“Surviving Sam” is an upcoming dramedy featuring both new and familiar faces. Several of the actors have done other projects from professional boxing to singing. It is quite the variety, and all of them are amazing in their unique ways. The show follows Ben and Sam Gallo who are living together with their two daughters despite being divorced. On Dec. 30, the Chicago TV Examiner was granted an email interview with Seamus McDonagh who plays Ron Kelly. This character is more complex that his first impression gives.
When reading a script, it is important to relate to the character. “Surviving Sam’s” writers have done an amazing job making the characters come to life. When asked about what drew him to the role of Ron Kelly, Seamus McDonagh replied; “I like that Ron is the antagonist and that there is always the chance that some major event is about to go down when he appears on the screen. Big things are expected to happen when Ron enters the frame!” It is important to know some of the back story when getting into the role. When asked about whether or not McDonagh could relate to Kelly, he said; “Yes I relate to this character. He is a little more serious about life than I am, but he means well. What makes him interesting is that he’s a control freak and thinks his methods are always right, and that everyone ought to live their lives according to how he thinks they ought to live. This makes for a lot of conflict but deep down Ron loves being in the middle of things.”
Getting along with the other cast members is important when filming. It appears the “Surviving Sam” cast really enjoys the company of everyone. When asked about a favorite moment when filming, Seamus McDonagh mentioned; “Yes. The cast were in the dressing room on a break between scenes. Tommy Gooch walks in shakes my hand and said hello. We attended St. John’s University at the same time. He was good friends with my then girlfriend’s brother. Tommy was all lit up beaming with a huge smile. He looked at me and said, ‘Isn’t this amazing!’ Right then it hit me and I got so grateful for the producers, Toni and Maria, all the other actors who have worked so hard to perfect their craft and work in this profession. Thank you to everyone. Even our Emmy-nominated hairstylist, Wayne Bilotti, attended St. John’s University with us and really made the filming wonderful. I’m grateful for the hard work that he and our makeup artist, Ingrid Okola, put into this project. Everyone worked really hard. I also love that my niece Shayna is in the show and that I get to work with her, her mom and my brother Matt. As I live in California, I don’t get to be around my family very much so it’s great to be back working in the New York area.”
As far as a little bit more information goes on the character of Ron Kelly, Seamus McDonagh shared; “Ron is from a little town in Ireland and was a former professional boxer but is a big teddy bear and wouldn’t harm a fly. He’s very friendly but as I’ve already stated, he’s a control freak, thus he often navigates life in defensive mode, scratch the surface and he’s very over-reactive. He always means well but the methodology at getting things done can be a little, let’s say unorthodox.” All characters have defining moments in their lives, and Ron Kelly is no different. When asked about Kelly’s defining moment that he could relate to, McDonagh said; “Ron is actually very sensitive under the tough exterior. This I relate to very deeply.”
“Surviving Sam” is the first original series for TVtibi. The tentative release date is February 2015. For updates and new cast photos, you can follow “Surviving Sam” on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow Seamus McDonagh on Twitter.