Our Q&A With Paul Iacono From 'The Hard Times of R.J. Berger'

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MTV is currently pushing the envelope with its new scripted comedy, The Hard Times of R.J. Berger. From the very first scene of the pilot episode, the show does not shy away from showing the awkward sex issues in the life of a teenage guy, which is sure to turn some viewers off. But one thing we can all agree on is how cute Hard Time's star, Paul Iacono is.

We got to talk to him on the phone a few weeks back and it was instant BFF-ness (we even discovered we go to the same yoga class, but more on that another day). Here's what he had to say about his brand new show:

The show
is very blunt. Did that attract you to project or make you think twice?
If anything it made me think less because I'm clearly attracted to things of the darker or sicker humor, so to say. I said, 'Let's challenge our audience, let's give them something they haven't seen before. Let's give them this quirky, sort of weird loner protagonist who happens to be extremely well-endowed.' I don't think we've ever seen that on TV.

And the unique style of the show?

The way the show was shot and written is extremely innovative. After turning this on, you'll see that it's 'Hard Times.' It has its own feel. It has its own tone and own look and I think that's what drew me to the show.

Tell us more about the animation used in the show...

Most of the times the animation is a way of explaining some sense of exposition that we would otherwise not know about so maybe like a flashback sequence. There's another episode where there's a fight scene so instead of paying out the wazoo for choreography and everything that goes along with that, they decided to turn it into a fight-club-type animated sequence. It just heightens the experience of the show.

You're 21 years old in real life, so what do you do to make you look 15? Do you take fewer showers?

I don't know about you, but I was a pretty clean fifteen year old. (Laughs) You draw from all the insecurities and you put on the costume and glasses and you're shooting at an actual high school and boom you're there, you're fifteen again.

How are you similar to your character?

One thing that I have that R.J. has is some sort of sense of knowing what I like, you know what I mean? Even if what I like isn't exactly what is popular or trendy or hip or whatever, I've always had a strong sense of that and I think that over the years I've been ostracized for that at the same time, its sort of a double-edged sword. I've drawn on all the insecurities I've gone through in middle school - middle school was a horrible time, as I think most people's middle school experiences are, and I've drawn all that out... that sense of feeling that no one gets you. I try to play the role very honestly and I think that R.J. is me at my most heightened insecurity in my head type persona.

'The Hard Times of R.J. Berger' airs Monday nights on MTV.


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