Having played the married surgeon Chris Turk for nine seasons on Scrubs, Donald Faison returns to TV in a very different role as Phil Chase, a divorced lothario in Hugo Boss suits in The Exes, a TV Land sitcom about three guys matched up as roommates by their divorce lawyer.
“I was trying to do movies when this came my way, to be honest, but I realized this is something that I’ve never done before. The type of character is new for me and the format is new for me as well,” says Faison. “I’m a ham so it’s a lot of fun. I know a lot of people like Phil,” Faison reflects. “I have a lot of friends who are superstar ladies’ men. And it’s easy to be the ladies' man on television because you get to kiss hot chicks every week. But in real life I’m a one-woman kind of guy.”
While he might not have been the player Phil is, Faison does draw comparisons between his own post-divorce living situation and the character’s. “I moved into a house with my brother and my best friend from childhood so it’s kind of similar. Phil is happy that he’s out of his marriage. I wasn’t necessarily happy to get out of mine, but I felt my marriage was broken.” He’s “far from sour” on commitment, however, since he proposed to Cacee Cobb, his girlfriend of five years, in August.
The father of four kids, including 12-year-old twins, that range in age from nine to 14, Faison remembers his own childhood spent watching comedies like The Cosby Show and A Different World, also live-audience sitcoms. “That’s really why I became an actor. It’s almost like theater, and I’m terrified of theater, but I thought if I could do this I could segue to theater later on. And when you get to work with people like this, it’s a slam dunk,” adds Faison, who co-stars with Kristen Johnston, Wayne Knight and David Alan Basche. “I have a great time coming to work. I’m actually early for work every day, which is something that I’ve never been before.”
The Exes premieres November 30 on TV Land following the season premiere of Hot in Cleveland, which features a guest appearance by Kym Whitley.
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