NBC Universal, Inc
by Jennifer Arrow | Wed., Mar. 23, 2011 3:04 PM
NBC Universal, Inc
After searching for love with Dennis the Beeper King (Dean Winters), Floyd (Jason Sudeikis), Dr. Drew Baird (Jon Hamm), Carol (Matt Damon) and "astronaut Mike Dexter," is it possible that Liz Lemon's (Tina Fey) one true love was right under her nose this whole time—in Tracy Jordan's entourage?
We just got a tip that our favorite TGS writer may have been sublimating her feelings for a certain ginormous fella who helps out the star of her show, but will she actually get with the guy? Here's what we can tell you:
We just talked to Grizz Chapman, who plays Grizz Griswold on 30 Rock, about his work promoting kidney health and organ-transplant awareness, plus what's to come on the show for the remainder of the season. When we asked what Grizz wanted to see for his character, he teased, "I would like my character, Grizz, to reveal to the world that he truly loves Liz Lemon. We've had some sexual tension in the past. We got drunk and had a kiss at a party."
Dang, that sounds kinda fun. 30 Rock writers, make it happen! For now it's just in the realm of fantasy, says Grizz: "There's nothing that's coming up but it's something that I'm thinking of that would probably be funny."
He also tells us that, "Right now Tracy is hiding in Africa. So we are definitely trying to find out where he is and get him back on the show so we can continue on with our regular day. We've got a few surprises coming up, and we also have the 100th episode coming up—that'll be a hour-long episode. That's definitely an exciting episode in my career also to reach and to be a part of 100 episodes on the great 30 Rock."
So will Tracy ever return? Says Grizz: "You'll have to wait and see. He's in Africa right now and we're looking for him, but we're definitely looking to evolve the [Grizz and Dotcom] characters a little bit more [while he's gone]. So hopefully between this year and next year you'll see a little bit more of that storyline to come."
Now, what's the latest on 30 Rock's two—count 'em, two—transplant recipients (both Chapman and Tracy Morganhave new kidneys)? Here's what Grizz told us about his experience with kidney disease:
Q&A With 30 Rock's Grizz Chapman
How did you learn you had kidney disease?
I was diagnosed with hypertension when I was 24, and I battled hypertension for about 10 to 12 years, and then I went to the doctor for something else, and he found that I had high levels of protein in my urine and that's how I found out I had kidney disease.
What is kidney disease?
Kidney disease basically is basically when your kidney shuts down, or could potentially shut down, and is unable to do the normal functions of a kidney—getting out the toxins in your urine and cleaning your blood. It won't be able to do those things.
What was the path from being diagnosed to finding out you needed a transplant?
My doctor informed me that even if did make some changes right at this moment there would still be a high chance that I would still be on dialysis. It was a little less than two years from the time that I was diagnosed until the time I was actually on dialysis, and then I was on dialysis for almost two years. I was on dialysis three times a week, for four and a half hours each time.
And you were working on 30 Rock the whole time?
Yes, I was bringing the funny all in the midst of this. [Laughs.]
How did you eventually find a donor?
My donor actually found me. A young man from Arizona, his name is Ryan Perkins (pictured right), he wanted to give someone a kidney, so he was just online researching about kidney disease and the National Kidney Foundation on how he could potentially give someone a kidney. And then he kept coming across me and all the work that I was doing for the National Kidney Foundation and the fact that I needed a kidney. So he felt that he wanted to give it to me. He didn't watch the show, but he reached out to NBC, and he went through the necessary channels to do [the donation]. I got a call in May of last year letting me know, "We have a kidney for you."
What was the operation like?
The operation was here in New York City. The operation took about six hours and the recovery time for Ryan was about two to three days. I was in the hospital for about two weeks because I had some complications due to the transition to kidney from dialysis and getting off of that.
What does it mean for you to have a new kidney?
Before I was in a form of a prison, not necessarily with bars but I was locked to that machine three days a week and I couldn't plan work, I couldn't plan vacations, I couldn't plan dinner, I couldn't plan homework, I couldn't plan nothing because at the end of the day, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I had to be at dialysis. I didn't have a lot of energy, and I used to cramp all the time, and I didn't really have an appetite. Ryan gave me back my life. He gave me back all aspects of my life. I get to run around with my son more and play basketball and I don't have to turn down things anymore because I have to be stuck to the machine. I can travel, I can go wherever I want to go, I can pick up and go. Today I'm supposed to go see a show later on, and usually I'd be at dialysis at 3:30 or 4 p.m. and usually I wouldn't be off the machine until 8 p.m.
What's the mission of your work with the National Kidney Foundation and as chairman of the Foundation's 2011 Kidney Walk series?
The message from Team Grizz and the National Kidney Foundation is just to bring awareness to the disease itself. We want people to not be afraid to come out if they have symptoms, and for people not to be afraid, if they have somebody in their family suffer from diabetes or has high blood pressure, to check themselves out, because if your grandmother or mother or father in your family has hypertension or diabetes, then you are at high risk.
This is not a situation you should keep from people, don't keep it to yourself, if you have certain symptoms.
If you have a metallic taste in your mouth, don't ignore it.
If you heavy, heavy, heavy foam in your urine, don't ignore it. And most people don't look at what's in the toilet after they use it but it would definitely be a good choice just to take a look. Not necessarily to critique it, but be aware of what comes out of your body because that could be your tell-tale sign right there, that there is something wrong inside of you.
Now your 30 Rock costar Tracy Morgan also had a kidney transplant, and it's crazy that two castmembers on the same show had organ transplants. How did you guys end up in the same boat?
Tracy had his own issues and he was already going through his own issues at the time so it's just unfortunate that we both needed a kidney at the same time.
Why did he need the transplant?
At this point everyone knows that Tracy had diabetes but I don't know all the particulars of his story.
30 Rock airs Thursday at 10 p.m. on NBC; tune in next season for the great Liz-Grizz romance...maybe.
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