On the day of “Psych’s” 10 year Anniversary, I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with “Galavant’s” One True King, Timothy Omundson. The significance of this milestone was not lost on me. If anything, it made the experience even more special and surreal. You see, it isn’t every day that I have the chance to chat with an actor who has been in not one, not two, but three of my all-time favorite TV shows: “Supernatural,” “Psych” and “Galavant.” What’s so special about these shows? Well, other than being totally awesome in their own right (for obvious reasons), they all happen to have the most rabidly loyal and passionate fans out there! How else would the #MoreGalavant campaign still be going strong?
Mr. Omundson kindly took time out of his busy schedule to call me from location on this fateful morning. He’s currently filming the new live-action Woody Woodpecker movie in Vancouver, or as he calls it: his “old ‘Psych’ stomping grounds.” After exchanging pleasantries (he really is the sweetest, you guys!), we have a very candid conversation about hitting the fandom trifecta, his fulfilling/exciting/challenging/fun work on “Galavant,” his whole-hearted appreciation for the fans’ efforts and his hopes for the future.
Now, just imagine hearing his answers in that buttery baritone we’ve all come to love…
Tiffany Tchobanian: For starters, I just wanted to wish you a Happy Psych Anniversary!
Timothy Omundson: Thank you very much. It’s very fitting that we’re talking today about one show that was cancelled on the anniversary of the other greatest show I ever did.
I know and they’re (“Psych” and “Galavant”) two of our favorites…and “Supernatural,” I’m a diehard “Supernatural” fan too. So you really hit…
I’ve hit the trifecta in your house.
(At this point, I’m thinking that mind-reading might be one of his hidden talents because he literally took the words right out of my mouth.) Oh my God! That’s exactly what I was going to tell you. You hit the fandom trifecta! How does it feel? Because people love seeing you at the “Supernatural” conventions and I’ve seen videos online of how they’re dressed up as “Galavant” characters, singing with you at karaoke nights…
It is such an embarrassment of riches, in a way. To sort of, virtually, it is the trifecta of fandoms. In the “Supernatural” world, there was always a crossover between the “Psych” fans and the “Supernatural” fans. It’s one of the reasons why I started crashing “Supernatural” conventions years ago. You know, I would show up long before I was on the show and do karaoke.
Yeah, Richard Speight [Trickster/Archangel Gabriel on “Supernatural” and “Kings of Con” co-creator] and I went to college together. We’ve known each other for a very long time and have been great friends. So he called me up one day and said, “You wanna do karaoke with us? People would love to see your face on stage.” And I said, “Sure.” And quickly realized that I had some fans in that world even before I was in that world just from “Psych”. So the fact that I was able to do “Supernatural” and become a legit member of that world was great. And I just did two conventions recently, one in Dusseldorf and one in Rome, for “Supernatural” and there was probably 4,000 people between the two of them. And I swear 80% of the questions on my panel were about “Galavant.” It amazed me. I mean these were people all the way from Ukraine to Dublin. I quickly realized that I think more people download the show and watched it illegally in Europe than watched it legally in the States. And the fact that it still doesn’t air in England is stupid.
Yeah, it’s crazy. It doesn’t make any sense.
There’s so many business forces at work that I don’t understand and will never make sense to me. It’s just a shame because I think there’s a great desire for the show to be seen out there and I, well, I mean people are seeing it regardless if it’s done legally or not.
Yeah, I know. If only torrents counted into ratings.
My God. Then we’d still be on the air. Yeah, being in those three worlds is just amazing. And then to see people do cosplay is pretty freaking dope.
Yeah, I love seeing all of that stuff online. What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen? What’s the wildest fan encounter you’ve had so far? “Galavant” related or otherwise.
I think the most charming is the “Galavant” cosplay. People who’ve shown up as King Richard and Isabella…I can’t remember their names off the top of my head. I remember a lovely girl in Rome who showed up as Isabella and another lovely girl in the states who showed up to Phoenix as Roberta. It’s just very satisfying and gratifying to see that these people care so much. Especially in a non-“Galavant” specific convention and still show their love. It’s pretty great. And to have all the other people at the convention know what they’re doing and embrace it.
I think that helps too because now you see a lot of things online, like William Shatner. Who would’ve ever thought? You see him going through all the different fandoms, live tweeting and showing his support. So many huge stars came out to support “Galavant.” Which one surprised you the most?
