Q&A Interview with actor Dan Byrd, “Cougar Town” (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)
October 12, 2011 by Dennis Amith
With the third season of “Cougar Town” airing on ABC and with the recent release of “Cougar Town – The Complete Second Series” on DVD, J!-ENT will be featuring Q&A media interviews with a few cast members from the series.
For this latest interview, we feature actor Dan Byrd, an actor who has been working since he was a child back in 1999. From roles on TV series such as “Clubhouse”, “Aliens in America” and “Heroes”, Byrd has also appeared in the film “The Hills Have Eyes” and “Easy A”. But now, he is known as playing Travis Cobb in the hit ABC comedy series “Cougar Town”.
In the series, Byrd plays Travis, the son of Jules (played by Courteney Cox) and Bobby Cobb (played by Brian Van Holt), a couple who are trying to move on in their 40’s after divorcing.
For Travis, he is a mama’s boy, and pretty much does a lot of things with his mother. But in season two, he is starting to become more independent, hanging out with girlfriends and getting prepared for college. But yet, his mother still finds it difficult not having Travis around and considers meeting up with him in college.
But being the overprotective mother, she also has a problem with Travis’ new girlfriend. Will Travis be able to survive his first year at college without mom?
To promote the new season and also the recently released second season DVD, Dan Byrd reflects on the second season of “Cougar Town” in the following media Q&A interview:
Do you like the way your character, Travis Cobb, has evolved in Cougar Town?
DAN: I love Travis’ evolution and I think it’s great the way that he is constantly changing. In general, I feel that characters get pretty static in TV shows. The kids usually stay kids for years and years – but Cougar Town keeps it fresh. Even though we’ve only been doing this show for two seasons, I think each character has grown and evolved in their own way, and they’re going to continue to let that happen. It’s really exciting.
What would you like to see happen to Travis in Season Two?
DAN: I’d like Travis to get more muscles! No, I’m joking. To be honest, I like the direction they’ve been taking Travis in Season Two. Travis is a kid compared to the rest of the characters in the show and he’s somewhat removed from the group in some ways. My fear was that he was going to become too removed from the group – but that hasn’t happened. As long as Travis stays in the mix then I’m happy.
Travis constantly fights against his overprotective mother, Jules [played by Courteney Cox]. He loves her, but he feels suffocated – and now he’s heading off to college in Season Two. How do you think Travis is going to cope?
DAN: Going to college for Travis is one of those “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” scenarios, but it’s cool that the writers have let Travis go on his own journey in the show. He’s growing up a little bit and he’s evolving, but I’m very happy that he’s still very much a part of the cul-de-sac crew dynamic.
Do we get to see Travis at college in Season Two?
DAN: Sure. We’ve had a few storylines that take place in the college – but mostly it’s just me with the rest of the gang at home, which is understandable because Cougar Town is not about Travis going to college. Though that could be the spin-off!
Is Travis going to have any storylines where he becomes the opposite of a cougar this year? Perhaps he could become cougar bait?
DAN: Well, he does get an older girlfriend in Season Two – but she’s not old enough to qualify as cougar status. I don’t think so anyway! Apparently, the relationship sends Travis down a whole different type of trajectory. It’s a trajectory that mimics what his father, Bobby, went through earlier in life so that should be interesting.
What causes the trajectory, and where does it take him?
DAN: What triggers the initial spiral is that his girlfriend is going to move away because she’s got a job offer in Chicago. In order to make her stay, Travis borrows the family heirloom – a ring — and he asks her to marry him, but she says no. He doesn’t know how to handle or cope with that information, and he ends up perpetuating what his dad did earlier in life.
Jules and Travis have a really strong connection in the show, but how do you think Travis perceives his father?
DAN: Travis and Bobby are pretty much polar opposites when it comes to their personalities, but Travis can see and feel the love from Bobby. Travis feels the love from both parents, but he can also see certain vulnerabilities in Bobby that just make him more endearing and more lovable in certain ways. It’s really fun because he’s super tight with both parents, but both dynamics are different and they rely on each other for different reasons.
There’s been a lot of talk about changing the show’s title. Do you think they should alter it?
DAN: The favorite alternative title that I heard recently was Family Jules. How great is that! In fact, all the good titles that I heard either had something to do with Friends or something to do with “family.” Since we’re right after a show called Modern Family and since Friends is obviously something you don’t want to draw into the picture, it’s made it really difficult to think up anything else. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but I’m fine with it. I just hope the fans stick by us whatever we’re called.
“Cougar Town – The Complete Second Season” is now available on DVD
Images courtesy of ABC
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