Read Part 1.
TDQ: Any chance in hell of there really being a “Mr. Belvedere” movie?
Beckham: It’s entirely possible… but not likely. If they did want to recycle the property, I think it would be a modern reboot of the original films more than a big screen adaptation of the TV series, since movies based on sitcoms have (rightfully) become less popular in the past decade. And even then, as your article touched on with Daniel Craig, male nanny “Mr. Mom” comedies of today are action/family hybrids starring guys like Vin Diesel, Hulk Hogan and The Rock. A wise, well-mannered Englishman probably isn’t gonna cut it at the box office. But you never know. Hugh Grant begrudgingly goes to work for Vince Vaughn?
TDQ: What was the best part of being a child actor on a sitcom like “Mr. Belvedere?”
Beckham: I’ve never thought of fame as a virtue, per se, but notoriety comes with certain privileges. I went places and saw and did things that I never would have had the chance to otherwise.
TDQ: What was the worst part of being a child actor on a sitcom?
Beckham: I suppose the fact that it demands a certain level of professionalism can make it feel like a rigid environment for some kids. But I was always kind of shy and introverted, so I didn’t mind the long hours at work with the cast, or only seeing my school friends one week out of the month.
TDQ: Is Bob Uecker really that funny or does he have writers?
Beckham: Well, he didn’t ad lib all his dialogue on “Mr. Belvedere.” In really real life, though, he’s really that funny, all by his own self.
TDQ: How did you avoid the pitfalls/drug abuse/jail time of some other child actors?
Beckham: Aliases. Lots of aliases and passports. Also, it helps to have a few government contacts.
Honestly, though, I was kept very sheltered and grounded, and was surrounded by good people who weren’t motivated by money or status. I was aware of the pitfalls from an early age, and was blessed with an innate distaste for drugs, alcohol, and their effects.
TDQ: You won a state speech competition in high school. Being in the entertainment industry didn’t nullify your amateur status?
Beckham: Aha! I was competing in the field of Original Prose and Poetry, and was being judged (theoretically) less on my performance than on my writing, for which I had not yet been paid. Also, I was not employed as an actor at the time. But, yeah, my acting experience was kind of unfair.
TDQ: You appeared in an episode of “Alice.” Bigger prima donna-Linda Lavin or Vic Tayback?
Beckham: Neither. Both. Pass.
TDQ: Who are/were your biggest influences in the entertainment industry?
Beckham: As I got older and began to widen my frame of reference, I came to really appreciate comedy that catches you unawares. Traditional sitcoms are, almost without exception, incredibly predictable and unbearably slow, perhaps more so for someone like me who is all-too-familiar with their rhythms. I wound up leaning toward absurdist material (sketch shows like “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” “The Kids in the Hall” and “Mr. Show;” the cartoons of Adult Swim) and rapid-fire comedies with no audience or laugh track (starting with shows like “The Simpsons” and “The Larry Sanders Show”)… the advent of unsweetened, single-camera comedies has revolutionized TV, in my opinion, to the point that I can’t even watch multi-camera sitcoms anymore. I just greatly prefer the stellar writing, quick wit and frenetic pace of shows like “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation.”
My cinematic influences are too numerous to mention.
TDQ: Isn’t it really all downhill from here after this interview runs?
Beckham: On the contrary, I expect this to skyrocket me to the A-list and launch the next phase of my career. Anything less will be viewed as a breach of contract by you.
TDQ: In all the interviews you’ve given, what’s the one question you’ve
never been asked that you wanted to be asked, and how would you answer?
Beckham: Nice try. I’m not doing your work for you. Slackers.
TDQ: Damn. Are you on Twitter? If yes, why aren’t you following @dailyquarterly?
Beckham: @bricebeckham is, as a matter of fact, on Twitter. Who said I’m not following you? (I’ll say it. I’m not. I try to stay away from any and all news sources to minimize my risk of becoming informed.) ((That’s a lie too, I follow The Onion. Fine, I’ll follow you. A**holes.))
TDQ: Better source of news using social media? thedailyquarterly.com online
or @dailyquarterly on Twitter?
Beckham: thedailyquarterly.com is not a social media site, nor does it provide factual news. So, no, wrong. Just, wrong.
TDQ: You’re welcome for our time
Beckham: And you’re doubly welcome for my doubly important time! Ego Advantage: Beckham!