Shrinking: the mix of comedy and pathos is a job like no other!

Harrison Ford, known for his iconic roles in action and adventure films, surprised everyone by showing up to talk about his role on Apple TV+’s “Shrinking.”

And he didn’t just show up, he showed up to lavish praise on the cast of the comedy-drama television series, describing the experience as a uniquely different one that rejuvenated his perspective on acting. Ford was quoted as saying, “There are people who improvise as though it was an exercise in egos. That never happens with this bunch. Work is really important to everybody that’s here.”

He continued, “This mixture of comedy and pathos and really emotional stuff, it gives you a sense of responsibility for the things you’re communicating and how you’re communicating.”

But it wasn’t just Ford who had positive things to say about the show. The entire panel, including executive producers Bill Lawrence, Jason Segel, and Brett Goldstein, as well as stars Jessica Williams, Michael Urie, Luke Tennie, Christa Miller, Lukita Maxwell, and Ted McGinley, were all singing the show’s praises.

“Shrinking” stars Segel as Jimmy Laird, a grieving psychiatrist who inserts himself into the lives of his patients. Ford plays Dr. Paul Rhoades, Jimmy’s colleague and a senior therapist. The series premiered this past January and was renewed for a second season in March.

During the conversation, which was moderated by Variety’s senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay, Ford said he jumped at the chance to talk to Apple CEO Tim Cook about “Shrinking.”

“I wanted to tell him about the experience that I have with people who come up to me and say something about the show. And then I get to say something… and then they turn around and walk away,” Ford said. “They do not want a picture. They do not want an autograph. They do not want to do anything. They just want to communicate that this means something to them. And it’s an extraordinary experience in my life. That is a real thing. And it means the world to me.”

And it wasn’t just Ford who was touched by the show. Many of the “Shrinking” cast members had similar sentiments about how special the series was, particularly what it was like working with co-creator, writer, and actor Segel.

“[Segel] is so far done with his preparation when it comes to set,” expressed Tennie. “When he’s here, it’s ‘hello, good morning, I’m Jason.’ Yeah, we know. But then there’s still this warmth and openness.”

Williams echoed Tennie’s sentiments about Segel’s work ethic: “He can just do it all. I haven’t seen someone who can stick to the script so much, who can write the thing, is aware but also present — he’s like an actor’s actor. Jason wears a lot of hats and can really do that and be present.”

Joked Segel, in response to the compliments: “My prep I have developed over 20 years, and it is totally fear-based. It is totally over the top.”

But, he added, “What I found from being so prepared, this funny thing happens when you know it so well as opposed to being stuck by it. Now you’re free. Then it becomes like surfing like the wave is in charge. And you are not thinking about your mechanics or how to stand on a surfboard or what to do if something happens. You’re on instinct now.”

Despite being a relative newcomer to the entertainment industry, Maxwell found “Shrinking” a welcome experience that, like Ford, redefined what she wanted acting to feel like.

“I’m a nervous person and it’s so comforting to walk into a space with people that hold you and are so down to play with you and are super present,” she said.

So, it seems like “Shrinking” is not only a hit with viewers, but also with the cast. It’s always refreshing to see the people behind the scenes enjoying their work just as much as the audience does. Here’s to hoping for many more seasons of “Shrinking” and more surprise appearances from Harrison Ford!

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