“Surviving Sam” is a dramedy based on a divorced couple, Ben and Sam Gallo who live together under the same roof with their two daughters. While they are the main characters, there are several supporting roles. On Dec. 30, the Chicago TV Examiner was granted an email interview with Richie Minervini who plays Mel Schimdt, the judge who hands down the divorce decree for Ben and Sam Gallo.
The way a character is written is important, especially when trying to sell the role to an actor. When asked about what appealed to him regarding the role of Judge Mel Schimdt, Richie Minervini replied; “As an overview, I really liked the fact that the show has a serious side with funny undertones. And playing a Judge is something I have kind of always wanted to do. I like it when people have to listen to me because it’s the opposite in real life!” Being able to relate to the character is important as well. When Minervini was asked if he could relate to Schmidt, he responded; “Sometimes when I’m on cruise ships they have me judge the talent shows and I say ‘I’m not here to judge, I’m here to observe and report.’ When I owned a comedy club, I had the final say on all matters so, I guess in that sense, I was the Comedy Judge!”
Learning about a character before you watch them on the small screen is important to some fans. Richie Minervini shared a little bit more about Judge Mel Schimdt when he mentioned; “My character is a little long in the tooth and has been doing this for a long time. He probably didn’t go as far as he planned in law, but he is still only about doing the right thing. He wants to make bad things right, I like that about him. He has integrity and honor.” When asked about a defining moment in Schmidt’s life that Minervini could relate to, he said; “Well, I’m actually happily divorced and live in the same neighborhood with my ex-wife so the story kind of rings true for me”
Having a cast that gets along is important. The “Surviving Sam” cast seems to have amazing chemistry and they enjoy working together. When asked about a favorite moment when filming, Richie Minervini said; “The set has such a great feeling of friendship. To be honest I really don’t have a favorite acting moment. My fellow actors and the production team all give out a lot of love and warmth. It probably sounds corny but you don’t often get that on a set or offstage. It’s a wonderful set full of wonderful people.”
For now “Surviving Sam” is tentatively set for release in February 2015. Fans are excited to see where the characters are headed and are looking forward to the premiere. You can follow “Surviving Sam” on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.