Interview with actors from “How We Roll” on CBS by Suzanne 3/23/22
This was a nice CBS press day – my first with them. I was very happy to be included, even though I was only able to ask one question.
This seems like a fun sitcom, so I’ll definitely be checking it out when it airs tomorrow.
CBS SPRING 2022 VIRTUAL PRESS DAY
“How We Roll” with actors Pete Holmes, Katie Lowes, Chi McBride, Julie White and Mark Gross, Executive Producer
Virtual via Zoom
March 23, 2022
© 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“How We Roll” premieres Thursday, March 31st, at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on CBS, and streaming on Paramount Plus.
The show is based on the life of real-life Midwestern dad, Tom Smallwood, who decided to pursue his dream of becoming a pro bowler after he was laid off from his job
There was a video from Brian d’Arcy James, Executive Producer, who couldn’t be there. He told us about how the show came about. He heard about Smallwood because they’re both from Saginaw, MN. He fell in love with the idea of this guy deciding to follow his dream, regardless of the odds against him, in order to take care of his family. They loved and supported him, and so did his whole community. James thought this would make a great story. It’s certainly an interesting idea. I don’t think there’s every been a sitcom about bowling before. There was the comedy-drama, “Ed,” about a lawyer who returns to his hometown and buys a bowling alley…he practiced law out of it. There have been many sitcoms about working class people who go bowling regularly, such as “Laverne and Shirley” and “Roseanne.” There’s never been one that’s mostly about bowling, let alone one that is about a professional bowler. I just hope it’s funny because that’s my main criteria for a comedy. It has to make me laugh, often, or I won’t keep watching it. We’ll see!
I was really happy to be able to ask Chi McBride a question because he’s been in so many great shows I’ve watched and loved, such as “Boston Public,” “Human Target,” “House” and many more. I asked him, “You’ve done a lot of dramas over the past — I don’t know, how long it’s been…. A couple of decades. But you got your start in sitcoms. So, what was it that attracted you to this project?”
He gave me an unexpectedly heartfelt answer. It was really nice. He confided that not only did he “love the story,” but he could relate to it. He said, “30 years ago, I left my successful career at the phone company when I was making $300 a week, against the advice of my broker.” He drove from Atlanta to California to be in show business. He mentioned that he had a lot of confidence. He probably had some money to keep him afloat for awhile, too, is my guess, since he decided he wouldn’t be a waiter or anything like that. He credits that confidence with getting into the business, which he’s worked in for 30 years. He can identify with the situation because everyone thought he was crazy, too, for taking this chance.
He talked about his character, Archie, who is a mentor to the main character, Tom (played by Pete Holmes). He told us that Archie has believed in Tom since he was a child. He really loves characters like Archie and felt that this was “a wonderful opportunity.” Also, he added that he knew all the other people in the cast and their work. He praised them for being both talented and “lovely people at the same time.” He shared that it’s “been a real gas, to tell you the truth.” Going back to my question about having done mostly drama for a long time, he did admit that he hadn’t been “in front of three camera format in 25 years” (that’s how they shoot sitcoms), so he found it “daunting” at first. He gave credit to director Mark Cendrowski for helping him figure it out and get over that bump road. He joked, “it was like riding a bike. Like, when you ride a bike into a tree at first.” He was very funny throughout his answer, and we all laughed a lot. The whole panel was pretty funny. Anyway, he concluded that he’s “just glad to be here” and that the basic story inspired him.
Producer Mark Gross talked about his part in bringing the show to life. He wanted to write something with hope in it. James told him about the Tom Smallwood story. He praised Tom’s beautiful writing about Tom and his story. It really inspired him. He spoke in detail about how he worked on it feverishly (sometimes literally, when he had COVID). He can’t believe that they got such an “incredible, amazing cast.” He thinks Tom’s story is filled with miracles.
Pete Holmes was asked to compare his other show, “Crashing,” based on his early days of trying to make it as a comedian, to this one, since they’re both about someone giving up steady work to pursue their dreams.
Pete answered that he never though of that comparison before. He confided that his parents didn’t seem too concerned about his becoming a comedian. He added, “I don’t know if that’s because they believed in me, or they just weren’t paying attention.” Everyone laughed, so he riffed on that idea for a minute. It was hilarious. Then he told us, more seriously, that his parents were always very supportive of him, and other people he knew ere, too. He believes that you should get rid of the “naysayers” in your life if you want to be successful. He also mentioned that he always saw some other comedians that were unsuccessful because they were always comparing themselves or their careers to other comedians, which he referred to as “comedy cancer.” He told us that Mark Gross and one of the other writers (Tommy Johnagin) are both great stand-up performers and writers. He talked about how he and his wife read the script when he got it, praying that it was good. They enjoyed it and laughed, and appreciated that the wife was not just the usual TV “nagging wife.” It reminds him of the series “Ted Lasso,” in the sense that the wife believes more in Tom than he does. He also thought that the other characters were not stereotypes, either. Back to the question, he said that he’s very grateful that he didn’t have people doubting him when he was starting out. He “was one of the first people to go to college” in his family, so they said that he could do whatever he wanted after that.
