Exclusive: Colton Dunn Talks NBC’s ‘Superstore’ Season 2Posted by Imani Cruz
September 20, 2016
Imagine The Office and 30 Rock, combining to create a cornucopia of the silliest comedy NBC has to offer this season, and you get Superstore, which is entering its second season. The network’s workplace comedy, set in a megastore, follows the work lives of seven employees as they manage the store and all of the surprises it comes with. Starring America Ferrera and more, the comedy doesn’t delve too deep, instead characters are quite one-dimensional and not as complex in providing back-stories as most other workplace comedies. Executive Produced by Justin Spitzer, the series includes a host of new faces including Ben Feldman, Mark McKinney, Lauren Ash, Colton Dunn, Nichole Bloom and Nico Santos.
In an exclusive interview, we spoke with Colton Dunn, quite possibly the most humorous cast member of them all, who plays Garrett, a wheelchair riding employee who could care less about his job and hates any customer that gets in the way of him not working. Dunn, who was previously a writer for Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, spoke with us about working in customer service in real life and why he loves his fellow cast members.
What was your first reaction when you found out you would be playing in a wheelchair?
Colton Dunn: Right away, when I went to the audition, the director said “The character has a wheelchair, are you comfortable with that?” Obviously, as an actor, you’re going out auditioning for a bunch of stuff so you’re comfortable with anything. So, when I got the part we started developing it and there was actually even talk of taking the character out of the wheelchair, because obviously I don’t use a wheelchair. I think after looking at the scripts, and looking at the story I wanted to tell, we wanted to have this character represented. What I love about Garrett is that the wheelchair is such a background thing, you know? You get to know him as a character. I enjoy that. I enjoy playing a character that uses a wheelchair, where people can see that he’s bigger than the chair that he uses. In a lot of ways, he’s like the coolest guy in the store.
You are the coolest guy!
Colton: I think it’s a real honor to be able to play a character that uses a wheelchair and explore that character and have fun with it.
So, do we find out why you’re in a wheelchair as the season progresses?
Colton: We’re not gonna get there yet. We’re gonna try to let it come up organically. It’s such a layer of his character that is part of who he is but it’s not who he is.
How are you able to connect with Garrett ? Have you ever worked in customer service?
Colton: Yeah, a little bit. I worked in a video store. A video store is where people used to go to rent movies. They don’t have them anymore. So, yeah, I definitely had to answer a bunch of ridiculous questions and help people out. If someone would want to rent an action movie, I give them an action movie and then they would want to rent a sad movie. You know, customers don’t know what they want. I definitely feel Garrett’s frustration. So it is kind of exciting to play a character that can react the way they want to.
Do you have a funny story from working at Blockbuster?
Colton: Um, let me think. I don’t want to put too many people out. I had this customer once that returned a movie and was upset because the movie was a foreign movie. It was in the foreign movie section and the title was in Spanish. They wanted an english version of the movie and there wasn’t one because they hadn’t made an American version of the movie. Not my problem, right? But, at Blockbuster you have to give them another rental.
And, how is it working with America Ferrera?
Colton: Awesome. America Ferrera is amazing. She is becoming an idol of mine. I’ve always thought she was a great actor but getting to know her as a person, her thoughts, socially and politically. She expresses herself in such a respectable way. She’s really an amazing person. She has done everything from day one to help build the ensemble. From immediately making sure we all went out to eat and had a big dinner. She always checks in with everyone. She’s great … wonderful.
You used to be a writer on Key & Peele, and now you’re acting. How has the transition been?
Colton: It hasn’t been too hard to transition. On Key & Peele, I was a writer so I was just sitting in an office and now I’m acting. The biggest difference between writers and actors is that people treat actors really nicely. So a writer has to make his own coffee and an actor just asks for a coffee.
So you prefer being an actor?
Colton: Yeah, I mean, I like doing both equally, but in terms of being treated better being an actor has got to be better!
In regards to Garrett, is there an unspoken reason why he is so silly or is that just who he is?
Colton: He’s just that dude, you know? Everything is funny. He doesn’t take work too seriously. We kind of have the range there. We have a character like Dina who’s funny because she takes the job too seriously. Then we have Garrett who doesn’t take the job seriously at all. I think that’s where a lot of his comedy comes from. I’m a little bit of a goofball – I don’t take any of my jobs too seriously. That’s why I got into this business. Everyone has worked with that guy who, after the manager says “Alright, everybody needs to get back to work.” he makes a fart noise.
Season 2 begins on September 22, 2016.