Tony Shalhoub: It’s four divorced guys of different ages living in the Oakwood, temporary housing, trying, not very successfully, to help each other and forming a band of brothers.
Zap2it: How do you see your character, Frank, who’s a serial husband and womanizer?
Tony Shalhoub: He is a clothing manufacturer with four failed marriages. It is ironic that my character is now dating someone his daughter’s age, yet he is very protective of her. It will have broad appeal. It is a peek through the peephole of how men talk to each other. And I think they really do. Women are so forthcoming, so aware of their emotions. Men are a little more cryptic and out of touch. The show really reveals an unspoken vulnerability of those guys. They don’t know they are vulnerable, and they are all damaged goods. It comes out as anger toward women, but it is frustration with themselves.
Zap2it: A few months ago, you were on Broadway in “Golden Boy” and speaking Italian. Did you speak it before?
Tony Shalhoub: I was taking an Italian course during that whole time.
Zap2it: Were you a drama student?
Tony Shalhoub: All of my training was in the theater. And we were always encouraged to explore characters and to do a variety of roles. I went to Yale Drama for graduate training. I was a theater major for undergraduate. After the three-year master’s [program], from there I went to a repertory theater — the American Repertory Theater in Boston.