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Dean Norris On His Favorite Thing About Art In 'United States Of Al': 'He's Just A Really, Really Good Dad'

(CBS) - United States Of Al is back with another episode tonight at 8:30PM ET/PT CBS as the new kid on the block on Thursday nights. In this week's episode we start to see a little more about the characters relationships after being introduced to them in the first three episodes.

CBS' Matt Weiss spoke to Dean Norris who plays Art to discuss coming together as a cast in a pandemic, playing a Midwest dad and what to expect from tonight's new episode.

MW: Good morning Dean, thrilled to see you today!

DN: You too, Matt. Good to see you.

MW: Here to talk about United States Of Al of course, what made you want to get involved from the jump?

DN: Chuck Lorre basically. My agent said Chuck Lorre wants to talk to you about this new show and once I heard his name it was a good start. Then I read the pilot and I really wanted to do a comedy, to do something different than what I had been doing. I wanted it to be about something though and this comedy really is, on paper it sounds pretty serious.

There's a dad who is a military veteran and his son comes back from Afghanistan with a lot of issues, PTSD, his marriage is breaking up, his adult daughter is living with him who also lost her fiancé in the war. On paper it sounds like a real serious drama but when you see how they gently handle these things and the jokes that come, I knew this was a winner for me.

MW: What were some of the challenges you faced filming a brand new show during the pandemic?

DN: It's extremely challenging, we have to rehearse the entire thing with masks on and only take them off when the cameras start. That made it very challenging but we figured out a way to do it and get back to work during this pandemic. We get tested every single day, everybody on the set and we have very strict protocols about how we go about doing things. I am very much look forward to when we can stop doing that.

MW: You'll actually get to see what people look like one day, hopefully. Come back for season two and realize Steve the camera guy has a goatee or something, who knew.

DN: [Laughs] Exactly!

MW: You're still very new to playing Art of course, but what are some of your favorite things about him so far?

DN: You know, I grew up in the Midwest, in Indiana, so I feel like this guy is really close to my heart. I feel like I know Art, I've met a lot of Arts, there's probably some Art in myself at times. What I love about him is that he tries hard and he loves his kids so much. He might not always know how to fix things but he tries to fix things. I think he's just a really, really good dad and that's what I love the most about him so far.

MW: And a new episode tonight where we'll get to see some more of Art and the whole crew. What can you tell us about tonight's episode?

DN: We really explore Art and his son's relationship more. The characters have been introduced and now we get to see episodes where they try to come to terms with each other. As a father of three boys I find it really cool to play those kinds of scenes.

MW: I think we're all excited to see more of that, thanks so much Dean and all the best moving forward!

DN: Alright, I appreciate it take care.

Tune in tonight at 8:30PM ET/PT for a new United States Of Al on CBS or stream it live and on demand with Paramount+. Check your local listing for more information.

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