Playing a restaurateur is an act—he can’t cook!
Best known for TV series like All of Us and One on One, and movies including Above the Rim and Any Given Sunday, Duane Martin has returned to television in the Thursday night NBC series The Paul Reiser Show, playing Reiser’s restaurant owner pal Fernando. While his own culinary talents are limited—“I make a mean hot dog,” he jokes—Martin is having fun in the buddy comedy about five guys who become friends because their kids attend the same school.
“We’re like this mixed bag of nuts. We like the same things and we address them and see them from different angles,” says Martin, who was drawn to the series by the chance to work with Reiser, who he calls “a comedy genius ... to go in and support somebody like that who’s really on top of his game right now, it was an honor for me."
Martin’s character is based on one of Reiser’s real friends, a Cuban that Martin hasn’t met. “They kept Fernando away from me. They didn’t want to distract me: ‘We don’t want you to try to get caught up in trying to be that guy,’” he explains.
Married to actress Tisha Campbell-Martin and the father of two sons, Martin says he’ll be supportive no matter what career his children choose, whether it’s acting or something else. “If that’s what he wants to do, then I’m going to give him the best resources to do it. If he wants to be a fireman, then I’m going to make sure that he gets all the information and all the books about being a fireman.”
(Photo: Adrian Sidney/PictureGroup)