Interviews

Nice Boy of the Week: Barry Watson

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It’s long been a tradition for NiceGirlsTV to salute a Nice Boy of the Week.

This time around we are saluting actor Barry Watson (of 7th Heaven fame), who will be returning to the small screen on June 2 in the new UP Channel family dramedy Date My Dad.

The 10-episode series tells the story of single dad Ricky Cooper (Watson), who had the perfect life. A former professional baseball player, he was married to Isabella, the love of his life. But Ricky’s world came crashing down when his wife passes away leaving him to raise three daughters alone.

The dramedy picks up three years later while Ricky is raising the girls with the help of his live-in mother-in-law, Rosa (legendary actress Raquel Welch). On his 40th birthday, Ricky experiences a different type of crisis, though, when Rosa unexpectedly announces that she is moving.

Ricky becomes panic-stricken knowing he will have to tackle everything from make-up to boys to driving on his own. His daughters – 15-year old Mirabel (Zenia Marshall, who appeared in the Hallmark Channel movie Summer of Dreams), 12-year old Elisa (Lilah Fitzgerald, who has appeared in When Calls the Heart and the Hallmark Channel movies Harvest Moon and In My Dreams) and 8-year old Gigi (Audrey Smallman, who appeared in the Hallmark Channel movie Family for Christmas) – have also been busy. They have taken matters into their own hands by making it their mission to get their dad back in the dating game.

The show will also feature Cindy Busby (Cedar Cove and the Hallmark Channel movie Unleashing Mr. Darcy), Willie Aames (Eight is Enough) and Lochlyn Munro (Riverdale).

Here is our exclusive interview with star Barry Watson:

What drew you to the role of Ricky Cooper in “Date My Dad?”

I had been looking for a show about being a father as I am a father to three children in my real life and it is a complicated and beautiful experience.

What from your own life of being the dad of three did you bring to this new role?

I have seen a lot in the last 12 years of parenting. I try (to) bring a sense of humor and curiosity to my role as Ricky.

What has it been like working alongside legendary actress Raquel Welch?

Raquel has been in the business for decades and is still going strong. She is a lot of fun.

Do you (or will you) have any creative input into “Date My Dad” episodes? Maybe even in directing or writing an episode?

I hope to direct some episodes next season. Nina (Colman) [the series creator, executive producer and writer of the show] is wonderfully collaborative and allows me to add details to the script here and there.

Can you give any spoilers for upcoming episodes?

I get to act with my wife in real life and my legendary father-in-law. You will have to tune in to see who they play on the show!

NOTE: Barry and actress Natasha Gregson Wagner (daughter of the late Natalie Wood) have been married since 2014. His legendary father-in-law is the one and only Robert Wagner (of Hart to Hart fame and he played Tony DiNozzo’s dad on NCIS).

What message do you hope viewers will learn from watching “Date My Dad?”

I hope viewers will see the importance of family and how family stick together through the good and bad times. The show is about love and loss and perseverance.

Do you have a favorite hobby or hidden skill that your fans might be surprised to learn about?

I am a wonderful short order cook. I am handy around the house. I love architecture and cars and all roads lead back to Michigan for me. Go Blue.

NOTE: Barry was born in Traverse City, Michigan.

Do you have a favorite charity?

The leukemia and lymphoma society.

Date My Dad will premiere on the UP Channel on Friday, June 2 at 9 PM ET. [UP Channel is a single feed network, which means the start time of 9 PM is only ET as opposed to ET/PT.]

Visit Date My Dad to learn more about the show.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Arrow, Grimm, The Blacklist, Teen Wolf, Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash and The Fosters (among others). Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.