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.”
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.