CBS welcomes a brand-new style of comedy to its lineup this fall as The Unicorn enters the stable Thursday nights at 8:30PM ET/PT. Following the death of his wife, father of two Wade, played by Walton Goggins, is convinced by his friends to get back into the dating pool. As a widowed, gainfully employed father of two Wade soon discovers he is what’s known as a “Unicorn” in the dating world; the perfect catch.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to Goggins about the real-life story behind the show and his history of taking on groundbreaking roles.
MW- Good morning Walton, congrats on The Unicorn‘s big premiere tonight! How are you doing today?
WG- Thank you! I’m doing alright buddy!
MW- Happy to hear it, so for anyone who is unfamiliar, can you describe what exactly a unicorn is?
WG- Yea, a unicorn is a term in the dating world for a person who has lost their spouse, that shows that they can hold a commitment, on our show the unicorn also has two daughter so they it shows there’s a commitment to family and lastly it’s a person who has a job. [laughs]
Those three things are very, very important in the dating world. But the show isn’t really about dating, it’s a show about finding how to live again. It’s about going through a life-altering event and figuring out how to “walk again.” But it’s also laugh-out-loud funny. The show is filled with joy and with pain and both are infused with absurdity.
MW- It’s a really fresh concept for a show, not something we’ve ever really seen before on prime time television and on top of that it’s based off of a true story. Can you tell us about the real life inspiration that lead to The Unicorn?
WG- Yea, you know Matt, it’s interesting the show was created by Bill Martin and Mike Schiff and they were there for their actual friend who lived this. He lost his wife and they had two daughters and they were on the fronts lines supporting their friend go through this. They saw how absurd and how crazy that journey was.
One day their friend mentioned how crazy his story was and asked if they thought it was interesting and they were like ‘oh my gosh yes, we’ve been waiting for you to say this to us, your life is so insane!’ you know [laughs]. And so that was the genesis of it. The show wasn’t fabricated, it all came out of reality. That’s what people really respond to, that’s what I respond to.
We all go through things and we have to have that support system to help us through it. I’m a pretty open person, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’ve gone through some things and if I didn’t have my support system I don’t know what I would have done.
MW- Taking on these kinds of roles is nothing new to you, you’ve had such a variety of roles in your career, what was it about Ward that really piqued your interest?
WG- Well for me, again I saw myself, I saw my friends and I saw humanity. I saw this as an opportunity to tell this story in a really smart way, that was also relatable. At 48 years old I felt like this was something that I would want to see, it’s very close to me as a person. I feel like Ward is more like me, as a person, than any other character I’ve ever played and in a way that makes it a challenge because it’s like playing me [laughs]. But I’ve really enjoyed it and I think it’s going to do a lot of good.
MW- That’s always so great to hear when an actor is really enjoying their work and from the previews I’ve seen so far that is definitely coming through in your performance.
WG- Well thank you very much!
MW- Been a pleasure talking to you today and all the best with The Unicorn and I look forward to speaking with you again once the audience all gets a chance to see!
WG- Thank you so much, take care!
The Unicorn airs Thursday nights at 8:30PM ET/PT, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.