Jerry O’Connell tells us he’s glad that he and Jim Belushi are able to “split the duties” on their Sept. 22-debuting “The Defenders” CBS series. “That sort of helps it,” he says, speaking of his hectic, chaotic work and family life.
O’Connell and wife Rebecca Romijn’s twin daughters, Dolly and Charlie, who turn two at year’s end, “really are cute, but they’re such a handful. They’re at that age where they wander off and you just always have to watch them. We’re looking into getting those leashes for them. Seriously,” he says. “They’re starting to fight with each other.
“My wife is great. My wife is with them all the time. I owe her a trip or a piece of jewelry,” adds the actor, who did Mr. Mom duty last year when Rebecca was in production with her short-lived “Eastwick” series. Helpfully, Charlie and Dolly “are going to sleep pretty early these days.”
It sounds like Jerry and Jim have already bonded on the show in which they play a rowdy pair of Las Vegas attorneys who are well-acquainted with the seedy side of life. “I’m learning a tremendous amount from Jim. He’s got those Second City improv roots, you know, and 10 years with ‘The World According to Jim.’ He’s such a creative guy, he bring so much to every scene, every day – really dramatic, funny and vulnerable,” Jerry says.
Jerry brings real-life knowledge of the law to the show. Not that it helps. He enrolled in L.A.’s Southwestern Law School for real last year, you may recall, and says, “I had to do a closing argument in mock court for a class. A judge assesses your performance and you go up against someone else. The judge said I was over-acting – swear to God! One thing I’ve never been accused of is over-acting.”
Jerry also says Rebecca “came down to see, and she only gave me two-and-half out of four stars.”
But it wasn’t all bad. “About two weeks later, I had to do my first big courtroom scene for ‘The Defenders.’ When people watch the pilot, they say, ‘Interesting way you really underplayed that.’”