Mark Hamill. The tweet from Mark Hamill just floored me. I mean, Shatner…I’ve been lucky enough to work with Mr. Shatner and we have bantered back-and-forth on Twitter before and I know he’s an embracer and it was amazing he jumped on the “Galavant” bandwagon. Basically, he would give me crap online about Tad Cooper being a lizard. Which was great fun.
But I think I was in Germany and I walked in late one night and I saw the Mark Hamill #MoreGalavant tweet and he’s someone I’ve never engaged with online and it was just SO out of the blue and I believe my response was…You know, I took a picture of the tweet, like you do, and fanboyed out and said “What in the actual hell just happened?” And God Bless that man. He doubled down and continued to engage with us and even so much as to be in the fan video. It truly was the biggest moment in my “Star Wars” fanboy life.
I know it would be awesome if he could come onto the show if it gets saved. It could help save the show if all these big names start lining-up saying, “If this show continues, we’d want to be on it.” It would help get more eyeballs on it.
Speaking of Tad Cooper, I was speaking with Kat Likkel and John Hoberg (“Galavant” showrunners and executive producers) about him and they’re still brainstorming all these ideas of what he’d look like. (Read all about it HERE). I’m wondering how you envision Tad Cooper when the show goes on? What does he mean to King Richard?
He’s you’re classic, you know, medieval dragon. Maybe he’s got a really kickass collar. Other than that I defer to the great minds of Kat and John.
Would you like him to have voice so he could talk back to you?
Oh, you know, I never thought of that. No, I don’t think so. It’s more of, he’s a dog. It’s more of that relationship. No, I can’t imagine him with a voice, personally. But we have a connection. I know what he’s thinking and he knows he knows what I’m thinking.
It’s a PSYCHic connection! Giggling at my own pun, because I’m cheesy like that
Is there anything on your “Galavant” wish-list? Is there any storyline you’d like to explore with King Richard now that he’s the big hero? Because he had an amazing journey and arc from Season 1 through Season 2.
Boy, you know, that’s the greatest arc I ever got to play. And [Detective Carlton] Lassiter [on “Psych”] was an amazing arc. Lassiter was stupendous, but that was over 120 episodes. What we did in 8 episodes, 9 hours was just unbelievable. So where would he go from here? We did talk about that. Personally, I would like to see how this guy becomes…how he exercises his authority as The One True King. We know what kind of king he used to be. Him as the king and him and Roberta. How they rule together, what position she holds in his cabinet. She’s not just going to be his girlfriend and his wife.
She’ll be a Queen as well.
Hopefully. I think “Galavant” is a feminist show. Roberta is a huge part of that, so I’d love to see what role she takes in that area and I’d love to see what their relationship becomes. There was talk of ending Season 2 with a baby and them being married, and after a bit of discussion, we took several steps back from that. I think we were all on the same page. It would be really interesting…Let’s see these people be in love, let’s see them before they get married. How has that changed? You know what I mean?
Yeah. Especially since it’s a huge thing for King Richard. This is Richard’s first real love too.
Absolutely. And to see the trials and tribulations of that relationship before they get married. I would love to see that. I’ve made no secret of how much I enjoy working with Clare [Foster]. The “#Richerta”…
We’re all on Team Richerta!
I’ve never really gotten a relationship hashtag. There was a little with Lassiter and Marlo, but it was very exciting for me. I get to be a romantic lead. I get a romantic hashtag.
Yeah! It’s nice. There was a lot of bromance the first season with Richard and Gareth and a lot with the guys on “Psych,” so that was fun. Have you ever pitched a song or scene or scenario outside of your future with Roberta?
No, not really. First of all, John and Kat and Dan Fogelman are just geniuses. They are so incredibly creative and talented. I would just sit back and happily dance in any direction they pointed me. So other than discussing what the future can be in very broad strokes, I haven’t pitched anything.
Is there a musical genre that you’d love to cover on the show that you haven’t done yet?
Oh God we’ve covered so many. Again, you take minds like Glenn [Slater] and Chris Lennertz, I’m just amazed at where they’ve taken us and I know wherever this is to continue they would take us to the next level.
Do you have a favorite scene or song you’ve done so far?
