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As a working actor, people seem to always want something from you. But to be needed, particularly for a role, is an altogether different feeling. It’s one David Allen Grier recently experienced when his former In Living Color co-star Jamie Foxx asked him to star in his new sitcom, Dad, Stop Embarassing Me!, which debuted on Netflix today.

“Jamie told me, he said, ‘David, I need you in this show. I need you in this show. When’s the last time I heard that?” the actor tells ESSENCE. I’ve heard, ‘Oh I think we can fit you in.’ ‘We can make a place for you.’ ‘We’d like to have you.’ ‘Maybe it will work out.’ But to hear someone say, ‘I need you in this show. I know with you here we can go to the next level and that’s the level where I want to go.’ He was passionate about it and that’s what attracted me.”

DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME (L to R) JAMIE FOXX as BRIAN and DAVID ALAN GRIER as POPS in episode 104 of DAD STOP EMBARRASSING ME Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2020

Once Grier was assured Foxx was going to be a part of the show and not just do a few drive-by drop-ins from time to time, as he put it, he was all in. And when it came to 53-year-old Foxx asking Grier, 64, to play his dad he felt no way about it.

“It was a pause and Jamie goes, ‘Did I offend you?’ I was like, ‘Let me tell you something, bruh. At this point in my career, I’m not trying to take home no wardrobe. I have no ego. I would’ve played Father time. I have no ego. I just want to be down.'”

Throughout the eight-episode series, we’ll see Grier’s character attempt to guide his entrepreneurial son Bryan as he adjusts to life as a single dad, all the while embarrassing his daughter, played by Kyla-Drew. Though Grier may be too young to be Foxx’s dad in real life, he enjoys portraying grandpa on the show.

“For a long time, I guess I read younger than I am. I would call my agent and I would be like, ‘When am I getting the old Black people roles?’ He’d say, ‘David, nobody thinks you’re that old.’ Once this beard came in, I said, ‘You see now don’t you? I done tried to told you!’ Grier says while rubbing his grayed facial hair. “I’m loving it. It’s also my reality. It’s who I am. I never thought my career would be this vibrant at — I’m 64.”

Check out our full interview with David Allen Grier in the video above. Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me! is now streaming on Netflix.

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