It’s a big Monday on CBS tonight as the new sitcom “Living Biblically” makes its debut. The show stars Jay R. Ferguson and Lindsey Kraft and tells the story of a film critic and soon to be father named Chip who wants to start being a better man. Chip goes all in on this mission by living his life entirely based off the words of the Bible.
Ferguson and Kraft chatted with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith about their careers, their new show and working with executive producer Johnny Galecki.
DJ Sixsmith: How did the two of you get your start in acting?
Lindsey Kraft: I started acting in high school plays. Then I thought I wanted to be a casting director and as I was doing that, I realized I don’t want to be doing this. I wanted to be acting. I started studying acting and did the whole New York thing. I came out to LA and there is so much more here and got my first job. There was a lot of struggle, but then I started working again.
Jay R. Ferguson: I started when I was a kid. I got my first job when I was 14 I believe. Then it’s been sporadic ever since.
DS: What appealed to you about “Living Biblically”? Jay, let’s start with you.
JF: Well, I wanted to do a comedy. I checked that off the list. I was a little terrified to do a show in front of a live audience, so I felt like there was a challenge there for me. As I’ve gotten older and become a father, I’ve tried to be a little bit more selective with my career choices. It’s very important for me to try and be apart of things that present a positive message. I really felt like that at its core, this show is trying to illustrate that practicing kindness and just trying to be a better person is something that most people no matter what you believe can get behind. I thought that was pretty cool.
LK: I sort of agree with Jay. There are so many aspects of it that seemed interesting to me and I love the relationship between Chip and Leslie. They are a husband and wife you don’t normally see, a husband and wife that actually really like each other and love each other and have fun together. That was really appealing to me. I hadn’t really thought about religion much in the past 10 years or whatever. It was kind of cool because it scared me and I like things that scare me. The script is great and it’s hard to find a great script.
DS: Lindsey, you mentioned that you hadn’t thought about religion in the past 10 years. What did you both learn about religion during this experience?
LK: I learned a lot. I’m embarrassed to say there’s a lot I didn’t know about the Bible. I think there are basic thing in life like be a better person, thou shall not lie, false idols, thou shall not steal, little things that you’re thinking are not from the Bible. They are good morals and lessons to be thought about. For me, I was learning something every week we shot an episode.
JF: I come from a very religious upbringing. I have a little bit of experience there. I would agree with Lindsey, you couldn’t help but take notice of some of the shortcomings that we all have in our own lives when it comes to practicing fundamentals. You might think that you are practicing those fundamentals, but really when you put it under a microscope, you can start to see some flaws and areas that could use improvement. I certainly had a similar experience.
DS: What would it look like to live totally biblically in 2018? Could you imagine doing something like that?
JF: No. I’ll say that there are parts of it that could be done, but there’s other parts of it that could land you in jail. You probably want to stay away from those.
LK: Which the show does.
DS: Johnny Galecki is an executive producer of the show. What are some lessons you’ve learned from him?
LK: He’s just such a wonderful actor and person and he’s so smart. He has guided all of the actors on the show and we have so much trust in him because he obviously has so much experience. He’s an awesome guy and was so present in the whole process.
JF: I was really terrified coming on board because I had very little experience doing something in front of a live audience. Just knowing that he has our back and he’s there’s all the time with as much experience as he brings, brings a certain level of comfort to a terrified actor.
DS: Finally, what is the Golden Rule you each live your lives by?
JF: One of the simplest ones is do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. In a nutshell, that’s really all we need to be doing these days.
LK: I would say don’t follow false idols.
Catch Jay and Lindsey in the premiere episode of “Living Biblically” tonight at 9:30pm EST/PST on CBS.