Take note: You will see a lot of Jerry O’Connell on his new CBS sitcom, “We Are Men,” this fall. Like, a whole lot — he spends a great deal of time wearing a Speedo in every episode. “It’s probably the most nerve-wracking part of this job for me, to put those on every morning,” he told journalists while discussing the show during the Television Critics Association annual summer press tour.
“As you know, we go to work very early; it’s a little chilly outside; you’re maybe not in your best light. I’m continually trying to make sure blood is flowing to every part of my body,” O’Connell joked. Since the Speedos haven’t gone away — in fact, he’s logged wearing about four different colors so far — he’s accepted his fate by joining a gym and drinking light beer. “It doesn’t seem to be ending. We’re a couple of episodes in and I’m the Speedo often.”
Luckily, O’Connell is married to someone with a lot of experience wearing skimpy bathing suits, two-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover girl Rebecca Romijn. “I did get some advice from my wife, who was a swimwear model for many years,” he said. And what did she tell him? “Get a tan. And do some pushups. And maybe take pilates.”
The tanning thing didn’t go so well. “I should’ve talked to the cast of ‘Jersey Shore’ before I had done this,” O’Connell laughed. He left a sock on the first time around, so he had to go in again. “I was very afraid of the light.”
In non-”Jerry O’Connell in a Speedo” matters, the show, which follows a group of divorced men who all wind up in the same apartment complex and bond over their respective break-ups, could be perceived as being slightly anti-woman. But the stars argue that their characters’ anger is just directed at the wrong people. “I really believe that [anger] is sort of misplaced,” star Tony Shaloub (“Monk”) said. “Their anger is really anger at themselves, and that gets misdirected to their various exes and the women in their lives.”
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The sitcom, which joins CBS’s Monday night comedy lineup beginning on Monday, Sept. 30, is actually about men realizing where they’ve gone wrong. “It’s these guys — I think this is common to men — coming to grips with where the real problems lie in their lives,” Shaloub said. “That will be one of the arcs, if God-willing this series goes for a number of years, that these characters will be able to explore.”
Co-star Chris Smith explained, “You’ve got a couple of wounded puppies up here. The characters have these bad ideas and you’re watching them bump their heads against the wall. I also think there’s the camaraderie. We’re not just guys but people watching out for each other.”
“I love this show because every episode so far ends with sweetness,” added co-star Kal Penn (“House”).
“We Are Men” premieres Monday, Sept. 30, at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.