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Alum Jerry O’Connell talks CBS comedy ‘We Are Men’

Posted on October 2, 2013 | by Keith Allison


Not all actors can claim to have the sustained presence of Jerry O’Connell. He’s a 1995 graduate of NYU who has had continued Hollywood success since his childhood film debut in Rob Reiner’s “Stand by Me.” Now the actor finds himself on TV screens this fall in the CBS comedy “We Are Men,” alongside Kal Penn, Chris Smith and Tony Shalhoub.

“You get to see us going out and being awful, being single,” O’Connell said. “It’s really fun. It’s about four guys who are recently, or currently, going through divorces, and they’re in temporary housing. But it’s like nice temporary housing. It’s like living at Carlyle.”

The program is one of many TV shows that feature O’Connell, who has contributed to comedies, crime dramas and science fiction programs. In terms of the criteria for his film selections, O’Connell explained that he generally joins a project based on the crew working behind the scenes.

“You know, I always like to like my boss,” he said, citing Bryan Fuller and Bryan Singer as examples. “I really like to see who the bosses are and what I can learn from them. There’s just something so enjoyable about having a knowledgeable, creative, super talented boss. You enjoy learning from them. You don’t mind working long hours for them.”

Well before making the trip to television, O’Connell immersed himself in his studies as an NYU student. The actor reflected on the strengths of his experiences as an undergraduate.

“What I really took away from film school were the film theory classes, the Cinema Studies classes,” he said. “I had seen ‘Rear Window’ a bunch of times before I had come to film school. And then when I was a freshman, they showed it in an introductory cinema studies course, and I just saw so many hidden aspects in that film that I’d never seen, and I thought that I knew that film in and out. I hadn’t even scratched the surface … it was invaluable.”

When asked for advice for students trying to break into Hollywood business, Jerry O’Connell affirmed that persistence was the key quality to have.

“When you get out of school, you’re definitely going to have some sort of introductory job,” he said. “It’s probably going to be a job that you don’t like.”

“And my only advice is stick with it. If you have to get a second job, do that,” O’Connell said. “If you stick around long enough and you have a little bit of talent, I don’t care what you do, cinematography, acting. If you have a little bit of talent, it’s going to work out for you.”

Keith Allison is a contributing writer. Email him at


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Felipe De La Hoz

Multimedia Editor | Felipe De La Hoz is a Colombian national studying journalism at the College of Arts and Sciences. Having been born in Colombia and raised in the United States, Mexico and Brazil, Felipe is a trilingual travel aficionado and enjoys working in varied and difficult environments. Apart from his photography, Felipe enjoys investigative reporting and interviews, interviewing the likes of Colombian ex-M-19 guerrilla fighters and controversial politician Jimmy McMillan. He has covered everything from governmental conferences to full-blown riots, as well as portraiture shoots and dining photography. Having worked under Brazilian photojournalists for Reuters and AFP, Felipe hopes to one day work on demanding journalistic projects and contribute to the global news cycle.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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