EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Wayne Wilderson Previews 'Club 5150' Series and Reflects On His Fascinating Career

Wayne Wilderson - Photo by Bonni Allen Photography
The chances are good that Wayne Wilderson has appeared in one of your favorite TV shows, or you've seen him in a commercial, or caught him on stage. The multi-talented actor's credits include A To Z, Mom, Two And A Half Men, The Office, CSI, Jessie, Bones, Wilfred, ER and Pushing Daises, among many others. He recently played a prosecutor in two episodes of How to Get Away with Murder. He also spent 11 years as the Purple Grapes in the Fruit Of The Loom ads.

He next stars in Steve Silverman's comedy web series Club 5150, which premieres on Monday, November 9. He recently spoke with We Love Soaps about his career, and gave us a preview of his Club 5150 character, Ted. Check out our exclusive interview below:

WE LOVE SOAPS: You have an amazing list of credits over the past twenty years. What has been your favorite role that you've played?
WAYNE WILDERSON: I had a great time in a couple of episodes I did on The Office as Martin Nash. It was pretty special, and I worked with very nice people. I got to do a lot of improv. It was people I've known for a long time, and people I'd just met, and it was just a very easy going, really creative fun couple of weeks working on that show.

Wayne Wilderson as Purple Grapes.
WE LOVE SOAPS: You've also appeared in tons of commercials over the year. Do you have a favorite?
WAYNE WILDERSON: I was the Purple Grapes for Fruit of the Loom for 11 years. Again, that was kind of along the lines of The Office. I got to work with some amazing people like J. P. Manoux [Green Grapes], who's somebody I knew before. We got that job and the early years were a lot of improv. It was a great gig and a lot of fun, and we got to travel. It was a big part of my career; it bought me a house, "The House that Underwear Bought." [Laughs]

WE LOVE SOAPS: More recently, you had a significant role on How to Get Away with Murder. What was working on that show like?
WAYNE WILDERSON: I've done a few Shonda Rhimes shows, and I've yet to meet the woman! I did the ninth episode of Grey's Anatomy, where I played a guy who had an ovary, and his wife was pregnant. That was fun. And I did an episode of Private Practice as a guy with cancer whose wife was pregnant. On How to Get Away with Murder, I played a prosecuting attorney, and I got to do some courtroom scenes with Viola Davis, which was amazing. And I didn't die, so I hope I come back!

Club 5150 stars Mary Gallagher, Wayne Wilderson,
Sharon Houston and Michael Caruso.
WE LOVE SOAPS: Let's talk about Club 5150. How did your role as Ted come about?
WAYNE WILDERSON: Steve Silverman and I knew each other from different avenues; we have overlapping circles of friends. I had seen some of [Silverman's award-winning] Pretty the Series and knew that was pretty great, and I talked to a lot of people who have worked with Steve, and they said he was just great to work with. He sent me the four scripts, and I read it and thought it was hysterical. When you're sitting in your living room laughing out loud at what you're reading, it feels pretty good. I was excited and thrilled to be asked, and to do it. And I knew some of the people who were going to be involved. Mary Gallagher (Nancy in Club 5150) I'd known for a long time, and we got to play husband and wife. It was great.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Steve Silverman hasn't given away very much about about Club 5150. What can you reveal about the show or your character?
WAYNE WILDERSON: I play Ted, who is the neighbor of the main character [Angela, played by Crista Flanagan]. His wife, Nancy, is her best friend. They're doing an intervention because she's a little bit preoccupied with texting and such. I am sort, not uptight, but a sexually frustrated man because my wife isn't giving me the things that I need. I had a lot of fun playing with that, hearing about the sex lives of the person we're having the intervention with, and sort of having an intervention with my own wife at the same time. Those intervention scenes are a lot of fun.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Had you done a web series before?
WAYNE WILDERSON: This would be my first one. I hope it continues.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Having worked in so me different mediums, what do you like about the indie web series space?
WAYNE WILDERSON: There's none of the normal constraints you have in a commercial or a TV show, where you have to fit everything into a certain time. The scripts were all different lengths. Those sorts of barriers aren't really set up. There's a lot more freedom; you don't have FCC standards, and there's a lot of more looseness, which is the way I like to work in comedy. It's sort of freeing in that way.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Having played so many varied roles of the years, is there a role you haven't played that you would like to take on one day?
WAYNE WILDERSON: I'm too skinny for "great athlete" but that would be great. [Laughs] I've played cops before, and I think I'd like to play a detective. Yeah! Not hard-nosed one, sort of a quippy detective.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Club 5150 stars Crista Flanagan, Adrienne Wilkinson, Michael Caruso, Mary Gallagher, Wayne Wilderson, Sharon Houston, Mari Weiss, Eden Riegel, Crystal Carson, Lee Sherman and Deidre Hall. Watch the official trailer:

For more on Club 5150, visit Club5150series.com.


Roger Newcomb is a producer and writer in New York City. He has written and produced a full-length indie film, Manhattanites, and two radio soap operas. He founded and produces annually the Indie Series Awards, which honors the best in independent entertainment on the Web. He was executive producer on the indie short May Mercy Lie and, from 2009 to 2013 he created and hosted We Love Soaps TV. He has also made acting appearances in shows such as Imaginary Bitches and Empire. Recent film appearances include the documentary Soap Life—ruminating alongside Agnes Nixon and Eileen Fulton—and James Franco's indie feature, Francophrenia. He currently co-hosts entertainment talk show Serial Scoop Now.

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