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Zach Gilford On 'The Mob Doctor,' 'Friday Night Lights' And Mitt Romney

12/03/2012 10:43 am ET

Though he is best known for his role as the lovable Matt Saracen on "Friday Night Lights," Zach Gilford is popping up everywhere these days.

Not only is he leading Fox's freshman drama "The Mob Doctor" alongside Jordana Spiro, but Gilford is also co-starring in the new inside film "In Our Nature," opposite John Slattery.

Gilford took a few minutes to talk to HuffPost about his new film, the trouble "The Mob Doctor" is in and Mitt Romney's use of the famous "Friday Night Lights" slogan in his 2012 campaign.

So "The Mob Doctor" just got its last four episodes ...
Pushed up? It's just because people are so excited to see them! [Laughs]. You know, it is what it is. I grew up in Chicago, which is where we shoot, so it was fun shooting there. It's just such a cool town. The crew is amazing, and our cast is a really good group of people. We all get along well and there's no drama. It's always those shows that just don't seem to work, for whatever reason. But it happens. You never know with TV, and movies as well. You read the script, and who knows what the final product will be. It was a cool experience. I got to work at home for a while and meet some new people who I'm going to stay friends with.

A lot of "Friday Night Lights" alumni have been "Parenthood." Why haven't you been on it yet?
They haven't asked me. I don't think they like me! Everyone's popping up, and I'm like, "Why don't they call me?"

I know! Matt Lauria's on it now.
He is?! Oh man. That guy's my doppelganger. He shot a show in Chicago after me and everyone would stop me and be like "Wait, you're --" and I would be like, "Nope, not me. Completely different person."

What did you think of Mitt Romney's use of the "Friday Night Lights" slogan "Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Lose"?
I was so pissed. We were all pissed. Romney stole it and printed it for his campaign. Pete Berg wrote this scathing letter and published it and accused him of plagiarism and said, "Your campaign embodies nothing that our show is about -- the only character you have any similarity to is the used car salesman who sold imported cars from Japan."

Do you think you'll always be Matt Saracen to the world?
For a while, yeah. If everything keeps going the way of the "Mob Doctor." [Laughs] No, it's cool though. You want to grow up, and you hope that you do something else that people will like as much, but it's cool to know you did something that people enjoyed. And now I'm doing films.

What was it like working together on your new film "In Our Nature?"
John Slattery: It was just easy. We just went and did a scene and then got a beer.
Zach Gilford: It was definitely fun, though. Were in the middle of nowhere practically, and we had adjoining rooms in our hotel. We'd be in our room for like 10 minutes and then ask each other to hang out.
Slattery: There's not a hell of a lot to do where we were shooting, either. There was one bar!
Gilford: We'd see each other at the gym, because everyone had the same time off. We couldn't avoid each other.
Slattery: It's like any location. If it's remote at all, it's a contained little world. You're on set or you're at the hotel, and you're at the mercy of that situation, and hopefully you get a situation that was as easy as this one was. You just shoot the shit, have a beer and then do it again the next day.

How long were you shooting for?
Gilford: Four weeks. It was quick.
Slattery: I had the advantage of living in New York City.
Gilford: And you had a car.
Slattery: And I had a car! Most of these guys live in LA, so I drove home to see my family. Sometimes you want to get out and break, but it wasn't because of these guys.

Zach, do you play the guitar in real life?
Gilford: No. [Laughs.]
Slattery: Can't you tell?!
Gilford: Well, I taught myself how to play in high school, and after high school, I never really picked it up again. Then when I was going in for this movie and they asked if I could play guitar I said, "Yeah, sure."

Well every guy has to play guitar, right? It's cool.
Gilford: Yeah, it makes you cool! If they picked a song that had more chords I could have done it, but instead they picked this song with tons of finger-picking.
Slattery: And you always say yes. That's the first thing you say, right? "Can you play trumpet?" "Sure!"

Trumpet could be a little risky.
Gilford: Trumpet could be easier to fake though. They just put their mouth on there and blow, right?
Slattery: You're always doing something that you don't do, and then [being in a movie] teaches you how to do it.

"In Our Nature is out in theaters on Fri., Dec. 7 and "The Mob Doctor" airs Mondays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. EST on Fox.

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