Q: Is it a relief to you that the contestants on “Don’t” generally are a pretty lively bunch?
A: Oh, yeah. They got just the best groups of people, mostly families. There was one group that was college students who were close friends, so it’s always people who know each other incredibly well, and that really helps them. They can determine who should answer what question, who should do which stunt … it’s easy to determine who should take the reins.
Q: Did you ever foresee yourself as a game-show host?
A: You know, I have to be honest — I never once thought about it until we got the call for “Don’t.” Never did I think of it as an option for me, and I was surprised that someone thought of me for something like this. Then, I heard about Ryan (Reynolds, a “Don’t” executive producer) being involved and the hook of the show, and it was immediately interesting to me. It sounded a bit different than your average game show.
Q: Your acting career is so busy, was it easy to schedule the taping of “Don’t” around everything else?
A: We squeezed the whole season into a week of a week-and-a-half. It’s a new show, so in getting it up and running — and me feeling comfortable with it — we thankfully got some rehearsal time in there. You’re able to shoot two shows a day.
Q: Since a lot of the challenges on “Don’t” involve physical contact among the contestants, is it a concern for you that the series is showing that during the coronavirus pandemic?
A: I think it’s clear from the word “go” (that the show was taped a while ago).
Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.