Jason Ritter

Michael Buckner/Getty Images for EW

Jason Ritter for all the awards!

Or, OK, we'll take just the one nomination for now.

Parenthood fans got a nice, shiny, unexpected present this morning when the 2012 Primetime Emmy Award nominations were announced: Ritter, whose flawless portrayal of Lauren Graham's love interest Mark has made him a fan favorite, was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama. Hol. Ler.

So why was Jason stricken with panic when the calls started coming in at 6 a.m.? What can he spill about the future of his onscreen relationship with Sarah (Graham)? And why is he plotting Amanda Clarke-style "Revenge" on Ray Romano? Read on...

So..not a bad day, eh?
JR: I am having a fairly decent day today. That's true! I really am just relieved because I was nervous someone was in the emergency room. [Laughs.] When people started calling, I was annoyed. I was like, 'Why is someone calling me at 6 in the morning!?' Then all of a sudden I started hearing texts and I was like, 'Someone's trying to reach me because something horrible has happened.' It was a great relief!

Are you surprised?
Completely. I was thinking maybe I would wake up and read the list, and then if I knew anybody, text them congratulations. I never would have thought that I would be looking at my own name. That's crazy!

Does it feel weird to be the only one representing Parenthood?
It totally is weird because any time I step onto that set, I feel like from Craig T. Nelson on down to every single child actor on the set, these are all heavy-hitters and I'm just stepping into their world. I wish they had all been nominated, too. And also especially because I feel like all I'm ever really doing on the show is reacting to Lauren Graham and how incredible she is. I just feel like I'm only ever as good as whoever I'm acting with and however good the writing is. It doesn't really feel like it's mine.

Parenthood boss Jason Katims has said he's thrilled you are coming back for season four. Are you sticking around this time?
Well, I always want to come back to Parenthood. It's really an actor's dream. I love it so much. I became a big fan of the show, so I root for Sarah Braverman along with everybody, so I was like, 'Come on, bring that teacher guy back! I like him the most!' [Laughs.] I get jealous of other boyfriends that she's had. Season two, I was still watching, I was like, 'Get these guys out of here!' Now my new biggest threat is Ray Romano, he's coming in.

Are you jealous?
[Laughs] Yes! I read some article online that said [he'd been cast] and I felt like it would be the same thing as if someone I was in love with had had dinner with…I had all these thoughts like, 'It's probably not serious. If it was serious, Sarah would've told me!' I got this sinking feeling in my stomach, but it's nice that, at this point at least, Sarah and Mark have a strong enough basis of their relationship that it's a tough tree to shake.

Have you worked with Ray yet?
I haven't. I think I work with him on Monday for the first time.

Where you punch him in the face?
Exactly, and then it turns into that show Revenge. I go from him and then to John Corbett and then Billy Baldwin and then down the line.

When will we find out what Sarah says to Mark's proposal?
I was really happy with how it turns out because they did address it almost right away in the first episode. I didn't read it going like, 'Oh gosh, they're still not going to tell us which way it went!' It's nice. They let you know exactly where we are in that whole decision-making process and it's very clear. I was happy with it because it always bugs me when secrets are kept and things are drawn out longer than they need to be.

How is it working with Lauren?
She's just as smart and warm and funny and cool and nice as you would hope she is. I think that our neuroses line up in a similar way. I think she and I both have a tendency to really analyze things and make many more observations about what's going on around us than are perhaps necessary…She makes me laugh really hard and every once in a while I can make her laugh and that makes me really happy. It's just fun to play around with her…She can surprise you at any second.

Just FYI. If Sarah and Mark don't get married, I will be rioting in the streets.
I will be there right next to you!

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share