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Legends of Tomorrow Interview: Adam Tsekhman Talks Gary Green

In tonight’s episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Gary Green has gotten himself a new friend. “Ship Broken” will introduce Gary’s emotional support dog, much to the consternation of both his captain and his teammates. Now, Gary’s canine companion will add to the usual chaos aboard the Waverider, and actor Adam Tsekhman couldn’t be happier about it.

Speaking to CBR, Tsekhman offered a glimpse of Gary’s inner life. He discussed what it was like to work with an animal actor and just why he enjoyed it so much. He reflected on Gary’s previous storylines, including Season 4’s evil nipple plot, and explained how the show will continue to add depth to the otherwise lovable goofball. He also teased his favorite scene from the episode, shared why he is drawn to comedy and provided some entertainment recommendations for those stuck at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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CBR: To start off, tell me a little about how you got the role.

Adam Tsekhman: Before I auditioned, I had been friends with one of the writers of the show: the brilliant Grainne Godfree was our producer. When they were working on Season 3, they had sort of explored the idea of Gary and she contacted me and said, “Adam, look, we’re working on this role. I think you might be good for it.” She contacted the Canadian casting director for me to put myself on tape and, luckily, I got it from that! Never would have gotten it had she not been my champion. So I’m eternally grateful to Grainne. All hail Grainne!

Did you ever, in your wildest dreams, imagine Gary would become such an integral part of the series?

No! No, I didn’t. I remember the audition scene was not in the episode. So often, the writers put together dummy sides for the audition, so that they’re not spoiling any of the story of the show, and it was such a funny scene. I was so excited to do it on set, and then I got the script and I was like, “Wait! Where’s that scene? That scene was so funny!”

So yeah, I had no idea. At that time, I think they had sort of decided that Gary would be around for three episodes, and then it wasn’t clear whether there would be more or not. So I tried to do my best and worked hard and hoped that the character would resonate with the writing staff and, luckily, it did. Thankfully, the fans have been into it, and it’s been an amazing journey for me.

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On that note, I have to bring it back to last season for just a moment. What was your reaction to Gary’s whole evil nipple storyline?

Amazing. I loved it. I’ve never seen anything like it on TV. So I was just very eager. I knew when we shot the first episode that there were discussions about whether the nipple would come back, and we sort of all laughed it off. That’s ridiculous! Then I think the idea of it really started resonating with the writing staff and they brought it back and it was incredible. I mean, I love that moment where evil Ray gifts the nipple in a pewter container for Gary and the whole next episode of the nip-notizing. It was genius. Amazing.

Last year, Gary got some real depth with the whole Neron storyline. Will we see any more glimpses into his psyche moving forward?

Well, I mean, I think we’re always seeing a little bit more into his psyche, but you’re right. In this season, the episode where Constantine was sick, we saw Gary’s love for him. But in terms of Gary’s backstory, we know that he had a very difficult time in high school, and that’s probably what has steeled him up for life as an adult who still gets made — I don’t know about made fun of, but definitely he’s the one who takes the most emotional shots, let’s say.

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I know working with animals can be hit or miss, so I’m curious about your experience with the dog in tonight’s episode.

Loved it! So, for me, it’s just joyous. I love animals. You know, when I got to work with the unicorn — they actually got a real unicorn for Season 4 — that was amazing. [laughs]

So the dog was actually a girl. Her name is Felicia. I wasn’t really letting her go in between scenes. I was just walking around with her. I was showing her the Waverider. We got along famously. I sang her a lullaby, then she started kissing me at the end. I’ll be posting that on Instagram, actually, at some point. It was a beautiful moment. So I was in heaven is the short answer.

Can you tease your favorite moment or scene from this upcoming episode?

I enjoyed the scene where Gary gives parenting advice to Mick. I enjoyed that scene. It was a fun moment where I had to come into the room and Mick throws a piece of celery with some peanut butter against the wall and I had to angle Felicia so that she would pick it up and then start eating it off of the wall while I was talking to him. I enjoyed working with the dog because the scene becomes all about making sure that we can maximize the situation for the dog, because obviously it’s harder to work with a dog. So all the other elements, you have to mold them around that, if that makes sense.

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Over your career, you’ve played some pretty serious roles and Legends, of course, is on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. What drew you to playing this sort of lovable goofball?

The comedy is my preferred zone. So I was very grateful to have this opportunity to finally not play bad guys. Although bad guys are fun too! But if I had my druthers, I would always be doing comedy. So this is really an amazing opportunity, and I’m glad that I’m still able to be part of it.

Do you have any game/book/TV/film recommendations for everyone stuck at home?

Yeah, so, a bit of all of that! I’ve been bingeing different shows right now. After all these years, I’ve never watched The Wire, so I’m deep in The Wire. I’m loving it. Also, I have discovered those Jackbox games. They’re amazing. So I downloaded a couple of those party packs, and now I play with different groups of friends over Zoom. I’m shocked how well they are constructed for this time. It’s actually amazing.

Airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow stars Caity Lotz, Dominic Purcell, Nick Zano, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Tala Ashe, Matt Ryan and Jes Macallan.

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Legends of Tomorrow's Adam Tsekhman discussed what it was like to work with an animal actor and how the show will continue to add depth to Gary Green.

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