Talking With Greg Grunberg On “Geeking Out”

Greg Grunberg, actor, writer, producer, and best known for his portrayal Matt Parkman in the award-winning TV series Heroes, has teamed up writer/director Kevin Smith, to talk about all things geek […]

Greg Grunberg, actor, writer, producer, and best known for his portrayal Matt Parkman in the award-winning TV series Heroes, has teamed up writer/director Kevin Smith, to talk about all things geek in their new show on AMC: “Geeking Out”

I recently had a chance to talk to him about it.

Fanboy Factor: You and Kevin Smith have teamed up to do this new show “Geeking Out.” How did this come about, if you don’t mind me asking?

Greg Grunberg: We been friends for a while, and I was talking to AMC, looking to do kind of a talk show, and I thought “You know we’re all talking about this stuff. The TV. Film. Things we’re really passionate about. Games. Tech. We talk about it at the watercooler all the time. Kevin and I have incredible access because we’ve been working with all these great people over the years, so why not talk to them about same stuff we’re talking about, and also feature some of newest, greatest stuff, that’s coming out. They bit and it’s been a great ride so far. We’re interviewing all kinds of really cool people. And it’s not your typical interview. It’s long form. We’re getting into some great discussions on inspiration in the geek world. You know, what inspires you? What are you bingeing? What are you watching? Good and the bad that’s out there. Not everything is a great film. So it’s a lot of fun to hear what people have to say.

We’re interviewing all kinds of really cool people. And it’s not your typical interview. It’s long form. We’re getting into some great discussions on inspiration in the geek world. You know, what inspires you? What are you bingeing? What are you watching? Good and the bad that’s out there. Not everything is a great film. So it’s a lot of fun to hear what people have to say.

Fanboy Factor: In terms of geek, because there’s so much out there, comics, toys, movies, TV. What are your passions?

Greg Grunberg: I’m a big TV guy, and obvious film guy, but I have a graphic novel that I came out with this year called Dream Jumper, about a kid who able to jump in and out of his friend’s dreams, and save them from their worst nightmares. So Dream Jumper is doing really well, so that took me into a whole world. I wasn’t a comic book collector growing up. Now that the geeks have literally inherited the Earth, everybody is talking about it. What am I watching right now? I can’t get enough of Stranger Things

What am I watching right now? I can’t get enough of Stranger Things on Netflix. Or Jessica Jones. Netflix is a good place for me. I love Preacher on AMC. AMC is killing it with a lot of their content right now. They’re so good. You know, The Walking Dead, obviously. But when I think there aren’t enough hours in the day, I find time to sit and binge a bunch of episodes of something and just fall in love with it.

Fanboy Factor: Suicide Squad came out, and a lot of negative feedback, and I’m trying to single out Suicide Squad, but do you feel there’s an oversaturation in the market right now, or do you feel there’s a place for everything?

Greg Grunberg: It depends. I feel there’s a place everything as it relates to certain people. Anti-hero might not appeal to everyone. I was so looking forward to Suicide Squad, and I loved a lot of it, but I did not love the movie as a whole. And we get into that on the show. Kevin, he grew up reading the Suicide Squad characters and comic books, he was so excited to see it on screen, it couldn’t have disappointed him. He just loved seeing them come to live on the big screen. For me, I need to connect to those characters, and I just didn’t. And it more like a music video to me, than a movie. That’s just me. I felt the same way about Batman v Superman. But Civil War, forget about it. I love that thing so much. Watch it over and over again, forever. I loved Jason Bourne out this year. I loved Star Wars and Star Trek obviously. I’m in those movies. But it all comes back to character, and I think the world in not shortage of characters that are interesting out there, and if they can write them in a way that’s really relatable. I think Marvel is doing that. DC is coming up. But they all have such great properties, such great characters, I don’t think there’s an end to this anytime soon.

Fanboy Factor: I know. Just running a geek based website myself, I understand that these movies, as much as the geek are the guaranteed ticket, they’re not made for us for the most part. They need to appeal to a wider audience.

Greg Grunberg: The marketing department deserves all the credit for Suicide Squad, clearly. The movie is making a ton of money. And a lot of people are talking about how it was disappointing. Clearly, they’re getting us to the movie. The other that is interesting is how they’re putting these characters together. You say is it an oversatuaration. Marvel and DC are doing these things on Netflix. Netflix agreed to 60 hours of TV before they even said yes to Jessica Jones. Now Luke Cage. And then they’re all going to come together with the Defenders. It’s like saying here’s a band called the Wu-Tang Clan. They’re an amazing band together. Then they go off and do their side projects. Now they’re going to come back together and have a reunion tour. So you have something long term to look forward to and it’s a smart thing to you. I agree with you. There’s only so many things I can devote myself to and stay up on it. I have a family. I go my own career. It’s tough, but I seem to find time for this stuff. And now I have to because I’m talking about it every day.

You say is it an oversatuaration. Marvel and DC are doing these things on Netflix. Netflix agreed to 60 hours of TV before they even said yes to Jessica Jones. Now Luke Cage. And then they’re all going to come together with the Defenders. It’s like saying here’s a band called the Wu-Tang Clan. They’re an amazing band together. Then they go off and do their side projects. Now they’re going to come back together and have a reunion tour. So you have something long term to look forward to and it’s a smart thing to you. I agree with you. There’s only so many things I can devote myself to and stay up on it. I have a family. I go my own career. It’s tough, but I seem to find time for this stuff. And now I have to because I’m talking about it every day.

Fanboy Factor: Right. And what most people know you for is the superhero show, Heroes.

Greg Grunberg: Yeah, that’s true. That’s a show that took six different heroes, and put them all on the same show. There’s a way of doing it so you can make it work. But occasionally I’ll find myself on the show and Kevin will say “Did you see Ghostbusters”, and I’ll say no. I haven’t seen it yet. I’m human. I can’t see everything. You got the same problem with your website. You got to be up on everything.

Fanboy Factor:  Yeah. When San Diego hits, the amount of pop culture information I’m flooded with, isn’t even funny.

Greg Grunberg:; Careful what you wish for.FF: I saw the San Diego

Fanboy Factor: I saw the San Diego Comic-Con special and can’t wait to see you guys have next. Thanks for speaking with me Greg.

Greg Grunberg: Thank you. I appreciate it!

You can catch Greg Grunberg and Kevin Smith in “Geeking Out” on AMC at 11 PM EST, starting August 14.

Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

About Brian Isaacs - Executive Editor / Publisher

An avid comic collector/reader for over 40 years and self-proclaimed professor of comicology, Brian original started up the site Pendragon's Post to share his voice. Well that voice has been shared, and evolved into The Fanboy Factor. Brian is an advocate for remembering comic roots, and that we don't forget what was created in the past, and encourage everyone to read it as well. When not swimming in geek culture, he can be seen corrupting..introducing his young son to comics, much to his wife's chagrin.