Interview with actors from the new NBC hit show AP Bio!

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The new comedy, AP Bio, started airing February 1. It airs every Thursday on NBC at 8:30 ET time. Below is the hilarious trailer


This tv show is about a disgraced Harvard philosophy scholar Jack Griffin (Glenn Howerton) who lost his dream job to rival Miles Leonard (Tom Bennett). He is then forced to return to Toledo, Ohio, and work as a high school AP Biology teacher. As he comes crashing, literally, into Whitlock High School, it is absolutely clear that it’s not prerogative to teach any biology. Realizing he has a room full of honor roll students at his disposal, Jack decides instead to use the kids for his own benefit like getting revenge on Miles. 

Last Thursday I participated in a conference call with actors Eddie Leavy and Sari Arambulo from the new NBC show AP Bio.  Not only did the call give me a good feel of the series as a whole, but it also gave me some insight on the actors. They did a great job explaining their characters, and I could find myself and others my age relating to the students. This experience made me very excited to watch the show, and as soon as I got home I DVRed the upcoming episodes. I plan on binge watching the past episodes with friends this weekend. Below I will include highlights from the conversation:

Interviewer: This is a question for both of you.  Can you tell us about your audition process for the show.  

Eddie Leavy: So, you know, the audition was honestly, like, really simple and really easy for me.  It was sort of just one audition in front of everybody, everyone that mattered. In front of the casting directors and Mike O’Brien and some of the other producers.  And I just sort of went in and did my thing and I felt good about it. But, you know, you never really know what’s going to happen. And I found out very quickly that they wanted to offer me the role.  So it was honestly a pretty seamless audition process. I mean I guess that’s the best way to do it just sort of one and one and here I am.

Sari Arambulo: Amazing.  Yes I mean I had one kind of similar, like, my experience was slightly similar I would say.  I went in once as well. But not everyone was there. I came on a little bit after because I was not a part of the pilot so I came on after that.  And so when I auditioned I went in casting and I had one scene. And I believe the scene was from the episode that’s airing tonight Dating Toledoans.  And it was just, like, two pages. I went in. I kind of knew the casting directors already from a previous project. So it was really painless and great and super fun. And then I left, I read it I think once and then I left.  And I had, like, two other auditions that day. I remember I was just running around, like, as soon as that audition was done it was, like, out of my mind. And then the next day I remember finding out that I booked it. And then I was on set, like, three days later. So yes it was a really quick turnaround.

Interviewer: Great thank you.  You guys get to see a lot of Glenn’s home his character Jack’s home life.  But we don’t get to see a lot of kid’s home life. Do we get to know much about Anthony and Grace throughout the season, like, what they do after school and what their life’s like?

Sari Arambulo: Yes I can go.  I think that yes we definitely as episodes go on we get to learn more and more about the kids.  Specifically their home life as well as their personalities. I think you’re already starting to get a glimpse of Grace and I feel like the last episode that just aired you kind of get a sense of what kind of character Grace is.  She is very smart and sweet and is, like, on the student council. So that’s definitely one of her passions. She loves to be in student government and is super organized. So it’s definitely interesting to see that side of things. And then I believe that in next week’s episode it’s the parent-teacher conference.  So that’s when you’ll really get to see our home life. It was really fun to meet my onscreen mom and same for Eddie. I think he had like both your parents are your “onscreen parents” were there. So as the episodes go on I think that you really get to start to see the kids home life and just learn more about them.  

Eddie Leavy: And again in later episodes as we sort of, you know, get on our feet a little more and we start appearing in different locations, you know, some of our favorite episodes I think to shoot when we were actually outside of the classroom.  And sort of see what our characters were like, you know, outside of the classroom and sort of in a real world setting. So I think the best is yet to come in terms of character development and being able to sort of see more of our characters in different scenarios.  So yes it’s a lot of fun stuff to come.

Interviewer: Do either of you have any really horrible teacher experiences in real life?

Sari Arambulo: I think I might.  I still go to school so it’s super fresh for me to think of professors in my life.  And I think one that sticks out to me is in – I also study Cinematic Art at USC and one of my professors was insane.  He was just super, like, he’s great, like, this is the class that, like, everyone takes. But he is just super dramatic, kind of similar to Jack Griffin in that sense.  Just, like, over the top, super dramatic. He like has an entrance when he comes into the classroom. And if you ever participate he’ll remember your name, like, it is a huge lecture hall. And he’ll remember your name and then continue throughout the course of, like, the months that you’re taking the class he’ll just continue calling on you even if you don’t know the answer he’ll just right on the moment just call on you.  So it was definitely, like, a nerve-racking experience to be in his class which is kind of similar to Jack Griffin.

Eddie Leavy: Yes I actually have memories of getting a teacher.  She was a substitute teacher but getting a substitute teacher fired once because she was so horrible.  And she was verbally abusive of the kids in my class that we, like, honestly the kids rallied together and talked to our parents.  And this was in I think middle school. And we rallied together and we, like, told our parents and we got her fired because she would just say the nastiest things to us.  Called us idiots and dumb and, you know, give us horrible grades for no reason. So I’ve definitely had, you know an experience.

Interviewer: Is it easier for you to play a character who’s more closely aligned to you?

Eddie Leavy: Well yes I mean definitely.  I mean Anthony definitely is probably a little more blunt and honest than I am in real life.  But it’s definitely a lot of fun to feel, like, you see yourself in the character and to just bring it to life.  And it just gives you a level of comfortability. Again we shot this show for 3 1/2 months. And I think we just got to know these characters so well and we were able to have a level of comfortability on set where we were able just to play, you know, every week we had a director but we were able to just play with the director and bounce off each other’s energy

Sari Arambulo: No, no not at all.  Yes I just, like, want to bounce off that.  I think that we really were so lucky and blessed to have these writers who really almost tailored the characters to our personalities and kind of got to see, like, they saw us as people.  And they kind of translated that into our characters which is really great. Like for example all I really knew about Grace is that she was just sweet in the classroom, cute girl in the high school, like, in the Biology class.  But then I guess as they started to know me they realized I was, like, super sweet and nice so they started playing upon that more which is really great. And then they really paid attention to our relationships as well, like as people with the cast members.  Eddie I remember, like, we just hit it off right from the get go and I’m pretty sure the writers started to notice, like, we always wanted to be together sitting together. So then there was this one episode where they kind of just started – they gave us, like, this one moment in the house party episode that’s going to be coming up, but they just gave us this amazing moment where it was just us two.  And you just kind of see our relationship and our friendship grow. So I just think that it’s so amazing just to see the writers really take advantage of the actors and like what we can bring to the table which is awesome.


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