Another reporter asked a question, but unfortunately, the actors didn’t answer it seriously. It was a very funny time for all of us, though. He/she asked what the actors found it easiest and most difficult as far as connecting to their character. Instead, Pete joked about the other new CBS show “Beyond the Edge,” saying that “I thought the monkeys that were encroaching on our camp were really difficult.” From then on, it only got funnier. I can only hope that the real show is half as funny as these guys were in this panel.
CBS ANNOUNCES NEW COMEDY “HOW WE ROLL” TO PREMIERE THURSDAY, MARCH 31 AT 9:30 PM
“How We Roll,” Formerly Titled “Smallwood,” Stars Pete Holmes, Katie Lowes,
Chi McBride, Julie White and Mason Wells, and Is Based on the Life of
Professional Bowler Tom Smallwood
CBS will premiere the new comedy HOW WE ROLL (formerly titled “Smallwood”) on Thursday, March 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, after B POSITIVE completes its second season order. The series will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Based on the life story of professional bowler Tom Smallwood, the series stars Pete Holmes as Tom, a stoic Midwest husband and dad who gets laid off from a car assembly line and makes the extraordinary decision to provide for his family by following his dream of becoming a professional bowler.
As a skilled player, Tom knows that in bowling you get two chances: no matter what you do with the first ball, you get another one to make it right – the ultimate second chance. Keeping that in mind, he begins his new career with the loving “OK” from his wife, Jen (Katie Lowes); the unfaltering support of Archie (Chi McBride), his mentor and the proud owner of Archie’s Lanes: Home of the Curly Fry; the cautious backing of his protective mom, Helen (Julie White); and the encouragement of his son, Sam (Mason Wells). It remains to be seen if Tom will strike it big on the pro bowler circuit, but right now, the pins are set, he’s taking his second shot, and it’s 300 or bust.
HOW WE ROLL is produced by CBS Studios. Mark Gross, David Hollander and Brian d’Arcy James are the executive producers. Mark Cendrowski directed the pilot.
*Paramount+ Premium subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service as well as on demand. Essential-tier subscribers will have access to on-demand the day after the episode airs.
Official CBS website: https://www.cbs.com/shows/how-we-roll/
Pete Holmes (Tom on HOW WE ROLL)
Pete Holmes is a nationally touring standup comedian, actor, “Christ-leaning spiritual seeker,” improviser, writer, cartoonist, and late-night host. Most recently, “Comedy Sex God,” Pete’s first book, was published May 14, 2019 by Harper Wave. Part autobiography, part philosophical inquiry, and part spiritual quest, “Comedy Sex God” is a hilarious, profound, and enlightening romp around his fertile mind.
In March 2019, Pete’s semi-autobiographical HBO comedy series, “Crashing,” that he created, starred in and executive-produced alongside Judd Apatow, celebrated its third and final season. “Crashing” was critically acclaimed and followed a stand-up comic (Holmes) who reevaluates his life and enters the New York comedy scene after discovering his wife’s infidelity. Currently, Pete is the host of the wildly popular podcast, “You Made It Weird,” which is a comedic exploration of the meaning of life with guests ranging from Deepak Chopra and Elizabeth Gilbert, to Seth Rogen and Garry Shandling. With more than 660 episodes, “You Made It Weird” has been downloaded over six million times and is recognized annually as a top podcast.
Since 2011, Pete has starred in CollegeHumor’s hilarious web series, “Badman.” “Badman” parodies the Christopher Nolan Batman films, with Pete playing the Caped Crusader as oblivious and incompetent, much to the annoyance of friends and foes alike. Pete also provided the voice for the talking baby in the award-winning E*TRADE ad-campaign.
An accomplished standup, with three hour-long television specials (HBO’s “Pete Holmes: Dirty Clean,” HBO’s “Pete Holmes: Faces and Sounds,” and Comedy Central’s “Pete Holmes: Nice Try, The Devil!”) and innumerous late-night appearances, Pete also hosted his own late-night TBS talk show, “The Pete Holmes Show,” that aired for two seasons. Pete has written for several television series, including “The Simpsons” and “Outsourced,” and many of his cartoons have been published in “The New Yorker,” which he thinks is pretty neat.
Currently, Holmes lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. His birthday is March 30. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @peteholmes.
Chi McBride (Archie in HOW WE ROLL)
A prolific actor in both television and film, Chi McBride most recently starred in the hit series “Hawaii Five-0” as Captain Lou Grover, on the Network.
