The host of a local cable show added a dose of Hollywood to his upcoming shows when he hosted an actor who has been in dozens of shows, including The Walking Dead, CSI and Hawaii Five-0.
Last week, Fred Grandinetti sat in the kitchen of his Watertown home with Cuyle Carvin after the pair shot some scenes for Grandinetti’s Watertown Cable Access TV show, Drawing with Fred. They also stopped by The Comic Stop on Main Street to sign some comic books drawn by Grandinetti featuring Carvin.
Carvin came up from Atlanta to be in the show. He moved there from Los Angeles because the number of shows and movies being made in Georgia has increased greatly and it improved his odds of getting parts.
“They say you get one part out of 50 or 60 auditions,” Carvin said. “In L.A. it takes two or three years to get 50 to 60 auditions. In Atlanta you get 60 auditions within three months.”
The auditions have panned out for Carvin, who viewers may recognize from his appearances in dozens of shows, including recent parts on Queen of the South, Modern Family and The Walking Dead.
“My favorite is definitely The Walking Dead. I’m such a fan of the show,” said Carvin, who added he got to meet his favorite actor and star of the show, Andrew Lincoln, while filming.
He also enjoyed Hawaii Five-0 because they paid to fly him out to Hawaii for two weeks. Carvin also recently worked on the Tom Cruise movie American Made.
The role that he has most been recognized for, however, came in a comedy.
“People will say, ‘Didn’t you play a firefighter in Modern Family?'” Carvin said.
Grandinetti said he recently caught an episode of the show CBS The Inspectors featuring Carvin.
“It’s a Saturday morning procedural based on true stories. They are based on mail fraud incidents and it is funded by the U.S. Postal Service,” Carvin said. “I was editor of a newspaper and the chief gets kidnapped.”
One part of The Inspectors appealed to Grandinetti.
“The funny thing about it is they gave a little moral, like they did on Shazam years ago,” Grandinetti said.
Those sort of things, in Grandinetti’s opinion, are missing from children’s TV shows today. He grew up watching shows like Bozo the Clown and Willie Whistle.
“They don’t have hosts on TV anymore that say, respect your parents, listen to your teacher, look both ways before crossing the street,” Grandinetti said.
Drawing with Fred uses some of the same format as those shows from years past. In each episode Grandinetti demonstrates how to draw a character or object and also shows cartoons such as Popeye the Sailor and Casper the Ghost. He tries to relate the drawing to the cartoons on that show.
“If I am creating a tree, there will be a tree in the first cartoon,” Grandinetti said.
Between the cartoons, Grandinetti also includes public service messages, some of which feature Carvin. They touch on water safety, physical fitness and healthy eating among other subjects.
Grandinetti has been working Drawing with Fred for 26 years and he estimates he has made 75 to 100 episodes. Some can be seen on Watertown Cable, but some of the older ones are on video tape. Grandinetti has digitized some of those shows and put some of them up on his YouTube page.
The partnership with Carvin goes back to 2009, when Carvin lived in New York. The pair may never have worked together if Grandinetti had not been drawn to one of the actor’s features.
“I was looking on the New England Actor webpage and I was looking for someone’s eyes to catch me, because the start of the segment (I was working on) focused right on an eye,” Grandinetti said.
Carvin’s blue eyes stood out, so Grandinetti contacted him.
“I thought he would get back to me in a few days, but he got back to me in 15 minutes and apologized that it took that long to respond,” Grandinetti said.
It will take some time to put together the latest episodes featuring Carvin, Grandinetti said. Meanwhile, past episodes of Drawing with Fred can be seen on Watertown Cable’s Public Channel (Comcast Channel 9, RCN Channel 3) or stream it on the Watertown Cable website by clicking here.