The Hamilton Spectator

‘Who’s Jason Segel?’: Harrison Ford clueless about ‘Shrinking’ co-star


PASADENA, CALIF. Harrison Ford can thank his next-door neighbor for his starring role as a grumpy psychiatri­st alongside Jason Segel in the AppleTV+ comedy “Shrinking,” (now streaming weekly on Fridays).

Executive producer and “Ted Lasso” co-creator Bill Lawrence, who lives with his actress wife Christa Miller in Ford’s Los Angeles neighborho­od, lobbied the “Indiana Jones” star to try his first TV sitcom.

Ford was impressed with the scripts, but had some key questions, Lawrence recalled at a Television Critics Associatio­n press tour earlier this month.

“It’s a show with Jason Segel. It’s going to be great,” Lawrence told Ford.

His response: “Who’s Jason Segel?”

“I told him, ‘I’ll send you a couple movies of his.’” Lawrence added.

Ford was impressed with the body of work, with Segel’s “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”a standout, said Lawrence. The classic 2008 comedy features all of Segel in a famous scene in which his screen girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) breaks up with him after he gets out of the shower.

“Harrison sent him a text, which I believe is now hanging on (Segel’s) wall,” said Lawrence. “It says, basically, ‘Nice nude body. From Harrison.’”

Speaking of the “Sarah Marshall” nude break-up scene, Segel said he has to show “the same level of vulnerabil­ity” playing psychiatri­st James Laird in “Shrinking,” but “it’s emotional vulnerabil­ity.”

Laird hits rock bottom after his wife dies in a car accident, and Ford’s boss Paul Rhodes giving tough-love support.

“Rock bottom is a sad place, but it’s actually quite hopeful, since there’s no place to go but up,” said Segel. “Watching people scramble in the dark to try to pull themselves out of a hole is an inherently funny thing.”

Miller, who plays Segel’s supportive neighbor in “Shrinking,” become an instant fan of her real one. neighbour.

Tequila helped. “Harrison always had a shot of tequila for me at the end of the day,” said Miller.

The “Shrinking” proximity had bonuses. When Ford was required to reshoot a simple scene for the second episode on the phone in a yard, Lawrence had the crew come to his own yard to shoot the scene. It was an easy commute for Ford. “The crew call was 8:30. At 8:00, my doorbell rang, and it was Harrison, like the first person to a dinner party. And he was like, ‘Give me a cup of coffee,’” Lawrence said. “As we were working in the backyard, he’s like, ‘Is it possible that we shoot all my stuff here?’”

Lawrence said he hasn’t been this happy working with a famous star since Michael J. Fox on the ’90s comedy series “Spin City.”

“At this point in my career, getting to repeat that experience with another icon who is equally generous, and awesome is an absolute treat,” said Lawrence. “Harrison Ford was a neighbor and neighborly, because he’s a good dude.”

 ?? ?? Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford
 ?? ?? Jason Segel
Jason Segel

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