McBride’s extensive feature credits include “I, Robot,” “The Terminal,” “Draft Day” with Kevin Costner and Jennifer Garner, “Annapolis,” “The Kid” with Bruce Willis, “Gone in Sixty Seconds” with Nick Cage, “The Distinguished Gentleman” with Eddie Murphy, and the Oscar-nominated “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”
He is also known for his principal roles in Bryan Fuller’s “Pushing Daisies” and David E. Kelley’s “Boston Public.” McBride has also lent his voice to the Marvel world playing the iconic ‘Nick Fury’ in multiple animated series, including “Avengers Assemble.”
McBride is from Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles. His birthday is Sept. 23.
Katie Lowes (Jen on HOW WE ROLL)
Katie Lowes is a force on both stage and screen. She is perhaps best known for starring as ‘Quinn Perkins’ for the entire seven seasons of the hit series “Scandal.” Lowes starred opposite a stellar cast including Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn in the fan favorite series created by Shonda Rhimes.
Recently, Lowes starred in the original television movie CHRISTMAS TAKES FLIGHT, on the Network. Currently, she stars in Shonda Rhimes’s Netflix series “Inventing Anna,” alongside Anna Chlumsky, Julia Garner and Laverne Cox.
Lowes is in the fourth season of her popular parenting podcast, “Katie’s Crib,” which is produced by Shondaland in partnership with iHeartRadio. “Katie’s Crib,” which launched in Spring 2018, is a weekly podcast covering the unexpected joys, pains, foibles, and hilarity of new motherhood. Each episode highlights a specific parenting issue from a variety of different points of view. Lowes conducts frank, intimate conversation with fellow moms (such as A-List actresses Kristen Bell, America Ferrera, and more) about the ups and downs of being a new parent.
In summer 2021, Lowes lent her voice to Netflix’s animated film “Vivo.” The film also featured voices from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Zoe Saldana, Gloria Estefan, Nicole Byer and more, with Miranda writing several songs for the movie.
In fall 2018, Lowes made her Broadway debut, starring in the Tony-nominated musical “Waitress,” with Katharine McPhee. Lowes played the role of ‘Dawn’ opposite her real-life husband, actor Adam Shapiro.
Lowes is no stranger to the big or small screen. Over the years she has appeared in big budget films, such as Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” and Dreamworks’ “Transformers 2,” Bad Robot’s “Super 8” directed by JJ Abrams and was the voice of Abigail in the 2015 Academy Award-winning animated feature film “Big Hero 6.” In addition, she voiced an animated character in the 2015 Academy Award-winning animated short film, “Feast,” as well as the Oscar-nominated Disney film “Wreck It Ralph.” Lowes was the inspiration behind the motion and movement work for Idina Menzel’s character, Elsa, in the movie “Frozen.”
Additionally, she has appeared in several independent films, including “Dinner for Four,” “The Job,” “Callers” and “Bear” and “Café.” She has been a guest star on hit series, such as “The Closer,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Private Practice,” “Leverage,” “Castle,” “The Sopranos,” “NCIS,” on the Network, and was a series regular on “Easy Money,” created by producers of “The Sopranos.”
Lowes is regularly seen guest co-hosting “Live with Kelly and Ryan” alongside Ryan Seacrest.
Born in Queens, New York, Lowes is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Lowes is the co-artistic director of IAMA Theatre Company, which was named one of the top 20 regional theatres in the country. IAMA is in the midst of its 13th season in Los Angeles.
Currently, Lowes lives in Los Angeles with her husband. Her birthday is Sept. 22. Follow her on Twitter @KatieQLowes and on Instagram @ktqlowes.
Julie White (Helen on HOW WE ROLL)
Julie White is a Tony Award winner for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her role in “The Little Dog Laughed,” and starred in Joe Mantello’s 2015 production of Lisa D’Amour’s play “Airline Highway,” for which she was nominated for Tony, Drama Desk and Drama League awards.
Tony-nominated for her performance in the 2019 Taylor Mac-created “Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus” on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane, White earlier starred on Broadway in Lucas Hnath’s “A Doll’s House 2” with Stephen Henderson and Jane Houdyshell, and opposite Matthew Broderick and Annaleigh Ashford in the revival of A.R. Gurney’s “Sylvia” for director Dan Sullivan.
White’s additional Broadway credits include “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike,” “The Heidi Chronicles,” and Off-Broadway credits “The Understudy” and “Fiction” for The Roundabout, “Twelfth Night” at The Delacorte for The Public Theatre and “Bad Dates” for Playwrights Horizons, to name some favorites. She won an Obie Award, The Elliot Norton Award, the Ovation Award and been nominated multiple times for Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Drama League Awards.
