In the new interview with Collider, Nathaniel discusses his new show Significant Mother, that premiered last night. He reveals why he was hesitant to do comedy, how empowering it is to play a character that’s not self-conscious, why Jimmy and Nate’s friendship works, and why understanding comedy is an important skill set for an actor to have. He also talked about how he’d love to revisit his role as Kol, how grateful he is that fans love the character so much, and being just a little bit jealous about seeing another actor embody Kol last season.
Collider: How did this come about? Had you been looking to do something funny?
NATHANIEL BUZOLIC: For a long time, I actually said to my agents and my managers, “I don’t do comedy. I just don’t do it.” I never really felt like it was something that I was very good at, or was one of my strengths. And I did a lot of theater when I was a kid, and you would do comical things, but when I came over to the States, it was always about drama. I love drama. My passion is drama. It always has been. I love telling those sorts of stories. But, I got sent this audition and I was in a place where I just wanted to get back into some rooms to audition and work on my audition skills. I know that I’m not really overly comfortable with comedy, so I thought it would be a good challenge for myself, just to get into the room and do something different, more for the experience and as an exercise for myself. So, when I got a callback, I was a little surprised. And then, when I was testing for it, I was even more surprised. I thought, “Have they not seen many people? All of a sudden, have the 24- to 26-year-old males in L.A. become unfunny or something?” When I got the job, I was really, really, really surprised. It’s actually been a really, really great experience for me. It’s definitely challenging and it’s definitely something that I have to work on. I probably got more and more comfortable, as the season went on. It’s very different from Australian comedy. We have a very dry sense of humor. I would have to go to the writers and the director of our show and say, “I don’t get this. Can you explain the humor in this?” A lot of the stuff was very American. My character is American, I’m doing an American accent, and a lot of the humor is American stuff that I don’t know about because I didn’t grow up in this culture. So, there were a few moments in the script that I had to get clarification. I was doing a lot of Googling.
This is a very different character from your previous character on The CW, Kol Mikaelson (from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals), who was a lot darker and more tortured than this character is. Is it fun to play someone like Jimmy, who is so different, so much lighter, and really doesn’t seem to care what other people think of him?
BUZOLIC: It’s actually quite empowering. It’s a cool thing. I found that I love playing that. I was in a very self-conscious position. I was obviously, a lot of the time on set, in my underwear. Playing this character of Jimmy, who is just like, “This is the situation, this is who I am, and I’m completely open and cool with that,” allowed me to be more comfortable with myself. I was on set having these deep and meaningful conversations with people on the crew, and I was just in my underwear, but I forgot about it because I got comfortable. Sometimes before takes, I would do some push-ups or something to look the best I could on camera, but I really just forgot about it. Everyone was looking at me and I probably looked really douchey because I got comfortable with that. I think that’s a cool lesson in life. As a society, we’re very, very self-conscious and are always worried about what people think. We have to watch what we say, how we act and how we behave. So often, we have to censor ourselves. It’s an empowering thing when it’s just like, “This is who I am, and I’m very comfortable with myself.” That’s one of the things I love about this character, and it was fun to explore that and how that interacts with the other characters.
How do you view Jimmy? Do you think he genuinely means well?
BUZOLIC: I think it’s a thing where some people look at the cup as half full, some people look at the cap as half empty, and Jimmy looks at the cup and says, “Cool, this is what I’ve got and that’s great.” I think he tries to make the best of any situation. There’s always something he can do or say to fix it. His mentality is that there’s always a solution, and he thinks it will be fun and fix it. He’s a bit like a dog chasing its tail, but he means well. I think he is a very genuine character. He doesn’t look at the situation like, “This could be bad for me.” He thinks it could be good for everybody. He’s optimistic.