They’re all so good. It’s hard to pick. For me, I love the lullaby in Season 1 [“Goodnight My Friend”]. For the character, it was so life-changing for that character and for the audience to get to see it. For me as a performer, it was, I had to really…it’s something I hadn’t done before. So that was a great challenge and amazing to sort of hit it. Season 2, boy, “Blacksmith” was in my wheelhouse and so fun. Now, we’re talking between me as singer-performer and him as a character. So for him, “Blacksmith” wasn’t really fun. But really, “Will My Day Ever Come” that one at the end with Alfie Simmons was just gorgeous, just absolutely gorgeous. You know it’s hitting the buttons when, and “Lullaby” was the same thing, when you’re in the recording studio and you’d have to stop because I’d be crying. It was just so, the songs were so, and this is the genius of Alan [Menken] and Glenn. They’re so emotionally tapped in. Yeah, they destroyed me every time I sang ‘em. And “Finally” with Clare was really, really fun.
That was really fun. Yeah, I know. It’s really funny too because you’re afraid you’re going to laugh so hard that don’t think you’ll be able to do it because you are laughing so hard or you’ll be bawling because it’s just so sweet and moving. You know?
That’s what so great about our show. We would set you up with the comedy and then we would punch you right in the feels.
In a really beautiful, well subtle isn’t usually a word I use to describe our show, but in subtle way. Where it wasn’t a big hammer, we would sort sneak up on you. That’s just a testament to the amazing writing.
Yeah. Well, that’s where you can’t dismiss “Galavant” as just a silly comedy because there is so much nuance in there too. It’s very smart. It’s a clever, clever show. And it’s well crafted.
Absolutely. And I think people who didn’t quite see it and or know it, they go, “Oh well it’s just a silly musical.” Well, yes, it was a silly musical, but it was also, and I’ve said this before, this show provided me with the most dramatic emotional work as an actor that I’ve ever done. The scenes with Clare were just heart-wrenching. And that’s a really rare thing to get in a silly little comedy.
Definitely. I know.
You know, without making it: “Tonight on a very special ‘Galavant’ episode.” You know, the afterschool special version that somebody…problem is when they do go to the serious side, they go too far. Again, that’s a testament to John and Kat and Chris Koch [director and producer], our executives were really amazing at threading the needle between the silly and the emotional. And it was very difficult and it was at times painful, emotionally and as an actor to do, but they really were so conscious of that and so protective of what the show is. Making every, every beat be as genuine and real and fit into our show.
Yeah, when I was talking to John and Kat they said that they’d get one solid take right off of the script and then they’d give you lots of room to improvise too. They’d kind of play with you and throw ideas out there. Whether it was comedic moments or dramatic moments too. For example, the scene in the finale where Roberta doesn’t want Richard to fight, they said that Clare riffed on all the different ways Richard could die, you know, to make it as horrifying as possible. I was wondering if you had any favorite or notable improvised moments, or if anything had you especially in stitches or emotional?
They were so generous with all of us in that regards. Again, this doesn’t happen on other TV shows. There were so many moments, they would keep mining for the funny. That break-up scene with Roberta, we tried it many different ways, from many different angles, from many different emotional levels and there were beats in there of things that Clare did and things that I did that didn’t make it to the screen. They were just some of the loveliest moments I’ve shared with another actor.
The one that really sticks out, funny-wise, is in the pilot. In the very first scene where I come to Madalena’s bed chamber and say, well, “Tonight you’re going to join me in my bed and we’re going to do it.” That was the day where Dan was on set, he just threw out an alt. It was the first time. And because of the work I had been doing on “Psych” and I’m used to improvising and used to that style of improvising, those muscles were really strong and I was able to immediately do it. And we all sort of took a breath and went, “Oh, this is the kind of work we can do.” Because Chris Koch and Dan Fogelman, they are of one mind comedically and it’s very similar to my mind and in the way that we like to work and he just started throwing out alts. And it was SO fun ‘cause you’re working without a net. Then he just said, “Now you go.” And they would leave the camera running and I would come up with whatever I could. You know the moment when I almost do a little jig, I do that weird little physical thing that kick? That was him just going, yelling off-camera: “Do something weird with your body.” And that was it. It was lightning fast and that’s what came out. It was comedy gold.
Laughing Yes it was comedy gold. Well, there are so many GIF-able moments for “Galavant”, you have just great, great snapshot moments that are hilarious over and over again. I mean I’ve cried laughing so hard and then I’ve just cried from the feels of it.
Yeah, it was a beautiful thing.
That’s why it’s such a special show. Even “Psych” had that though…
You can’t find an hour-long comedy like that anymore that has everything all in one.
“Psych” was a very rare jewel in that regards. Again, that’s a testament to Steve Franks [“Psych” creator/writer/show runner] and all of our writers and James Roday [Shawn Spencer on “Psych”]. We all knew each other so well and we all sort of quickly realized where we wanted to take the show. There was nothing else like it. I don’t think there will be anything else like it. Just like, I don’t think, there will be anything else like “Galavant.” I mean, people will try, but they’re never gonna have this perfect mix of a creative team and group of actors and actresses that really captured some magic.
