Alum Skylar Astin talks lead role in TBS comedy ‘Ground Floor’

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In the last few years, NYU alumnus Skylar Astin has established himself as a skilled actor and singer. He has risen from theatrical fame for his roles in the plays “Spring Awakening” and “Rent,” to comedic stardom in the films “Pitch Perfect” and “21 & Over.”

In a conference call with WSN, Astin spoke about the newest credit to his resume — the lead in TBS’s original comedy series, “Ground Floor,” which premieres tonight.

In “Ground Floor,” Astin stars as Brody, a young, hotshot banker who finds himself falling for a ground floor girl named Jennifer (Briga Heelan), who works for the office building’s support staff — an action that becomes highly criticized by his top floor colleagues. As Brody and Jennifer’s worlds collide, Brody must balance his budding career, his critical boss (John C. McGinley) and his romance in this modern take on “Romeo & Juliet.”

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“I loved the project as a whole,” Astin said. “I love the writing. I loved the characters and how they were all fleshed out, and the dynamics between them.”

Astin said the unique writing of series creator Bill Lawrence, best known for “Scrubs” and “Cougar Town” made his character particularly well-rounded.

“I think what really attracted me to Brody is that while he was a confident, rich, money manager character,” Astin said. “Bill Lawrence did not write him in the way that so many people do where they make this kind of character. He, in fact, is the hero. He’s got suave. He’s sensitive. He’s very human, and I just loved that … I would have been an idiot to pass up this opportunity.”

Known for playing dynamic characters in diverse casts, Astin provided insight into working with his “Ground Floor” colleagues.

“It’s always a very exciting first-day-of-school-feeling whenever you’re starting with a new group,” he said. “I’ve been very blessed, doing ‘Spring Awakening,’ ‘Pitch Perfect’ and now ‘Ground Floor,’ that I’ve had these kinds of ensemble casts.”

The development of “Ground Floor” has exceeded Astin’s high expectations for the series.

“It really found itself,” he said. “And it continues to find itself … now we’re 10 episodes deep, and I just feel like we can put these people [in any situation].”

“Ground Floor” shows promise and gives viewers hope that there may be an office-set comedy worthy of staying afloat in a post-“The Office” era.

A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Nov. 14 print edition. Mohamed Hassan is a staff writer. Email him at [email protected]

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