Tales are many of young actors who have had to resort to waiting tables or tending bar to pay the bills until their chosen profession could support them.
Nate Corddry, who plays Gabriel, Anna Faris’ boss and ex-lover on CBS’ “Mom,” which returns for Season 2 Thursday, Oct. 30, temped at an ad agency in New York, where sympathetic superiors gave him plenty of latitude when it came to taking off to go on auditions. One even pointed him toward a job.
“My very first commercial that I did, which was a Pizza Hut bite-and-smile commercial in 2002, was purely because I had this job working at this ad agency,” Corddry, a 37-year-old Boston-area native, tells Zap2it. “He said, ‘We just need a goofy-looking white guy to bite a piece of pizza and smile. Can you do that?’ I was like, ‘Yep.’ He said, ‘OK, come to the audition tomorrow. You don’t know me.’ I was like, ‘Great.’
“So I went into the audition, bit a piece of pizza, smiled and I got the call later that day that I had the job. And if it wasn’t for the generosity of that guy — his name is Van Graves — I would have had to have kept temping for another six months. But because I did that job and earned that paycheck, I could take six months off and spend those six months auditioning full time trying to get another job, which I was able to get during that time. So if it wasn’t for Van giving me the 10 fingers, I wouldn’t have been able to get over that hump.”
These days, Corddry is gratified to be working with show runner Chuck Lorre and castmates Allison Janney and Faris. In fact, “Mom” represents a reunion of sorts for Corddry and Faris, having worked together on the 2010 feature film “Yogi Bear.”
“We are good friends and we get along really well,” Corddry says, “and just to be able have another creative working relationship with her — it’s rare, that almost never happens that you get to work with someone more than once. And so I jumped at the chance then to work with Chuck, work with Allison and then also to work with Anna.”