Mention Zach Braff, and the show that immediately comes to mind is of course Scrubs. Braff played Dr John “JD” Dorian on the show, from 2001 to 2010 – forever making his mark on the small screen as that adorkable intern-turn-doctor.
During and after Scrubs, Braff had done various guest starring gigs on popular TV shows such as Cougar Town, Community and BoJack Horseman, as well as being a writer/director on indie films Garden State and Wish I Was Here.
Now, eight years later, he is back on the small screen with a 10-episode comedy series titled Alex, Inc. In a recent phone interview, we asked the 43-year-old American what it was like to be back on a regular series.
He said: “It’s a lot of fun. We had a great time making it. This (series) is about a family, so we had kids (on set) this time. And it’s really fun to watch the kids being so talented and funny … and to just get the best performances out of them. I really like it. It’s the best job in the world – you go to work and laugh every day.”
Alex, Inc. revolves around Alex Schuman, a family man and a successful radio journalist/producer who is feeling discontented after many of his substantial ideas for a radio show were turned down for more fluff topics.
After one too many frustrating meetings, Alex decides to quit his job and start his own company, specifically in the podcast business. Although his wife (Tiya Sircar) has doubts initially, she and their two children (Audyssie James and Elisha Henig) agree to back up Alex’s dream.
Thus begins his adventure in sorting out the podcast business, and making sure his family remains a priority.
It was the topic of going after one’s dream – no matter the age – that initially attracted Braff to the project. “Also, I just felt there’s a desire for a more family-oriented TV show. There is so much content for adult now; this is a show parents and kids can watch together.”
One of the things that strikes you about Alex, Inc. is just how hilarious the two children are, especially 13-year-old Elisha who plays Alex’s son. Elisha’s comic sensibility is in perfect sync with Braff’s sense of humour.
Braff agreed that the young man is exceptional: “Elisha has so much personality and is so funny. He is just very smart. We learned that he plays the guitar extraordinarily well, so we wrote that into an episode.”
Besides headlining Alex, Inc., Braff also serves as the series’ executive producer, and directed four episodes. While he didn’t write any of the episodes, he admitted to tweaking the script when it came to his character.
During this phone interview, the actor revealed he’s hoping to write something new soon though he is not sure whether it will be a TV show or a movie. “I have to figure it out … It’s still at the beginning stage.”
For now though he is just enjoying the process of making a TV show, going to work and laughing with really funny people all day long – something he confessed he missed after Scrubs.
As for the legacy of Scrubs – which is still going strong as a re-run – Braff has no problems being known as JD to a lot of people out there. “Are you kidding me? It was nine years of my life, and it was so popular,” he said.
“I understand and am grateful, as an actor, to have any role that people really remember you for. That’s really lucky. I don’t have any problems with it. Every day people come up to me and talk about JD.”