Rules of Engagement’s Adhir Kalyan On David Spade, Romantic Tension
Adhir Kalyan might have been a late addition to the cast of Rules of Engagament, but you’d never know it now. He appeared in a guest role during the third season of the hit CBS sitcom and had such a good response that he was brought back as a recurring character. Now the central five characters have turned into the central six, and Kalyan has landed himself a successful role as the non-sexual partner of David Spade on Rules.
While Adam (Oliver Hudson) and Jen (Bianca Kajilich) are the engaged couple and Jeff (Patrick Warburton) and Audrey (Megyn Price) are the long-married pair, Russell’s (David Spade) love story with Timmy (Kalyan) isn’t quite so romantic. Timmy acts as Russell’s assistant, but that typically ends up with him being humiliated — or worse. Rumor has it that something is going to happen during the upcoming Season 7 that will push Timmy beyond his breaking point, and Spinoff Online couldn’t resist asking Kalyan at a recent press day for the syndication of Rules of Engagement what he thinks Russell could do to get Timmy to that moment. From what Kalyan said, it likely won’t be pretty.
Spinoff Online: Do you think that there will be anything that could possibly make Timmy want to leave Russell for good?
Adhir Kalyan: The breaking point really ought to have come and gone at this point, but for some reason he’s still there, and I’m intrigued because every horrific imaginable act has come and passed, and yet he’s still there. I’m wondering if it would be something that would be just cumulative, and he realizes over time that he’s been degraded to a point where he doesn’t even recognize anymore, and perhaps needs to take a step back. Or perhaps it will be one incident in particular. Perhaps Russell has just one more absolutely awful trick up his sleeve and that’s going to be the definitive breaking point for this poor boy.
Do you think, if that happened, he would be able to get Timmy back?
David and I were thinking about pitching an idea that there’s a furious fight between the two of them and Timmy quits and that’s how it sort of ends until the end of the episode, where Russell goes to Italy and he’s sitting at a café in Italy and then Timmy is there and Russell nods to Timmy and, like in The Dark Knight Rises, Timmy nods to Russell and Russell knows that Timmy’s okay and he just walks away.
You should try to get Anne Hathaway for that episode.
Yeah, there are a lot of big names that are moving to television. It’s the better place to be.
Absolutely. I’ve been curious, though: Now that Kevin Bacon is doing television, can we still all play the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, because now there’s a whole host of, like, television characters as well, but the game is a cinematic game. I don’t know. I’m a bit confused. All right, well, I just thought I would put it out there because it was on my mind.
We might need to change the rules. What’s interesting about Timmy is that he never seems to fall into stereotypes. How have you enjoyed playing a character who subverts expectations?
I think what was really interesting for me is that when I came on to the show it was first as a guest then as a recurring character, very much serving the purpose to be someone opposite David’s character Russell. Then from Season 4 I think they really did a wonderful job of integrating me into the show and making me a part of this cast. What was really interesting to me is that we were figuring out the character as we went along and so there was nothing that was definite or set in stone. There was no relationship that was sort of heavily formulated ahead of time. It was just sort of, “You’re his assistant and he’ll get you into all sorts of awkward situations and you’ll have to find your way out of them and there will be times when you guys hate each other and there will be those sort of sensitive moments when you guys sort of express that there’s a real friendship here.”
I’ve really enjoyed what the writers have done and where they’ve taken Timmy on this journey because it’s been as interesting for me to play as you vocalized that it has been for you to watch. I always enjoy on a Tuesday night, once we get done with the live taping, going home and opening the script just to see what next sort of adventure Timmy is about to embark on. More often than not ending in his humiliation, but it’s extraordinary fun nonetheless.
Looking forward on Rules of Engagement, I’ve also heard there’s going to be a Bollywood episode. Is that going to be humiliating for you or something that you’re into?
I’m not opposed to there being a Bollywood dance number, but I’m not even sure if Timmy and his family are going to be involved in this or if they’re just going to be looking on, watching Russell lead this Bollywood dance number, doing everything he can to immerse himself in Indian culture. So I’m intrigued to see how this unfolds, really. I don’t think that it’s going to be offensive in any shape or form. I think in all likelihood, trusting our writers, that it will be a very funny episode. And any opportunity to see David Spade dancing is one that I’m not likely to miss.
Timmy is a character who spends most of his time on the show with Russell. Are there any other characters or storylines on the show that you’d like to be more a part of?
One of my favorite episodes was the final episode of Season 4, and it was an episode where it ended with all six of us in Jeff and Audrey’s apartment, me sort of staging an intervention that was in no way shape or form an intervention, and I really loved shooting that episode because all six of us were together for significant periods of the story. I understand that Jeff and Audrey are very much with Brenda right now, kind of in the final trimester of her pregnancy. Adam and Jen, by the looks of things, will be getting married at some point this season, perhaps in the season finale. Timmy and Russell have their lives separate from those two couples, and while I understand that, I really always enjoy the six of us coming together and working together, but that being said, I get to go and work with David Spade all day and have him make me laugh, so that is not terrible either.
Do you have any crazy David Spade stories that you can share? Are there any?
I think the official answer as I have been instructed is no, there aren’t any crazy David Spade stories. I’ve got to be honest, I’m a little nervous after some of the interviews we’ve done today because he literally went off on tangents in lengthy expositions in this Vince Vaughn-esque type of stream of consciousness, and I’m genuinely concerned about what is going to make its way into any of these interviews and what is now, so trust me, there is a part of me that is genuinely just relieved to be sitting here talking to you, not living in fear of the next thing to come out of his mouth.
Timmy is sort of, in a funny way, Russell’s romantic partner –
That’s right, we’re the Odd Couple.
Right. So do you think there’s room in there for either of you to have your own long-term romantic story?
I know in our next episode, Timmy goes away on a vacation and, when he returns, Russell has a new girlfriend, and that new girlfriend looks, acts, dresses and speaks like Timmy.
I want to know who that actress is.
Me too! Me too. I believe they’ve actually had sessions today and they’ve probably decided on someone, but that information has not been released to us yet. But that could be quite fun. It could be quite fun.
But, as I say, what’s really exciting is that not only are we back in a season that will take us to 100 [episodes], but we’re back in a season that appears to have a lot of fun stuff for us coming up, which is really exciting.
Rules of Engagement begins airing in syndication this week. You can check here for where it’s airing in your local area. The show will returns to CBS for its seventh season later this year.