We’re basically obsessed with Louis (Michael Urie) on “Partners” and we want him to be our best friend… but it’s hard to deny that sometimes, his well-intentioned snark seems particularly mean when it’s leveled at Wyatt (Brandon Routh), whose naive idealism can put him at a bit of a disadvantage in the battle-of-wits department. On occasion, Louis has dismissed the importance of Wyatt’s sobriety, scoffed at his job prospects, and just straight-up prioritized Joe (David Krumholtz).
We were relieved, then, when we visited Urie on set, to learn that in an upcoming episode, Louis will find new reason to respect his boyfriend. Urie also gave us the scoop on Ali’s humor deficiency, his LA vs. NYC conundrum, and whether Louis and Joe actually have friends other than each other. Read on for our Q&A, and don’t forget to tune in for “Partners” at 8:30 p.m. EST on CBS Mondays.
Zap2it: So far, Louis and Joe pretty much seem like each other’s only friends. Are we going to see their worlds open up a bit?
Urie: Yes! There was an episode where I mention Buck, Andrew, Randy and the other Randy, who are these four gay guys that Wyatt and Louis hang out with, and you’ll get to meet them in an episode, which is really fun. You also get to see a group of guys at a bar that Ali used to work at, so you get a sense of that. The episode we’re shooting tomorrow is about a straight guy that Joe becomes really good friends with. We’re starting to see more and more of the life outside the four people.
Are Louis’s friends a lot like him?
Well, Louis and Wyatt’s friends that they get together and watch TV and make snarky comments with — they’re considered ‘gay funny.’ The whole problem of the episode is that Ali is hilarious when she’s hanging out with her straight guy friends, but when she comes and hangs out with gay guys, they don’t find her funny, and I have to explain to Joe that Ali is pretty funny. And he’s like “Yeah, she’s pretty funny!” “No, she’s pretty funny. She’s pretty, so straight guys think she’s funny even if she’s not funny.”
Last time I saw you, you were a little iffy about leaving New York and moving to LA. How’s it treating you?
Thank God for this amazing job and for Runyon Canyon. LA is a tough place to live. It’s great when you have a job. I’m a homebody, and being a homebody in LA means you never do anything. In New York, you can be a homebody but you still go out, because there’s life like a block away. Here, you’ve got to have your whole plan, you’ve got to get in your car, you’ve got to park — sometimes I won’t go places just because I don’t know how or where to park. I definitely miss New York, but I’m going back next week. The actors have a week off every month because the writers have to catch up with us, so I usually go back. My boyfriend’s there, and I get to go see theater. When I go back I’ll go see ‘The Heiress’ on Broadway with Jessica Chastain, who was my classmate at Juliard.
Oh, just Jessica Chastain, no big deal!
She’s such a huge deal. It’s so funny. There was a time when we hung out with another classmate of ours, and we were all three in a place in our careers where we were complaining. ‘Oh, what am I going to do.’ Jessica had done a bunch of movies that hadn’t gone anywhere, Jess Weixler was like ‘Oh, I got offered this part in a movie, I don’t think it’s going to work,’ and I was like ‘I just shot this pilot, and there’s no way it’s going to go.’ My pilot was ‘Ugly Betty,’ the movie that Jess was lamenting was ‘Teeth,’ which went to Sundance and she ended up winning best actress, and all of Jessica’s movies came out at the same time, and now she’s probably going to get nominated for another Oscar. How the tables turn.
When “Partners” started you’d just come off of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” on Broadway. Do you miss theater, or is the live studio audience enough to satisfy the stage performer in you?
The live audience is amazing. Thursdays at this job are heaven. Doing it with the audience and collaborating on a back-and-forth level with the writers is such a rush, The best performances come up when you really feel it with the audience. I miss the theater a lot though, because it’s only one show a week and I like doing eight shows a week. I’m already looking for something I can do when we have a break.
Are there any upcoming episodes that you’re particularly looking forward to fans seeing?
I think what this show is doing so well is really, every episode is about something, and it’s based on a real thing that happens with people. Like “Pretty Funny,” that’s a real thing that happens. There’s an episode where Joe and Louis get into a debate about which one of them is Simon and which one of them is Garfunkel, and when you’re dealing with a partnership, that is a very real thing, that’s something that actually happens. The issue of who gets to be closer, the best friend or the fiance. These are real things that people go through. I love the relatability of this show.
As far as the arc of Louis and Wyatt’s relationship, are we going to see things balance out a bit? Will Louis give Wyatt a break?
Actually yes, in the episode we’re shooting right now, Louis has to go to the hospital, because he takes Elphaba [the dog]’s hormone pills. He gets to see Wyatt in action, and he finally respects him as a nurse. It’s a big moment for them, and I love it because, you know, Louis is ridiculous to not respect Wyatt. A nurse is such a noble profession! And he’s so mean! So Louis gets his comeuppance and he gets shown the light.
And finally, who do you think should play Louis’s bigoted older brother if he ever comes into play?
Oh, Mitt Romney. Hopefully he’ll be available.