It was time to grow up. Eight years after Zach Braff signed off as Scrubs’ goofball doctor J.D., the actor “wanted a family-oriented project,” he exclusively tells Us. “It’s harder to do PG comedy. Everyone gets a laugh out of something dirty! But to have jokes adults and kids will laugh at is a real challenge.”
And one he was up for. As the titular star of ABC’s new comedy Alex, Inc., he plays a journalist dad of two who quits his job to start a podcast. “He’s forging his own path,” Braff, 43, says. “I’ve always done the same. I try to veer off the normal route and do unique things.”
The single star shares more.
Us Weekly: What are the similarities between Alex and Scrubs’ J.D.?
ZB: Alex is more mature. J.D. was a silly kid in his 20s. He had no responsibilities, where Alex has a family, kids and a mortgage. He can still be goofy, though, and that’s how they overlap.
Us: Ever think about giving up acting to start over like Alex?
ZB: Sometimes. I dream of running off and starting a new life. I’d come back as an architect. Right now, I’m renovating my house, so I’m getting my fix.
Us: Favorite podcasts?
ZB: I started with true crime podcasts, like “Serial” and “S-Town.” And then I got into celebrity interviews, like Dax Shepard’s podcast and Anna Faris’ “Unqualified.” The podcast “Start Up” actually brought me to this show. It’s this guy who gives it all up to start a podcast and it’s so entertaining. When I was approached to do this show, it was just a perfect fit since I already thought the podcast was a great idea.
Us: You star in and direct the show. How has that been a challenge?
ZB: It’s tricky. You have to be two places at once. As an actor, you want to take your time and do each take well. But as a director, you want to keep the train moving along. It’s hard to get into both of those mindsets.
Us: Have your TV kids made you want a family of your own?
ZB: I love these kids! They’ve put me over the edge. I took Audyssie James, who plays my daughter, to Disneyland the other day and just watching her light up and smile — I’m ready. I’ve got the fatherhood itch now!
Us: Outside of Disney, how have you bonded as a fake family?
ZB: Honestly, the whole cast just gets along. The kids are so funny and they steal the show. I did get them Nintendo Switches as a gift at the start. I wanted to bribe them right away!
Us: Ok, be honest: Any chance of a Scrubs reunion?
ZB: Well, Instagram photo reunions are always happening! I was with Sarah [Chalke] the other week and I see Donald [Faison] all the time. It would have to work with everyone’s insane schedules, but I’d never say never to a proper reboot or reunion. The door is open for me.
Alex, Inc. airs on ABC Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. EST
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