John Ross Bowie had a fun time playing Jimmy DiMeo in Season 1 of ABC’s “Speechless.”
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bowie said that he enjoyed playing the DiMeo patriarch in the show’s freshman run because he doesn’t personally have his character’s greatest qualities. “Jimmy is just really cool. Not necessarily in an edgy way. Just in a very unflappable way,” Bowie said of his role. “This is not a guy who sweats the small stuff. As somebody who personally does sweat the small stuff, it is lovely to just throw myself into this guy who simply doesn’t care.”
Bowie told Goldderby that Jimmy’s coolness and unflappableness are the things that make the character “interesting.” “That was something I talked about really early on with Scott Silveri, our creator and our showrunner,” Bowie shared. “And that appeals to me because I’m not particularly cool an unflappable in my day-to-day life, so it’s fun to pretend for 23 weeks that I’m this guy who let things slide and doesn’t sweat the small stuff because in my day-to-day life I do tend to sweat the small stuff.”
Although Bowie pointed out that he and Jimmy have the same musical tastes and fondness for napping, the 45-year-old actor insisted that he isn’t as cool as Jimmy. “That coolness that Jimmy has is not me and it’s really fun to explore and try to find the part of myself that can do that,” Bowie said. “It’s all in the writing Jimmy is bulletproof. He is just not concerned with other people’s opinions and he’s not concerned with petty worries and I think that’s really admirable and fun to play.”
Bowie admitted that he didn’t really have a firm grasp on who Jimmy was at the beginning of the series, but as they continued to film episodes, the actor started to learn more about his character. When asked what has been his favorite thing to discover about Jimmy throughout Season 1, Bowie told Entertainment Weekly that he loves Jimmy’s projects.
“I like these little short-term goals he sets for himself,” the actor said. “Like when he discovers he can talk all the dads into doing things because they get used to being bossed around so much, or when he decides that he has to get a six-pack of banjo cola for his daughter [Kyle Kenedy’s Dylan], and it turns into all this action in the back of the supermarket, which is the closest I’ve ever come to shooting an action movie. We had a stunt double that day. It was crazy.”
“So I love these little short-term goals he makes to make his life more interesting and fun,” he continued. “That’s a really fun thing to play. He maybe doesn’t have massive, grand aspirations in terms of, ‘I’m going to get my master’s degree, or I’m going to do this, or that.’ But he sets these fun little short-term projects for himself and then occasionally follows through. I love that about him.”
“Speechless” ended its first season run last night, and is expected to return for Season 2 in the fall.