Interview: REGGIE AUSTIN from The Starter Wife

Reggie Austin

Back during our set visit of USA’s original series, THE STARTER WIFE, which airs on Fridays at 10pm, we got to speak with the cast about what is coming up this season.

In addition to speaking with Debra Messing and Hart Bochner, Chris Diamontopoulos, Danielle Nicolet, and Daniel Gerroll, we got to speak to REGGIE AUSTIN who plays Devon Marsh, a pitcher for the Dodgers. Here is what he had to say.

How did this script first come to you for this series? Did you watch the mini-series?

Reggie Austin: No. I mean I was aware of the mini-series. I remember hearing about it—just hearing about. But I didn’t really watch it. But my manager was the one who found it, and heard about, and was like, “You’ve got to get on this. This is right on the money for you.” And I came in, read for the producers and everything, called back, and had a camera shoot/read with Danielle Nicolet, actually my wife. And it was magic.

How does your character then get involved with everybody else in the future episodes?

RA: I mean, limitedly, I do get involved with other people. I mean there’s Debra [Messing], and then her friends, Chris Diamantopoulos and Judy Davis’s characters, and Danielle [Nicolet], one of her friends, and I play her husband. So, it is sort of—I mean this show’s sort of origin, it’s Debra’s show, and it’s her life as it flows out from there. So, it’s sort of—we exist almost in separate worlds. Like, I feel like [table reads] is the only time when all of us are actually seeing each other together. So, I mean you’ll have Chris’ character either with Debra and Judy, or with the actor playing Felix, James Black, doing his thing. Or you’ll have Danielle and myself together.
So, it’s sort of just separate things, you know, Hart and Debra. But you don’t really have all of us together at once too often. I think it happens once or twice, actually, over the course of the series so far.

If you’d just backtrack, can you just tell us about your character?

RA: Sure. I play Devon Marsh who is the all-star relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, traded from the Yankees I think. And, yeah, I come into town and just—this big upstart guy, and it’s sort of Danielle who plays Liz Marsh, my wife, sort of, has to deal with being the wife of this famous person, in this case, an athlete, somewhat similar to what Debra had to go through in the mini-series being like the big-time producer and whatnot. So sort of help each other out in terms of just dealing with being in the spotlight in that way, and she’s a little jealous, I guess, because of my fame and whatnot. So, that’s a bit of an issue over the course of the series.

Reggie Austin

Do you know any baseball players that you can ask questions?

RA: I do not. A friend of mine used to play baseball in college. I talk to him a lot about it, because there are some baseball scenes that we shot for the show, which, hopefully, look good. They tell me it looks good, but I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t laughable to anybody who actually liked baseball, to be watching it. And so I think it turned out pretty well. But, yes, I have a friend of mine who played the baseball in college. Another guy in the crew who actually played—was a pitcher for the Brewers, so he was able to teach me lots of stuff and everything. And I enjoy baseball. So, I’m just getting comfortable with shooting.

How does it feel suiting up?

RA: Pretty good. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to actually shoot at Dodger Stadium. Don’t tell! But, no, it was great. There were things like college scenes somewhere in Long Beach, and they filled, or partially filled a stadium with hundreds of extras and everything, and had a bunch of college players who were actually pitching and hitting, and also like there was a lot of fun. But, oh, yeah, it was good.

Are you a big Dodgers fan?

RA: I am. I’m actually from New York, but I just moved out here three years ago. But I am a Dodgers fan. That’s the team I adopted. They’re doing great this year. They’re in first place by a game and a half, I believe, at this point, and have an easy schedule the rest of the way. So, they’ll probably win the West. So, hopefully, they’ll make it to the playoffs. We’ll see.

Reggie Austin

Does your character fall into these stereotypical traps that a lot of the big sports guys? Can you reveal any little tidbits of—maybe does your character succumb to this fame?

RA: Sure, I’ll now tell you the entire story. I mean, that is addressed. That’s definitely something. When you’re a professional athlete, you have to deal with fans and people fawning over you, and stuff like that, and that does come into play. But I guess I’ll say, I mean Devon and Liz I feel like do have a really good marriage. I feel like it’s probably one of the strongest relationships on the show. So, you root for them.
Things aren’t always easy. I mean, there’s trouble sometimes. I mean, it’d be boring if there was like, “Oh, they’re great,” and then nothing ever happened. But I feel like you root for them.

Has there been talk about getting the actual Dodgers or maybe Joe Torre on the show?

RA: That’s what I’m hoping. I really think that’s what I’m hoping. I think at this point, I’m not sure—I just worked on nine yesterday. And then for ten, I don’t know. I don’t think there’s going to be any baseball in it. It’s only a ten episode season for the first season. So, when we come back next season, and after the show, there’s tremendously [will]. That’s what I hope, I’d love to [tour] the Dodgers Stadium, get to meet Manny, Nomar and Joe Torre and everybody with the Dodgers. That’d be great. I’d love that. But who knows? Who knows? It’s always a possibility, I guess.

Did you grow up playing baseball?

RA: No, not really. It was somewhat of a concern going into the audition since I didn’t play baseball at all, unfortunately. I only came to baseball—I didn’t play in the little league even—like nothing. And, actually, watching baseball growing up, I thought it was boring. Like this is the lamest sport ever. Give me football. Give me basketball. Let’s go—boom, boom, boom. Baseball to me was like, “And there’s the pitch. Ball one. And this player’s from–.” But anyway, it was just, “Oh, my God. What’s happening? Let’s go. This is so boring.”
It’s only in the past few years that I’ve really gotten into baseball, and I think it’s a great sport, and I really enjoy it a lot now. But growing up in school, I did play a little bit of football. I played basketball a lot.
But, yeah, I was athletic, I guess, but since I didn’t really have any specific baseball experience, I was like, “Oh, oh.” But it’s worked out, I guess.