Boston native, David Walton plays the lead character, Will, in About a Boy. His character is a charming, funny, hunky songwriter who unbeknownst to him embarks on a transforming journey from selfish single-guy to caring father figure/role model after his new neighbors move in. Just like me, David is a New England Patriots fan who lost his voice cheering at the 47th Super Bowl. Production on his show actually had to be cancelled the Monday after that game. David is so down-to-earth and was extremely easy to talk to during our meeting. Now I get to share with you 6 things that I learned about David Walton.
1) He has a balanced life. “It’s so cool being on the show. We have a lot of fun and we shoot really fast,” says David. This is important to David, since he has two small babies and a wife. “Usually if you are in a single camera show and you are in most of the scenes which I am, you don’t really see your family. But we shoot three cameras really fast so I have a balanced life. I put them to bed, wake them up and then go to work. I want it to go on and on forever,” he explains.
2) The first kiss is always a little uncomfortable. David was on New Girl and met Zooey Deschanel two minutes before their first scene in a bathroom stall where they were going at each other. “It’s really nice to meet you, I’m a big fan of your work (then makes kissing sounds) It’s a strange business,” he details for me while laughing.
3) Keeping those kissing scenes away from his daughter is his priority. “I was watching an episode in the morning and my daughter who is 2.5 was watching it and pointing to the screen ‘ da da da’. Then there was a scene where I was making out with some woman. I’m with my wife (she’s is used to it at this point) and I look over at my daughter’s face and she’s like this (confused look). So confused, I honestly think it’s scarring her for life, but we may keep her away from those scenes from now on,” he says.
4) David loved About a Boy book and the movie. He saw the movie when it was released in theaters. When he got the role in the series, he read the book before the pilot. “I sort of intentionally stayed away from the movie after I got the role. It wouldn’t have done anything but I was scared that it would influence me and I wanted ours to be as original as possible” he explains.
Reading the novel helped David find Will’s layers. “Novels get inside the heads of the characters and in acting you just have a script – it’s just words and there is this inner life that you have to find and bring to it,” he explains. Reading the book helped David to realize on the surface that Will may be a superficial guy who is trying to get laid, but there is a depth to him – a heart, feels pain and the all things that come with being human.
5) Will’s character was introduced in an episode of Parenthood. “I didn’t know how big of a deal it was. I basically measure how big a deal something is in through Twitter,” David explains. “ I think it’s cool for people who are big fans of Parenthood and big fans of About a Boy. It’s very satisfying.” Will says he would love to see Dax Shepard play a more prominent role in About a Boy if it gets picked up for season 3.
6) Being a parent doesn’t mean you have to grow up. Becoming a parent made David finally feel he was an adult. “I now need to do adult things – running down the block naked is no longer an option,” he laughs.
“I realize that Will is a positive influence on this little kid, even though he is such a kid himself,” David says. “Aren’t all adults really just kids with responsibilities, and they still feel like they are in their 20s? There are certain things you have to try to do to be a good an example for your kid, but you can still be a mischievous child type of parent with no real ill effect. That is as long as you check off the basic things, like shelter, emotional support and just loving your kid.” David says he is encouraged that one doesn’t have to grow up to become a parent. “There are certain things that you have to keep – that boyishness or enthusiasm,” he tells us. “I think Will has that and it’s inspiring.”
7) David is a musician. “I played saxophone my whole life. But, Will is not really a sax guy. Jason never saw him as a sax guy. I can fiddle with the guitar, and I’ll learn the songs that the character needs to play on the show, but no one is going to pay to see me play anytime soon,” he jokingly reports.
What is your favorite About a Boy episode? What is Will’s favorite episode? The Godfather from season 1 was a favorite and he really liked the camping episode in season 2. Tune in to NBC on Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c.