Geno Segers is the kind of actor who, when faced with an opportunity, realizes he has a choice to make.
“There are three things you can do with it,” he says in an exclusive interview with TrunkSpace. “Walk past, pick it up and drop it, or pick it up and run with it.”
With his new series “Perfect Harmony,” airing Thursdays on NBC, Segers is heeding his own advice and embracing his latest career achievement while learning from talented castmates like Bradley Whitford and Anna Camp.
We recently sat down with Segers to discuss “finding zero,” on-set chemistry, and why training as an actor is different than training as an athlete.
TrunkSpace: We’re just a few weeks removed from the premiere of your new series “Perfect Harmony” on NBC. In an industry where so much is out of your control once you’re away from set, how do you emotionally handle premieres, because if a series hits, it could change everything over night, correct?
Segers: Absolutely, but that being said, change can be good. As long as it’s taken with a grain of salt. I have a southern mother who wouldn’t have a problem walking to LA and putting her sour feet up my backside if she heard my head had gotten too big for my shoulders. As for handling the emotional ups and downs, it’s just part of being in an industry that is ever changing. I call it, “finding zero” – when good things happen, and you’re on a high, find zero. When bad things happen that bring you down, find zero. For me it’s all about balance.
TrunkSpace: With that in mind, what is it about “Perfect Harmony” that you think gives it a chance to not only find an audience, but to retain it week-after-week in a world now dominated by streaming? What is the secret sauce that the show has?
Segers: I feel like “Perfect Harmony” is all about the characters and the fact that you wouldn’t see this group of people together outside of a Church choir. The show is a comedy with a lot of heart. You will laugh really hard, but you will be challenged at times to hold back your tears.
TrunkSpace: Comedy is sometimes difficult to pull off because setting a tone and feel for the series is everything. How soon into the process of shooting “Perfect Harmony” did it feel like that tone came into focus for you so that you fully understood what kind of show it was going to be?
Segers: I agree. But as soon as I saw the chemistry between all the cast members on day one, I felt like the tone would jump off the screen. The fact that these characters really do care for each other will be evident to viewers after the first episode.
TrunkSpace: In the series you play Dwayne. What was it about Dwayne that you first latched onto when you read for him, and as time went on, did you come to love different things about him that perhaps weren’t present in the early days of development?
Segers: I loved the idea of playing a role that doesn’t have to die a brutal death. (Laughter) But really, Dwayne and I have a lot in common and I do enjoy that aspect. What’s more fun is playing against my natural self. He’s a really shy and unsure big guy that has no idea how powerful he really is.
TrunkSpace: For fans, the final product of a film or series is always the most memorable part, but for those involved in a project, we’d imagine it goes much deeper than that. For you, what is something about your time working on “Perfect Harmony” thus far that you’ll carry with you through the course of your life/career?
Segers: I’ve learned so much about comedy from all the other cast members and I’ll take that with me for sure.
TrunkSpace: You have rich history in sports, including wrestling, football and rugby. Are there correlations between pursuing sports and pursuing acting, particularly when it comes to training and improving your skill sets?
Segers: No. Not even close. Sports is more about the more effort, the better the results. Acting is about working hard to be natural. It means doing less to achieve the best result.
TrunkSpace: You decided to pursue the entertainment industry after a friend suggested you audition for some voice over work. Do you think you would be in a much different place in your life today had you not taken your friend’s advice and walked into that audition all those years ago?
Segers: Indeed I do. Life would be very different for me. I’d very likely still be living in New Zealand.
TrunkSpace: What has been the biggest lesson you have learned in your career thus far that you find yourself applying to your day to day now?
Segers: Around every corner is an opportunity. There are three things you can do with it. Walk past, pick it up and drop it, or pick it up and run with it.
TrunkSpace: What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Segers: Being in my first network series on NBC.
TrunkSpace: Time machine question. If you could jump ahead 10 years and get a glimpse of what your career looks like a decade from now, would you take that journey? If not, why?
Segers: No, because I really like surprises.
“Perfect Harmony” airs Thursdays on NBC.