Ben and Kate‘s latest standout star is neither Ben nor Kate. It’s Will — AKA Geoff Stults, who recently joined the freshman Fox comedy as a charming single dad looking to romance the lady half of the titular duo.
Though he’s known as a dramatic actor, The Finder alum has some sizable comedy chops – which helped him blend into a cast that, while new to the TV game itself, was a pretty solid (not to mention funny) unit from Day 1.
Here, Stults chats with TVLine about his transition from drama to sitcom, reveals how long he’ll stick around — and how serious Will and Kate will get — and shares what pilot season has in store for him.
TVLINE | Onscreen, you seemed to join the Ben and Kate fold so seamlessly. Did it feel that way for you as well?
It was a little different for me because my last three experiences in television were my shows or I was lead of a show. It wasn’t like I joined [Ben and Kate] three years in and they had a thing going, but they were getting their groove and starting to do more improv; the writers knew who they were writing to. It’s like pick-up basketball with people you’ve never played with before. I just think really highly of that cast. Nat [Faxon] is just a comic genius. Dakota [Johnson] is young, and I don’t think she realizes how good she is. Watching her is a joy; she’s so natural and she’s just got a thing. Some people can just do it. She’s very accessible and good. Lucy Punch is maybe one of the funniest women I’ve ever met. And the goofball Echo [Kellum] is a scene-stealer. The best of them all is Maggie [Elizabeth Jones]. She’s just amazing. She shouldn’t be that good at understanding irony in comedy. I look forward to days when she’s working just so I can hang out with her. You know, I hadn’t done a half-hour in years, so I was a little intimidated… You don’t want to jump in on your first day on a show and start improv-ing and changing the show. And actually, my character is the straight guy, so it didn’t really lend itself to the “ha-ha” funny guy… But it’s very well written, very well cast and I’m just happy to be a part of it… Other than the way they comb my hair in a weird, nerdy comb-over. I don’t love that part. [Laughs]
TVLINE | Your presence opposite Dakota brings so much to her character.
I hope so! [Laughs] One of the heads of Fox said at a table read the other day that [Will] makes [Kate] so much better, and I was like, ‘F–k. I didn’t know that!’ [Laughs] I’m just trying to remember my lines over here. It’s really been an enjoyable experience. I’ll be bummed when my little run ends, but I think there’s a chance for Will to pop back in and out every once in awhile.
TVLINE | Speaking of, how long will you stick around?
There had been talk about keeping Will around for an extended period, but then the business get involved. I actually have a deal with 20th Century Fox to do a pilot for them, so come January I have to be available to do a show for them if the right one comes around. I also have a deal to write one, so I’m working on that. It’s an awesome experience — up until the point that you actually have to write it. [Laughs] So, yes, my filming [Ben and Kate] will end before the holidays, and then we’ll just see what happens after Christmas in the back part of the season. Will’s daughter goes to school with Dakota’s daughter [and] he’s a neighbor, so it would be easy to just see Will outside picking up garbage or something. [Laughs] I would love to be a part of the show moving forward in any capacity.
TVLINE | Given that you’re not here for the long haul, how serious are things going to get for Will and Kate?
Oh yeah, we’re moving in that direction… Kate’s a bit of an awkward person, but Will’s got his own quirks as well, and they seem to just get along.
TVLINE | So far, we’ve seen some fun stuff between you and Dakota and you and Nat. Any other pair-ups ahead that you’re excited about?
I’ve done a little bit more with Lucy, which is amazing. Just watching her do her thing — whatever the f–k it is! — it’s genius. It’s genius. First of all, she’s beautiful, and then she’s got that accent, which makes her even more hot. But just watching her do her little schtick, it’s endlessly entertaining.
TVLINE | Talk a little about Will’s involvement in this week’s Thanksgiving-themed episode, “Reunion.”
Will and Kate are treading lightly in their relationship and trying to figure out if [they're] going to spend Thanksgiving together with their families… [Kate] makes it known that she doesn’t want to go a reunion that’s happening because she had this infant in high school, and Will really feels passionate about pushing her to go and confront people who made her feel weird and called her a weird name — which I shouldn’t give away. [Laughs] So, he gets caught up in a shenanigan and is on Ben’s team. It alienates Kate a little bit, even though he thinks he’s doing it for her own good. Ben and I are morons basically. [Laughs]