On television, White recurred as Antoinette, “Nurse Jackie”s AA sponsor; opposite John Goodman in the Garry Trudeau/Amazon series “Alpha House”; and spent a season on “Go On” opposite Matthew Perry, for which she won the Gracie Award. Other memorable TV roles are Mitzi Dalton Huntley in Alan Ball’s “Six Feet Under,” Nadine Swoboda on “Grace Under Fire,” Dr. Anne Morella on “Law & Order: SVU” and comedy appearances on cult favorites “You’re the Worst” and “Man Seeking Woman.”
Coming up, in addition to HOW WE ROLL, White will appear in the new Apple + series “Roar” among an all-star cast, including Nicole Kidman and Cynthia Erivo, as well as the Apple+ miniseries “WeCrashed” opposite Anne Hathaway. Other television credits include White starring opposite Kiefer Sutherland and Anthony Edwards on the final season of “Designated Survivor” and appearing in the critically acclaimed limited series “Mrs. America,” with Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson.
On the big screen, White appeared in “Lincoln” for Steven Spielberg opposite Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field, in addition to being a staple on the indie scene in such festival films as “Breaking Upwards,” “Hello I Must Be Going,” “Morning,” “My Idiot Brother” and “Life Partners.” Additional studio features include the massively successful “Transformers” franchise, “Michael Clayton” opposite George Clooney, “The Astronaut Farmer” with Billy Bob Thornton, and the animated film “Monsters and Aliens”.
White resides in Northern Westchester, NY, when not filming. Her birthday is June 4. Follow her on Instagram @missjuliewhite.
PETE HOLMES STARS IN THE NEW COMEDY INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF PROFESSIONAL BOWLER TOM SMALLWOOD, WHO MAKES THE EXTRAORDINARY DECISION TO FOLLOW HIS DREAM OF BECOMING A PROFESSIONAL BOWLER, ON THE SERIES PREMIERE OF “HOW WE ROLL,” THURSDAY, MARCH 31
Katie Lowes, Chi McBride, Julie White and Mason Wells Also Star
“Pilot” – Pete Holmes stars in a new comedy inspired by the life of professional bowler Tom Smallwood, who gets laid off from his factory job and makes the extraordinary decision to follow his dream of becoming a professional bowler, on the series premiere of the CBS Original series HOW WE ROLL, Thursday, March 31 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*. Katie Lowes, Chi McBride, Julie White and Mason Wells also star.
As a skilled player, Tom (Holmes) knows that in bowling you get two chances; no matter what you do with the first ball, you get another one to make it right – the ultimate second chance. Keeping that in mind, Tom begins his new career with the loving okay from his wife, Jen (Lowes); the unfaltering support of Archie (McBride), his mentor and the proud owner of Archie’s Lanes: Home of the Curly Fry; the cautious backing of his protective mom, Helen (White); and the encouragement of his son, Sam (Wells). It remains to be seen if Tom will strike it big on the Pro Bowler circuit, but right now, the pins are set, he’s taking his second shot and it’s 300 or bust!
|Greg Romero Wilson||(William)|
WRITTEN BY: Mark Gross
DIRECTED BY: Mark Cendrowski
TOM MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN LOYALTY TO ARCHIE, HIS MENTOR AND COACH, AND MONEY WHEN HE’S OFFERED A NEW SPONSORSHIP DEAL, BUT HE CAN ONLY FEATURE ONE LOGO ON HIS BOWLING SHIRT, ON “HOW WE ROLL,” THURSDAY, APRIL 7
“The Sponsor” – Tom must choose between loyalty to his mentor, Archie, and money when his first TV interview leads to a new sponsorship deal, but he can only feature one logo on his bowling shirt: Archie Lanes, Home of the Curly Fry, or Powell Mortuary. Also, Jen’s boss stifles her creativity at the salon, on the CBS Original series HOW WE ROLL, Thursday, April 7 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.
|Greg Romero Wilson||(William)|
|McKale Jude Bingham||(Lee)|
|Kerrice Ayanna Brooks||(Hannah)|
|Brittany Baker||(TV Reporter)|
|French Stewart||(Jacob Powell)|
WRITTEN BY: Michael Glouberman
DIRECTED BY: Betsy Thomas
TOM CONSIDERS SELLING HIS PRIZED BASEBALL CARD COLLECTION IN ORDER TO BRING IN SOME MUCH-NEEDED CASH TO TREAT JEN, WHO’S BEEN WORKING EXTRA HOURS, ON “HOW WE ROLL,” THURSDAY, APRIL 14
“The Hustle” – Looking for ways to make extra cash, Tom considers selling his prized baseball card collection so he can treat Jen, who’s been working extra hours at the salon, on the CBS Original series HOW WE ROLL, Thursday, April 14 (9:30-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+*.
|Greg Romero Wilson||(William)|
WRITTEN BY: Tommy Johnagin
DIRECTED BY: Betsy Thomas
Proofread and Edited by Brenda