With just four more episodes to shoot for this season, “Mike & Molly” is heading towards its highly-anticipated wedding episode. In fact, there might be two weddings in the offing, if Joyce and Vince (Swoosie Kurtz and Louis Mustillo) also tie the knot. Considering that the TV landscape is littered with the bones of series that jumped the shark after the main characters wed, is there concern about “M&M’s” handling of wedded life?
Not according to Reno Wilson. “I just think it opens up so many more stories,” he says. “They’ve got to get a place to live — or are they going to be married and stay in the house with her mom? What about children? You know, there are so many storylines with people on the show, honestly, in my opinion, it’s just going to add to it.”
Besides, adds the man known as Carl McMillan to “M&M” watchers, “As Billy (Gardell) and I always say: ‘Just say them words.’ We have the best writers in television, and we trust them fully.”
Wilson and Gardell, in case you didn’t know, have a friendship that dates back six years, to their former “Heist” series, before they were cast as best friends on the Mark Roberts-created “Mike & Molly.” In fact, Wilson tipped Gardell to the sitcom when it was in the works. After reading the first 10 pages of the script, he phoned Gardell and said, “This is our show.” They also played pals on an episode of “Las Vegas” as big winners. In real life, “Our kids are growing up together. We shot a little movie with our kids. We hang out at each other’s houses every so often and have barbeques.”
Meanwhile, there’s Carl’s own romance, with Holly Robinson Peete’s character. “I’m really happy that Carl has love in his life. It’s the first time he’s encountered an actual woman he doesn’t have to blow up, who doesn’t have a nozzle,” Wilson jokes. “I really like that through this relationship, they’re showing other pieces of Carl, some sensitive sides, and where that bravado and machismo came from, that kind of insecurity.” He’s also loving working with Peete. “She’s a force of nature, all the things she does.”
AND: Wilson doesn’t know when “Bolden!” — in which he plays the young Louis Armstrong — will be making its way to screen. The film is about jazz legend Buddy Bolden (Anthony Mackie), and boasts a cast including Wilson, Omar Gooding and Jackie Earle Haley. Wilson, who grew up in a household full of musicians, and reveres Satchmo, feels that “I did some of the best work of my career” in the film that was made three years ago, and has yet to see the light of distribution. “I was doing a one-man show about him when I got this movie, this opportunity to play this icon,” says the actor, who performed seven songs for the film directed by Dan Pritzker. “I try not to think about it too much.”