What? A comedy about a group of aging rockers with an explosive history given one last chance to make it doesn’t sound like San Diego Comic-Con fare to you? Alright, at first blush the new series from FX maybe doesn’t seem to fit in at the same convention where people waited in line for days to get into the Star Wars panel or cheered so raucously at the premiere of the Deadpool trailer that it was shown twice. But here’s the thing, SDCC is all about geeking out. And you can geek out about anything, it’s all about unbridled joy and appreciation. And it would seem that Denis Leary, who created and stars in the show is something of a music geek himself. So, you see, it all works out.
If you’re not familiar, the Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll follows Johnny Rock (Leary), a could-have-been great frontman who gets in his own way, as he learns he has a daughter with some serious pipes (Elizabeth Gillies) and attempts to rally his old band, The Heathens to work with her.
The stars of the series chatted with press about the show, their rockin’ role models and much, much more in a press room ahead of their own panel. Here are the top five takeaways.
2. Elizabeth Gillies sees girl power in the show
Gillies’ character is thrown into a relationship with her father and the band quite abruptly, and she finds the dynamic that develops between Johnny and Gigi fascinating.
“[Their relationship] is very complicated. It’s funny too, we just tear each other apart. We mentor each other in a weird way. I parent you, even though you’re my father. You do teach me about rock n’ roll, but I don’t have all the issues that you have. I’m clean and sober, I never did anything and he’s basically the opposite of that. So, we teach each other. But I definitely think Ava and I, his girlfriend on the show, we run things.”
3. John Corbett has some insights on the relationships in the series
Relationships drive the humor in the show, and John Corbett was happy to sound off on his theory that a dynamic relationship needs the right ingredients.
“My awesome character is a nemesis to Johnny Rock’s awesome character. It’s the typical, Joe Perry-Steven Tyler, hate each other, love each other, they can write great songs together, but apart they write duds. It’s funny because Denis and I, we’re just about the same age, we’ve come up in show business right around the same time, starting in the early 90s, and now here we are just bashing heads, and loving each other too. You know, you can’t have a whole show where these two guys just constantly have conflict and fight, you’ve got to mix some love into that soup.”
4. CGI is a cruel mistress
Robert Kelly suspects he didn’t get the full CGI treatment for the flashback scenes.
“They were supposed to thin me out. I had hair and I was supposed to be thinner, but I don’t know if FX ran out of CGI money — they definitely made Denis look younger, but they forgot to cut my stomach off. I swear to God. I was kinda pissed about that, I was getting excited about that. … I was like okay, I’ll wear this tight shirt ‘cause they are gonna CGI it, and then we’re watching and it’s just me in a tight shirt. It’s me, fat with a wig!”
5. Denis Leary doesn’t think he’s cool
“Several real-life rockers appear on the show over the course of the first season, and Mr. Leary is envious of their natural cool.
They’re cool on the show and they’re totally improvising… they just come in and do it — David Bowie, Joan Jett. I’m telling you, whatever you see on that show, it took me hours in the editing room to make myself look even slightly cool as a rock star. The thing I discovered, even with singing the ‘A**hole’ song all these years, I thought, ‘I could be a rock star,’ I can’t. You have to be literally a cool person to be up on stage for three hours.”
New episodes of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll air Thursdays on FX and anytime on FX Now.