Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer play unlikely partners on FX's new comedy. Prior to the show's premiere, the two notable actors talk about working together and their roles on the upcoming sitcom.
As some of the vets in the business, Lawrence and Grammer don't feel the need to outperform each other. "I never really think of that," the former "Frasier" star says when asked by The Hollywood Reporter if he feels competitive with Lawrence.
He goes on sharing, "I want this show to be great. I think the go-to guy for the real laughs is going to be Martin. Some of my stuff is more driven by language, and some of Martin's stuff is driven by physical comedy. I think in the end he's going to win on the laugh front."
Lawrence echoes his co-star, saying, "It isn't even about which one gets the bigger laugh. We're a team. It's like basketball. If Kelsey hits the big shot, we all win."
On how they came up with the idea of working together, Grammer reveals, "We met in a room two years ago, loved the idea of doing a show, fell in love with each other and thought, 'this could do well.' " Lawrence adds, "Like Kelsey said, we fell in love. He got this look in his eye."
The show has two main characters of different races, but it's not what will draw the bigger laughs. "The black and white thing is superficial. It points to maybe a different cultural background, but what they are going to be dealing with with each other is how different they are as people - what they think is right and wrong," Grammer explains.
"Contemporary culture as a rule is not a great place to start a joke from, but universal values, universal understanding, that's a more grounded place to start with a comedic idea. Is it right, or is it wrong? Is it good or is it bad? I think that's where these guys are really coming to grips is in those moment."
"Partners (2014)" is ordered by FX under a 10/90 deal, which means the show will get additional 90 episodes if the first ten episodes reach certain ratings thresholds, but Lawrence doesn't feel the pressure of doing the show. "I really don't have worries, because I know once I set my mind to something, I'm going to do it," he says.
"I'm excited about the cast and doing our thing. This can be fun. If you're having fun, the sky's the limit. You can meet any deadline or whatever you ended to do as long as you make it fun."
"Partners" follows two Chicago lawyers from vastly different backgrounds who unexpectedly meet in court as they each face a personal crisis. Marcus Jackson (Lawrence) is a kind-hearted community activist going through a heartbreaking divorce when he meets Allen Braddock (Grammer), an elitist lawyer who has just been fired from his father's firm.
Brought together by fate and desperation, they develop a partnership and friendship, forcing each other to find the balance between the ethical and the unscrupulous in both their professional and personal lives.
The show premieres Monday, August 4 at 9 P.M. with two episodes.