Parenthood Season 4: Ray Romano And Lauren Graham On Hank and Sarah’s Storyline

Ray Romano And Lauren Graham

Fans of Parenthood are probably itching to know more about the relationship between Hank Rizzoli and Sarah Braverman. TV Equals was happy to participate in a conference call with Ray Romano and Lauren Graham to learn more about their characters, the developments in the relationship and more.

Becoming a part of Parenthood

Romano talked about how he became a part of a show he was originally a fan of. “Well I was a fan of the show. I watched the show since the beginning and I was on my show while it was on. And just – I just like the tone of it and it’s -there’s nothing quite being done like that on television,” he said. “I knew [executive producer] Jason Katims…And I knew him and we had been in touch, you know. He was a fan of my show. I was a fan of his show. And then unfortunately my show no longer existed. And in between trying to find out what to do next I had been speaking to Jason and I believe I put it out there first. Kind of jokingly I said, ‘Hey, if you ever find something for me I work cheap.'” Jokingly, he added, “…[H]e took me up on it and cheap it is but I’m still happy to do it.”

we’re going to see a little more of him and I guess find out a little more about him. And it gets a little, I mean, it gets a little deeper than it is now but kind of the – a lot of what you see right now.

Romano on Hank

“I hate me. I like the character,” said Romano when talking about playing Hank. “I do like the character because first of all I like how they’re – he’s introduced and I like how they’re writing him. It’s, you know, we don’t really kind of find out about this guy. As it goes along we find out a little more and more and he’s a flawed person. He’s a troubled guy and yet I guess we’re finding out the good in him. Lauren’s bringing that out – Sarah I guess is finding that out.”

Romano said he liked this role because it was a character unlike one he’s played before. “But I like it because I also haven’t really played that much,” he said. “I mean, Men of a Certain Age… it wasn’t Ray Barone but it was kind of close to the vest I guess.And this is somebody a little different, so yes I do enjoy playing him that’s for sure.”

Working with Romano

During the Go On conference call, Matthew Perry talked in glowing terms about working with Graham, and Graham said she feels like she has a similar working relationship with Romano.

“Matthew both as a friend and someone I’ve gotten to work with is somebody I just naturally enjoy chemistry with. And I feel like Ray and I have had that too,” she said. “And the dynamic of this guy who has a past and has sort of a sadness and teases her, but is smart and strong and kind of…doesn’t indulge her or something is like a great dynamic.”

Hank and Sarah’s relationship

“…I think they’ve written this sort of slowly developing relationship between these two people who have a past and who have pain in that past. But I don’t know, there’s something about each other that they like, has been really, really, really fun and very nice for me to have as like a piece of moving my character forward,” said Graham when talking about the growing relationship between Hank and Sarah. “She often makes the wrong decisions but I think in this story you see what is so compelling and that’s what’s interesting to me. Like I don’t mind…being flawed and, you know, sort of making these reckless choices. But you want it to come from someplace and I think it definitely – you see what’s appealing about him.”

The Kiss

During the last episode of Parenthood, Hank and Sarah share their first kiss, which is awkward for both parties involved. Graham said playing that moment involved both of the characters dealing with their swirling emotions.

“Look, that stuff can always – it’s always awkward but what I like about it is – I don’t know, these loaded moments that are confusing I think are the most interesting of life, you know. It’s like I think there’s all these mixed feelings and I don’t know, hopefully we capture just kind of two people trying to connect,” Graham said.

“Well I like doing it because first of all I – awkward I can play very – that’s in my wheelhouse. It’s very easy for me to be awkward especially around women. But with this guy- that’s why I like this-because it had to be awkward but filtered through Hank, which was totally different than anything I’ve done, you know, with Ray Barone or even Men of a Certain Age or anything…” added Romano. “[T]here was like a little bit of refusing to accept that it was awkward,kind of…[I]t was a weird line I had to walk and I just…I kind of felt that that scene was really unique and felt good when we did it.”

Sarah’s decision–Is it good or bad?

Sarah also asked Mark [Jason Ritter] to move in with her, which is surely going to be a decision that backfires. Graham gave her opinion on Sarah’s decision.

“[I]t’s sort of neither one nor the other…I think it made her resolve a little stronger to try to keep her life on the track that she’d planned and hoped for and finally looked like, you know, she’s about to achieve,” she said. “And by the way we still don’t really know what is going to happen, nor does the creator of the show if we, you know, believe what he said. I mean, one of the funny things about this show is he kind of adjusts as things go along, and kind of picks up on the threads that are interesting to him more than maybe they do on most shows that are – which is not to say it’s not planned…[W]e don’t know kind of where we’re going. So the line I’m trying to play is, you know, confusion. And I think it’s, you know, justifiably confusing what’s happening. But yes in that moment I think she was like, ‘This felt like a sort of step outside the lines. Let me bring myself back.’  But I don’t know that it’s going to work.”

Romano on joining the ensemble cast

Romano said that being on set with the whole cast was a little intimidating for him.

“[As I] said, I was a fan of the show…[T]he first day…it was just with you Lauren, right? But it was – I guess the third day…I had a scene with the whole cast and it was a weird,” he said. “It was a feeling…because…well first of all I was just like a viewer. I was like, ‘Wait a minute’… [Y]ou know, you really get wrapped up in [the idea] that this is the Braverman family. I’m like, ‘Well wait a minute. I know it’s not. I know that guy and him. I’ve worked with him and whatever.’ But yes I was a little bit – I don’t know if star struck is the word but…it was a little surreal that I’m in this world that I’ve just been watching and been wrapped up in…”

“I do still get intimidated by certain things, and I was slightly intimidated on that day because also just on a regular level of this is the first time they’re seeing me I want to not screw up,” he added. “I want to do well and I want to fit in. You know, they’ve been together and they’ve got their rhythms and the tone and everything, and I want to make sure my character fits into the show and the universe that they’re in. And – but everybody was nice except for a few. No I’m kidding. No everybody was great and it was fun.”

Parenthood airs every Tuesday on 10/9c on NBC.