I know Alan Menken immediately tweeted out that he’s working on some kind of stage production of it. I don’t know if there’s any more development on that.
I don’t either. When this job first came, we all thought, well this is a no-brainer to have a life somewhere else, certainly a theatrical life. So I was very happy to see him immediately tweet that and I hope it happens. It’s a no-brainer.
I hope so too because then maybe you guys will at least win Tonys because you all deserve all the awards for this show. It’s just so unfair, the politics of the business…
You know, I’ve really gone through the stages of death with this one. Through denial and anger and all the others…and bargaining. I’ve slowly moved into…I still go back-and-forth between anger and acceptance. I’m just, it’s not so much anger anymore, it’s just bitter, bitter disappointment that…I think the people who saw the show absolutely loved the show and there’s so many people who didn’t know anything about it, never knew about, never heard about, or were looking for Season 2 and didn’t know it was there. It’s just a shame.
[Laughing] My daughter, the other day, my 14 year-old, I had my Twitter up on my computer and there was a picture of “Galavant” and she just walked by and went, “Such a shame that show didn’t go.” You know, but it is what it is and this is the industry that I work in. I’ve tried to truly come more to the philosophy of: but it happened and thank God it happened and thank God ABC was smart enough and bold enough to put it on for as long as they did. But, it’s this little jewel that I think it is going to continue to live. Hopefully it’ll get on Netflix one of these days or someone else will pick it up.
It seems like Netflix is one of the key [networks] for giving shows new life. I know that when “Psych” started airing on Netflix, a whole new audience came and we benefited from the fact that we were still on the air. So our ratings went up. That was a show that grew in numbers as it continued on. So I think this is going to be a cool show that people are going to continue to discover for years to come and go, “Why the hell was there only nine hours of this?”
Definitely! I wish they made DVDs too because it appeals to a broad audience. A lot of the people who want to watch don’t know how to stream or don’t know what streaming is.
And again, you’re dealing with forces and a corporation that they have their reasons for doing or not doing things like that. I don’t understand it, but hopefully someone in that department will go, “You know what we should do? We should put this out on DVD.”
And they would sell like crazy because people would buy them to give to friends and say, “You haven’t seen this show, you have to see this show.”
Yeah or else you have to make it available in a way so that people don’t have to watch it illegally because people will pay for it.
Yeah, they will.
And I don’t blame them. If they can’t see it legally, they’re gonna find a way to get to it. It’s like Prohibition. You know? People are still going to drink and they figured out a way to make gin.
Yeah, exactly. Hey, “Galavant” is our drug, in many ways. Giggles
And repeal the Galavant Prohibition.
Laughs Yeah…I actually have a couple of fan questions from Twitter.
Galavant TV was wondering: “With your birthday approaching, what would you consider to be the perfect birthday gift.” What’s on your wishlist?
Oh, my wife just asked me the same thing. I have no idea. Sorry…uh…
Laughs No idea? Well, I guessed it would be #MoreGalavant.
Yeah, well, more “Galavant.” Sure. Or a week long fishing trip in Montana…
Okay. Cindy Jackson wanted to know when/how you became such an amazing dancer?
She needs to watch the videos a little closer, to be honest. I am an incredibly weak dancer. That is some good camera work and that is the genius of our choreographer, Ashley [Wallen]. Ashely took very good care of me. You know, the dancing was the one thing that kept me from being a triple-threat. Honest to God, Clare, who was originally a dancer before she was singer and actress, she could see the fear in my eyes and would take great patience in going over the dance moves with me and re-teaching them until I got them right.
Well, you look like you were doing great to us, so it really doesn’t show.
I’ve got the attitude, it’s just the actual physical moves that need a little help. …But now give me some ballroom or some swing and I’ll tear it up.
Well they should work that into the future for #MoreGalavant. That would be fun! If Richerta had a “Beauty and the Beast” type of dance in a grand ballroom.
That, I can confidently say, I would kill.
Nice! Gotta put that in there then. (If Kat, John and any of the other “Galavant” writers are reading this, please keep a romantic “BATB” dance number in mind for Richerta… Okay? Thanks!)
The 5, 6, 7, 8 ball-change, hit, move, now, dance, turn. Yeah, that I have difficulty with.
