Kelsey Grammer thinks that his new Frasier co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst is a “gifted” comic actor.
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Grammer, who has cast the Only Fools And Horses star in the reboot of the hit American sitcom, says Lyndhurst is a “magnificent” talent. “He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever worked with,” Grammer told the BBC following the news of the surprise casting.
Speaking about what made him consider Lyndhurst for a role in the anticipated return of Frasier Crane, Grammer said it was their time on stage together in London that had cemented things. He also revealed a hint of what’s to come in the next outing of the iconic character, who first appeared in Cheers.
Grammer explained that the two actors formed a friendship and a great comic spark while appearing in Man Of La Mancha at the London Coliseum in 2019. “I fell in love,” Grammer said of his respect for Lyndhurst, adding:
“I adore him and he’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever worked with. I accuse him of being a bit of a sandbagger because you don’t see him coming and all of a sudden he’s getting all the laughs.”
Teasing what’s to come in the reboot of Frasier, Grammer said Lyndhurst would be playing a friend of the radio psychotherapist. He explained: “It suddenly occurred to me when we were putting the show together, we’ve never really seen Frasier in a relationship where he has a great friend.
“He had Niles, of course, but he was his brother and there was a competition underscoring everything they did, and a family connection that got them through some difficulties. But this real friendship thing is something we’ve not seen Frasier in… So we’re discovering a man who is still discovering himself, and that is what I find interesting to play.”
Frasier remains one of the US’s most successful TV sitcoms. It ran for 11 seasons – between 1993 and 2004 – and won 37 Emmy Awards, including five for best comedy series. Though the show makes a return, some of its former award-winning cast wont.
Discussing the absence of David Hyde Pierce – who played Frasier’s younger brother Dr. Niles Crane – in the reboot, Grammer said: “For a while we were going to try to bring back the whole cast, the whole legacy cast. David basically decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating the performance of Niles.”