not be a bad gig for Buddy after all. Only time will tell how long he can keep up the faÃ§ade
I had the chance to talk exclusively to Impastor‘sÂ Mike Kosinski. We discussed what’s coming up for his character, working with this great cast and locking lips with Michael Rosenbaum.
TV GOODNESS: Iâ€™ve seen â€œBird of Pray,â€ which I enjoyed. What can you tease?
Mike Kosinski: “Itâ€™s an exciting one because Buddy has a, I donâ€™t know if Iâ€™d call is a â€˜love interest,â€™ but a â€˜lust interest.,â€™ which is causing a stir amongst the residents of Ladner.”
TV GOODNESS: Speaking of “lust interest,” I love how Russell and Alexa have a rivalry about whose team Pastor Buddy plays for. Can you talk about that dynamic?
Mike: “I love that too and I think itâ€™s a byproduct of being in a small town environment where theyâ€™re sort of rivals, but theyâ€™re also friends, I think, just because there arenâ€™t a lot of people. So, I think [it’s] the classic frenemies situation where theyâ€™re going to fight for him, but theyâ€™re also going to share in any gossip about him.”
TV GOODNESS: We donâ€™t know that much about your character yet. Whatâ€™s coming up for Russell?
Mike: “Russell is going to continue to pursue Buddy at any cost. Heâ€™s holding fast to his belief that Buddy is gay, but we also get to see some of Russellâ€™s friends in the town, which you got to see a little bit of in Episode 2.
Heâ€™s like, I donâ€™t want to say busybody, but the hub of gossip in Ladner. Iâ€™m trying to think of a way to say this without spoiling anything. [Laughs.] He gets to have a lot of fun fanning the flames of gossip in the town.”
TV GOODNESS: We get to see a bit of that in Episode 3.
Mike: “Itâ€™s funny. I havenâ€™t seen [the] episode in so long, so Iâ€™m trying to remember whatâ€™s going on.”
TV GOODNESS: I was looking through your Twitter feed and I saw that Michael Rosenbaum has talked about your lips. Are you allowed to share the circumstances around his comment?
Mike: “Yes, absolutely. Michaelâ€™s got great lips as well, for the record. I donâ€™t know how much you read on the Twitter feed, but Michael loves to bring this up. So the day that weâ€™re shooting the kissing scene, of course itâ€™s very nerve-racking. Itâ€™s always awkward when you have to kiss someone in a scene regardless of who it is. Fortunately, Michaelâ€™s very cool and made it very fun. That day Iâ€™m nervous, a lot of things going through my mind. So, we do the scene the first time and immediately after they yell â€˜Cut.â€™ Michael turns to me and says, â€˜How was I?â€™” [Laughs.]
TV GOODNESS: He’s great and I really like the entire cast. It seems like a great group of people. Tell me a little about working with them and your favorite line or scene coming up.
Mike: “I love working with the cast. I feel so, so fortunate to have landed in a cast where everyone gets along and itâ€™s fun and easy. I always say because we shot the first season in Vancouver, it kind of felt like summer camp because we were all away from home. You donâ€™t really know that many people, so we ended up hanging out and bonding a lot more.
Michael is always so funny on set, loves to keep things light and fun and make sure everyoneâ€™s having fun. Sara [Rue] and Mircea [Monroe], I feel like because we had similar shooting schedules, we ended up hanging out so much and theyâ€™re just some of my favorite people. We got to explore Vancouver together. It was fun to do a bunch of little outings. And David Rasche is so funny. He is a Second City alum, as am I, but we probably have 30 years between us. [Laughs.]
TV GOODNESS: In addition to pursuing Buddy and having this great rivalry with Alexa, do you have anything coming up with Sara or David?
Mike: “One of the fun moments coming up with Saraâ€™s character is Russell takes her out for a night on the town to try and get her dating. So, heâ€™s trying to help her free herself up. She can be tightly wound. Russell, who can be tightly wound in a different way, takes her out to try to get her to loosen up and show her some fun. Some really fun stuff comes from it.
David, [who plays] my favorite character Alden, in a later episode has a secret heâ€™s trying to cover up. In a covert way, he comes to Russell to get advice on how he would do that. And Russell unwittingly helps him along. Thatâ€™s kind of vague. Sorry.”
TV GOODNESS: Itâ€™s the perfect amount of vague. It makes me want to tune in and make sure I see that episode.
Mike: “Whatâ€™s funny about the show is, it has the twists and turns of a thriller or something, so itâ€™s so hard to talk about future episodes without giving away too much.”
TV GOODNESS: This show keeps surprising me, in a good way. Itâ€™s supposed to be about this Lutheran pastor and, of course, so itâ€™s fun to see Buddy, who knows almost nothing about the bible, deal with the challenges of playing this part so he isnâ€™t found by the people he owes money to. Thereâ€™s a lot Iâ€™m enjoying.
Mike: “Yeah. I love that and I think even in the upcoming episodes, Episode 4 and beyond, we get to see even more of the rest of the world of Ladner. That all remains. In addition to that, there are these other elements that are dropped into the mix, which is really fun.”
Edited for space and content.
“Bird of Pray” synopsis, from TV Land:
Buddyâ€™s first Sunday service is so unorthodox, a livid Schmidt calls in the bishop to assess the new pastorâ€™s competence. Dora makes an unusual request for Buddy, while Alexa and Russell vie for his affection.
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