Justin Bartha talks to GSN playing a gay man on NBC's The New Normal
'All I care about is working on something of quality'
Justin Bartha came to fame starring with Nicholas Cage in the hit comedy National Treasure and its sequel then had another major success as one of the stars of The Hangover franchise.
In between, he starred with Matthew McConaughey in the hit comedy Failure to Launch as well as Trust the Man and The Rebound. He also had a major role in the notorious box office bomb Gigli which starred then-couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez.
Gay Star News caught up with the 34-year-old actor at the TV Critics Association summer press tour where he was promoting his upcoming NBC sitcom The New Normal.
He stars as one-half of a gay couple (his partner is played by Broadway star Andrew Rannells) who create a unique family with the woman who is going to be the surrogate mother of their child.
GSN: Have you played a gay character before?
Bartha: I think all my characters are a little gay?
GSN: Really? Okay, maybe Gigli.
Bartha: Gigli? (laughs) No, he was not gay. He was straight. But they are all a little gay, everyone of them.
GSN: Even Hangover? National Treasure?
GSN: You have been in a lot of hit movies. Why did you decide to do a TV sitcom?
Bartha: It never really interested me until I kind of found something of quality. That’s all I care about is working on something of quality. It says something. For me, the movie scripts and other things that I read weren’t really saying anything very interesting. This is about the characters being seemingly real and dealing with life in a way that actually exists. We’re not being chased by robots or anything like that.
GSN: It’s great that you actually called Ryan Murphy to express interest. Did you become a lot more bold in that way after the success of The Hangover movies?
BARTHA: Well, I didn’t have his number in my phone. My very able representatives did it. Listen, when you’re a part of something successful you get sent a lot of things that aren’t necessarily appealing and it can sometimes be frustrating. So I had read about this show. [Executive Producer] Ryan Murphy is always interesting and I just had a feeling about Andrew. Not a lot of people knew who he was here but I lived in New York and I’d seen The Book of Mormon and I knew how brilliant he was and capable of. Ellen Barkin was also involved. It has too many elements that are positive to not be interested.