Jon Bass is one of those dudes. Even if you don't know his name, you'll recognise his face. His emergence on your screen will invariably be a welcome one – maybe not for his fellow characters (Bass plays a great douchebag) but certainly for the viewer.
Bass is quite the multifaceted talent. He got his break on Broadway in The Book of Mormon. His film credits include playing a hapless lifeguard in Baywatch and a nebbish art dealer in the brilliant Molly's Game. His most notable TV work was anthology comedy series Miracle Workers – but his role in the stupendously popular Marvel TV series She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will have brought Bass to a whole new audience. (She-Hulk spoilers from here on in.)
Lucky audience: Bass excels as billionaire Todd Phelps, a character he describes as a wannabe Tony Stark crossed with disgraced techbro Martin Shkreli. He may have been denied the chance to fully smack down in the ingenious series finale but we can't be alone in hoping Phelps is back for more in season two.
As for Bass? There's another season of Miracle Workers in the offing – plus ambitions to move into the director's chair in the near future. Whatever his next move, you can be sure it'll be worth watching.
That She-Hulk finale was quite something! What did you think upon reading the script?
I was losing my mind. When I first read the script and saw a big battle with me turning into Hulk Todd and all the other insanity going on, I had the feeling that this would be just like every other Marvel ending with the big bad and hero going toe to toe. But then when she literally breaks the fourth wall, I was so excited to see something fresh and new.
I mean, sure I was a little bummed that I wasn’t going to get to fully explore my new hot Hulk body, but there’s always next time!
Your character Todd isn't a very nice man. Was your portrayal inspired by anyone in particular?
I based Todd on a couple different people. First and foremost, I wanted his favourite person in the world to be Tony Stark. But unlike Tony he doesn’t have the wit, the brains, the looks, or the goatee so you know it’s going to fall short of being anything like the real Tony Stark.
As for real life, Martin Shkreli is such an obvious answer, but man, does it work.
How did you get into acting? Did anyone in particular inspire you?
I got into acting at a young age. I loved making people laugh when my parents had friends over and always wanted attention (huge middle child vibes here!), so at eight years old I was begging my parents to let me act.
I would spend hours and hours learning all the lines from ANY Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler movie just so I could re-enact full scenes at lunch time with my friends in middle school. And I just never grew out of it.
I’m still that eight-year-old kid who just wants to make his parents’ friends laugh.
What do you consider your 'big break'?
My big break was definitely The Book of Mormon. I was lucky enough to play the part of Elder Cunningham on Broadway and it was an absolutely wild and exciting time.
Soon after ending my run, I realised that even though doing theatre was amazing I was more interested in pursuing a career in TV and film, so I packed up my life in NYC and moved to LA.
It's a tough profession when starting out – did you ever come close to quitting and doing something else with your life? If you weren't an actor, what would you do?
I think if I wasn’t acting, I would want to be doing something creative. I’m a late bloomer in the world of cooking, but I absolutely love it. So maybe in another life I could’ve started cooking younger and become a chef.
If you could play any figure, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Probably Dave Grohl in the Foo Fighters biopic. People say we look alike, and I just want the chance to shoot the shit with Dave Grohl, he seems like a good hang.
Who is the favourite actor you’ve worked with and why?
The entire cast of Miracle Workers. They’re like family and I love them so.
You starred in the brilliant Molly's Game – are you much of a card player away from the movie set?
Yes, but not a good one. I don’t know when to quit so I’ll just keep going until it’s all gone.
What talent do you have that would surprise us?
I’m incredible with a yoyo, no cap.
You famously got your manhood stuck in a chair in Baywatch (great scene!). What’s the most unfortunate mishap that’s befell to you in real life?
Luckily nothing like that has happened in my real life, but I did get mistaken for a man's wife once from behind (I guess I have slim shoulders?), and he came up from behind me and rubbed my shoulders. His look when I turned around was priceless!
What's the strangest thing you've had to do for a film/TV show?
I did an episode of American Horror Story where I had a huge stake go through my body (lengthwise) and then I was covered with whale oil and burned alive. That was a crazy night.
What's the most fun you've had on set?
Getting to HULK OUT, naturally.
Do you have any on-set superstitions or routines?
I don't eat when I'm shooting, I think it slows me down. And I try my best (and usually fail) to keep my phone off set. That's something I learned from reading Bryan Cranston's biography.