For a little while, it seems like Michael Rady has been everywhere, turning up on the small screen in Greek, Swingtown, and even Grey's Anatomy while also romancing Alexis Bledel in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies. At the CBS/CW party at the TCA Press Tour, I chatted with Rady about playing a nice guy, whether or not his Melrose engagement is doomed, and those Swingtown sideburns. Here are highlights:How did you end up working on the new Melrose Place?
The first week of casting for Melrose Place, I went in, I didn't know anything about it, I think I had five auditions that day, and I left and they were like, "They want you." And I was like, "Really? No one wants me!" They were like, "Yeah, we like him." And then I booked it a couple of days later. And I was the first one cast. There was no script. It still hasn't quite sunk in yet — it's a little surreal.
When I saw you were cast in Melrose Place, I was of two minds about it — on the one hand, I was excited, and on the other, I was like, "Well, I guess I know what happens to Max on Greek."
Yeah — stumbling off drunk into the night, alone.
But then suddenly resurfacing here, a little more glamorous. Although Jonah seems pretty down-to-earth.
Yeah, he's the transplant from the East Coast and just comes from a grounded family, a good family situation.
Do you think he'll stay that way?
They swear up and down I would turn out good in the end. I think it's just this den of corruptibility, Melrose Place. So I think we'll get swept up here, and then spit out, and then swept up again, and then spit out.
It seems like there might be a chance on this show to play up the evil side.
It happened to Michael Mancini, right? No matter how much they swear I need to remember that: That this is Melrose Place and nothing is safe.
To hear Rady's thoughts on his Greek romance and those sideburns, just
Were you a fan of the original Melrose Place?
I was only really aware of its existence. My older sister watched it. I was just sitting on the couch, "What are we watching?" "Melrose Place." I remember Heather Locklear and Grant Show, just beautiful people around a pool.
Now you're one of the beautiful people around the pool.
No, I'm around the pool. There's beautiful people around me.
Are there any folks from the original you'd particularly love to work with?
I had the biggest crush on Laura Leighton, oh my gosh. She's just class, class, class and beautiful and amazing. Whenever she gives answers at press junkets we're all like, "She's so good. She says all the right things." I'd love for Heather Locklear to come back. I think that could be a lot of fun for the show.
It's not going to turn into a happy marriage. That's a crashing bore, too.
That relationship was actually one of my favorite parts of the pilot, though.
But you would not watch day in and day out if they were happily married, eating popcorn, watching movies at nighttime and snuggling together. Crashing bore. You wouldn't watch that. So, I mean, troubled waters. Gotta be.
Speaking of nice guys — on Greek, you were coming in and breaking up the Casey/Cappie relationship a lot of fans want to see, but you were also such a good guy.
It was so funny, because they were like, "We can't do anything and not be hated here. Because you're so nice!" Spencer [Grammer] would be like, "All right, how can we do this, because everyone's going to really like him here, and no one is going to like me at all." That was actually a fun game to play with each other, like, "You have to win here. I'm going to be as nice as I possibly can, and you have to beat that."
You were done filming Greek a while ago, right?
Yeah, I think January, I shot my last episode with them. I got Greek while I was doing Swingtown, so that's why Max had long, long sideburns and crazy, long, curly hair. I ended up having really long, ridiculous hair for a long time — it was very frustrating. We took a quarter-inch off the sideburns, like, every month. And meanwhile they're writing jokes about the sideburns into the script.
Can you give us any hints about what's coming up on Melrose to keep us watching after the pilot?
They all die. No. I have no idea!