Anthony Anderson is back on the small screen as Gary, the stay-at-home dad in the new series Guys With Kids. The sitcom, produced by Jimmy Fallon, takes a humorous look at three dads juggling children and relationships. The 42-year-old talked to BET.com about working with his onscreen wife, The Cosby Show alum Tempestt Bledsoe, if he could ever be a real life stay-at-home dad and shares if having children really ruins your sex life.
How did you first hear about Guys With Kids?
Unlike Tempestt [Bledsoe], I didn’t have that stack of residual checks to rest my laurels on. [Laughs] Jimmy [Fallon] has been a good friend of mine for years now. I got a call from his office saying we have this great project we want you to be a part of. I read it, it was a great script and I was on board.
It’s an ensemble series as well. So what specifically about you and Tempestt’s characters made you want to be a part of it?
Guys with Kids shows an African-American family on network TV again in a positive light, loving one another and raising their children. This series is showing life and love between an African-American family, what they’re going through and the successes they have. My character is a stay-at-home dad by choice. I get to play a father that is present in his children's lives who puts his career on hold to raise his four young boys in today's society.
It’s also pretty cool that you’re paired with a Cosby kid. Not too shabby.
Yes, I get to kiss my childhood crush anytime I want — Tempestt Bledsoe. She bites my bottom lip on occasion. [Laughs] Never in a thousand years did I think I would be married on TV to Vanessa from The Cosby Show. Tempestt and I have been friends for a number of years now, so it’s exciting to be able to come to work and play with her every day.
Being dad of two in real life and now playing a dad of four on TV, you also get to prove that having children doesn’t have to ruin your sex life.
Well, it does. [Laughs]
Oh, no. Come on, Anthony, you don’t really feel that way do you?
No seriously, having a baby made me want to have another child. My real life wife may beg to differ. It was a great experience living that in real life and it’s equally great getting a chance to share that with my onscreen costars and brothers on the show.
You portray a stay-at-home dad on the series. Could you ever be one in real life?
I was a stay-at-home dad at one point with my kids and my wife was… well, I won’t call her the breadwinner because she wasn’t making that much money. [Laughs] But you read these articles about this influx of stay-at-home dads across the nation and some of them are getting backlash. People are saying, "How can you stay at home and allow your wife to work?" Raising children is one of the biggest responsibilities and hardest jobs to have. To give up your career or put your career on hold. To raise your son or daughter and to ensure their well being and not leave that responsibility to some outside entity? It’s very admirable for the men and women who do this.
You’re one of the rare actors of your generation that lands TV and film roles in both comedies and dramas on a regular basis. Other than a dynamite agent, what’s your secret?
First and foremost, I’m an actor. I’ve never been anything other than that. I’ve just been able to play both sides of the spectrum and everything in between from comedy to drama. I can’t explain why I’m successful at it and others aren’t. It’s a gift and blessing. I live with it every day and it’s my responsibility to share this gift I have with the world.
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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)