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festcomedy

Firing

Blanks Scrubs favourites The Blanks are ditching the bright lights of Hollywood and heading for bonny Scotland. Sam Lloyd and Philip McNiven tell all to Charlotte Lytton. Hi, guys! What are you up to in LA? Philip: Having a martini by the pool in my leopard skin thong. Sam: I’m panhandling on the corner of Crescent and Sunset Heights. P: He’s just touching people’s pans. He likes to handle them. S: I’m just begging. It’s up and down – that’s showbiz.

on corners, staring up forlornly at the Hollywood sign from Beachwood Canyon, and the next minute, we were at the Oscars, on the red carpet, partying with Steve Carrell, Angelina Jolie…

Sounds rough. So, what were the early days of The Blanks like? S: One of our first gigs was for Philip’s grandmother’s 80th birthday party in Las Vegas, and we said we could provide the entertainment. P: My grandmother is an inveterate gambler and boozer, by the way. S: Hence Vegas. So at that point we still hadn’t agreed on a name, and thought we should make Philip the lead guy as it was his grandma’s birthday. So we said we’ll be ‘Phil and the Blanks’…geddit? And after the gig was over, we took the first part out.

Anything about the band at all, or was it just the food and the girls? S: How did you know about the girls?!

I read that Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence fell in love with you after watching you at the annual Christmas party… S: Yeah, and then he married us. P: He wanted to have us, but he could only have us in the show. S: He wanted children but it just wasn’t the right time. We didn’t want to be tied down. P: We were young actors in Hollywood, it wasn’t the right time to have children. S: I regret it now, but at the time it seemed like the right decision.

What was the best part about being involved with the show? S: Free food! Free food!

I just guessed. S: Well that was a good guess. That’s what it became all about with us, and then George developed a substance problem, which often happens in these stories, and he was in and out of rehab. So there’s a very rock and roll side to The Blanks, then? P: Every week at the end of shooting, we’d get this giant chocolate fountain brought in to the set. We would take off our clothes and stomp around in it - it was amazing. S: We were out of control. Bill Lawrence had to give us a talk

Did you expect the band’s sky rocketing success as a result of the show? P: It really was like we strapped in and rocketed to the A List parties. One minute we were sitting around in our underwear singing harmonies, panhandling

www.festmag.co.uk

Nicholas Dawkes

38 fest edinburgh festival preview guide 2012

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