Yeah. I was wondering if there’s anything else you would like to say to the fans…
Well, I mean, I just hope that they realize how incredibly appreciative all of us involved with the show are of them for keeping us alive and keeping the word alive that they want more of the show. We would be nowhere without them. And it’s, this show was so incredibly close to all of our hearts and it’s so gratifying to get that feedback from people that it was important to them too. It’s why we do it. Flat out. It’s why we become actors and performers, is for an audience. And then to actually hear from an audience that they appreciate it and love what we’re doing, it’s the greatest thing in the world.
That’s what all the others were saying too.
Well, it’s absolutely true.
Okay, this is just a little silly one.
If you had to convince network executives to save “Galavant” through song, with what song would you serenade them?
A song from our show?
Or in general. Anything, you could even make it up. No pressure.
Oh my goodness. This requires an immediate knowledge of songs. See, James Roday would immediately have the answer because he has an encyclopedic history and knowledge of music. Hmm…It would probably be “Will My Day Ever Come” because I just want to make you cry. Just sit there and cry.
Well, it’s apropos too. You know? So it’s fitting.
Exactly. Of giving this man a shot. And at the end I would say, “Put that cat down.”
Laughs Yeah, that was fun. Did you talk to Alfie Simmons about King Richard at all?
Nope. He’s a great young actor and what he brought to it; that was all him and it was spot, spot-on. So we didn’t need to talk about anything. I like him a lot. He’s a great kid. And a lovely voice. Amazing singer. I’m really looking forward to see, if he continues acting, what he does with it. But his young Richard was perfect.
It was and the two of you together…
Yeah, it was great. We were working off the same page. He really didn’t need any advice from me.
I was just wondering because when two different people play the same character, I always wonder how much they talk to each other about it.
It’s funny because he really looks like a young me.
Yeah, he looks a lot like me in fifth grade. When they cast him, other than the color of the eyes, the shape of his face, the teeth, the freckles, it was yeah.
Awww. That’s so sweet!
As our conversation winds down, I wish Mr. Omundson all the best on his future adventures. Hopefully there will be #MoreGalavant. We’re all sad to see something end, just like we were devastated when “Psych” ended, but then that opened the door for “Galavant.” We never know what pleasant surprises the future may hold.
Omundson reveals, “I became an actor because I’ve basically got a gambler’s heart. It’s a very- After the sadness of something ending, it is very exciting to go, ‘What’s over the next ridge? Let’s go see.’ Sometimes you’ve got to go over several ridges before you find something, but it’s exciting, it’s certainly not a dull life.”
“Definitely!” I chime in. Of course, I can’t pass on this opportunity to ask one last question, since we’re still on the topic of upcoming adventures and all…
Does he have anything in the works to come back to “Supernatural” as Cain in some way? He replies, “There’s certainly been talk. I had breakfast with Robbie Thompson [“Supernatural” writer and producer] a couple of months ago and said, ‘I would love to come back.’ You know, I loved that show, I love those guys, in particular. It’s such an amazing group of actors and actresses. I would love to go back and work with them some more. On that show, no one’s ever really dead.”
That’s the beauty of “Supernatural.” When they killed Cain, I said, “He’ll be back. They’ll find a way to bring him back.” Omundson agrees, “I’ve always said he’s not dead. No body, no crime.”
I optimistically tease, “Who knows? Maybe they’ll make a musical episode just for you guys.” He says, “They should. You never know. You never know.”
It’s true, you never know what surprises life has in store for you. I, for one, never thought I’d get the opportunity to have this wonderful conversation with an actor I’ve admired (and fangirl-ed over) for years. I am so very grateful to Mr. Omundson and the rest of Team Galavant for being so gracious and generous with their time. They are all truly some of sweetest and most sincere people I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with. In case you missed any past interviews, check them out HERE.
I still have some more goodies in store for you too (like Part 2 of my chat with Kat and John, in which they reveal BTS stories about those hilarious S2 Gag Reel moments and more).
Everyone I have spoken with has truly been moved and inspired by all of your efforts, Galavanters. So keep on fighting for #MoreGalavant! We have not lost our faith yet. Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon Studios may jump in to save our beloved show. Until then, we’ll keep the campaign alive and we’ll support Team Galavant in whatever adventures they go on next.
As always, remember your To D’DEW list:
Check Karen David’s Facebook page for updates (including details on latest online voting polls) HERE.
Find details on the #MoreGalavant campaign (info for Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, etc.) HERE.
Sign and share the petition HERE.
Circulate the cast’s #MoreGalavant video online and get #MoreGalavant trending on Twitter!