While Greg Grunberg has had staying power in a business that is often a chain of flash in the pan celebutantes, he is also somewhat of a chameleon as an actor from his days as Sean on the hit drama Felicity to the epic NBC hit Heroes, where he played police officer Matt Parkman, who had the power of telepathy. Greg is no mind-reader, but he is a man with his thumb on the pulse of the world outside of Tinsel Town and continues to star in one of his longest running and most coveted roles, that of husband and father.
It has been several years since I have had the pleasure of catching up with Greg, and his sense of humor is only outdone by his sense of compassion and commitment to changing the lives of those in need.
Joshua Estrin: So many people still connect you to Heroes. Have we finally saved the cheerleader and saved the world?
Greg Grunberg: Well with the cheerleader singing in Nashville and a host of random bad guys seemingly taken care of... I think I feel comfortable saying [insert country music score] we are safe and the cheerleader seems to be burning up the red carpet. Actually, I miss the show and the cast and wish we had perhaps had the opportunity to offer fans/viewers a slightly better ending.
JE: With so much happening in the world today, sometimes it is easy to lose sight of what matters: people? Tell me about the work you are doing related to epilepsy.
GG: My son Jake was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 7 (he is 16 now). It was a very scary time. Like so many people, my family felt alone and stigmatized -- we really didn't know what to say or who to say it to ... No one was talking about it. So I created TalkAboutIt, a non-profit that allows people to safely exchange information in a forum that is not driven by or sponsored by any large pharmaceutical company. It is a place to truly talk about it [epilepsy] and break the silence.
JE: What do you think is the greatest misconception about the condition?
GG: I find a great deal of misinformation circulating ... It [epilepsy] is NOT contagious, it is not a mental illness and it is not the result of any form of satanic possession. The key is understanding and information about the condition.
JE: Any new projects in the works and new super powers we should know about?
GG: I have two really fun projects. End of the World is coming out Feb. 23 of this year on the Syfy Channel, and Big Ass Spider, which brings back all the campy, giant insect fun of those iconic B movies, but this one really works!