David Hyde Pierce is no stranger to an ensemble cast.
The award-winning actor came to national prominence with his role as Niles Crane on the legendary NBC sitcom Frasier. For his role as the snobbish psychiatrist, Pierce received four Emmy Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. He also received a Tony Award for his lead performance in the 2007 musical Curtains.
Pierce’s latest work brings him back to a well cast ensemble: HBO Max’s Julia. The series explores a year in the life of the beloved iconic chef Julia Child (Sarah Lancashire) as she breaks into television with The French Chef. Pierce plays her devoted husband Paul who, after initial resistance, became her biggest supporter on the public television series. His designs and ingenuity helped shape The French Chef into the groundbreaking series it would become. Pierce’s turn as Paul is both sweetly funny and poignantly dramatic. He and Lancashire boast remarkable, lived-in chemistry, and his work with the ensemble, including long-time friend and Frasier co-star Bebe Neuwirth, is excellent across the board.
Here, in a video interview with Awards Daily, David Hyde Pierce talks about building that strong rapport with his ensemble cast during the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. He talks about the extensive research it took to understand Paul Child and what key pieces of information most influenced his performance. Finally, he talks about Paul’s impact on Julia’s life as he urged her to “say yes to everything.”
Julia streams exclusively on HBO Max.