Exclusive Interview: The Middle’s John Gammon Talks Darrin, His Character’s Future With Sue and More

The Middle Season 5 Episode 4 The 100th (4)

Fans of The Middle who were worried the lovable Darrin would disappear once his partner-in-crime Axl (Charlie McDermott) went off to college in season five have had their fears alleviated by multiple memorable appearances by Darrin this year that have made it clear Darrin isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That’s good news not only for the fans, but for Darrin’s portrayer, the insightful John Gammon.

TV Equals was lucky enough to interview Gammon about the future of his character, the state of Darrin’s relationship with Sue and much more. Read the interview below, and don’t forget to watch The Middle, Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

Gammon on What’s Ahead for Darrin

Season five has been a season of change for The Middle in general, but especially for Darrin who chose to stay in Orson instead of going off to college. He also has a new steady girlfriend and the beginnings of a career repairing air conditioners. According to Gammon, these transitions in Darrin’s life will begin to change how Darrin interacts with his old pals.

“Well Darrin is moving on,” Gammon said. “He’s got his new girlfriend Angel. Basically, he’s trying to make it to the next level in his life and he doesn’t exactly know if that’s going to include his buddies or not. So there might be even more tension from where we left off last year.”

Hopefully, that doesn’t mean the Axl/Darrin/Sean bromance will be ending anytime soon, but fresh starts can lead to interesting new territory. That might mean we have to leave the famed Boss Co. behind though, at least for the moment. “They’re going to have to figure how to balance the books pretty much,” Gammon joked.

Darrin Without Axl

With McDermott’s Axl spending more and more time in his new environment at college, Darrin has been left to stand on his own. Now that viewers have seen that the character can exist on his own, it has opened up new avenues for the writers to explore where Darrin is concerned. When asked about how it’s been to play Darrin without Axl constantly by his side, Gammon said, “It’s definitely been weird, but Darrin has learned a lot since then about himself, about being with only a woman as opposed to just his buddies. I think people are taking note of the fact that Darrin is a little more sensitive than they initially thought about him. He’s always been positive, but you know he has a super lovey-dovey soft side and that’s coming out more and more.”

The Future of Darrin and Sue

Darrin and Sue (Eden Sher) have emerged as The Middle‘s cutest couple. The duo’s first kiss over a trashcan left fans swooning, but their relationship caused tension between Sue and her brother Axl. Now that Axl is away at college there have been hints that a reunion is on the way. While Gammon said he “doesn’t have a crystal ball,” so he can’t be sure what the writers have in mind for the duo, he remains optimistic that they’ll find their way back to each other.

“All I know is that there are hints here and there. That’s probably what’s going to happen. If I were a betting man, I would certainly bet on that to happen.”

Gammon and Sher have amazing chemistry; much of which comes from the actors who have a lot in common, including a love of books. Gammon said that he wasn’t surprised their chemistry translated so well to the screen. “We kind of gel well personally and when we play these characters who are very much on the same page, you know: the world is great, life is wonderful, we can make it happen! It’s really, really a match made in Heaven,” he said. “I think it makes perfect sense.”

The Middle Season 5 Episode 2 Change in the Air (6)

Gammon’s Favorite Darrin Moment

The Middle has produced its fair share of memorable Darrin moments, but Gammon’s favorite might just surprise you. The moment comes from the season one episode, “Valentine’s Day,” and involves Darrin, Axl and Sean hatching a weird plan to impress the senior girls they’re supposed to spend the evening with.

“I would have to say the very first thing we ever did which was snap photos of ourselves shirtless and we kind of looked like we were more into each other than we were into the girls we were planning to send the cell phone picture to. The fact that I was so dumb that I texted it myself without even really consulting them. That was probably my favorite Darrin moment of all-time.”

Does The Middle Accurately Portray the Lives of Middle Americans?

The Middle doesn’t garner blockbuster ratings, but it has struck a chord with the viewers who have found it. I asked Gammon what he thought about how the show portrays the Middle American spirit, and the Midwesterner (although he moved around a lot growing up, Gammon has spent most of his life in Cleveland, Ohio) at heart gave an insightful answer:

“It definitely captures the dysfunction of Middle America for sure, the different levels of optimism that is still there. The way we want to come together as a community and stay solid and on one another’s side. Solidarity is really, really big in Middle America, and I’m very proud of that. I think that the show does a wonderful job of capturing that. I think that’s one of the many reasons why people like to watch the show so much. Even if people don’t live in Middle America it’s something that people strive for and I can tell you right now having lived in coastal cities before, certainly in LA, people really need that and people really want that, but it’s hard to get.”

Gammon’s Dream Guest Role

If Gammon could guest star on any show, the actor’s dream role would be on the recently ended HBO series Eastbound & Down.

“I think that’s a very funny show, but in a completely different way from The Middle. It’s very crass, it’s very guy-oriented and you know, Danny McBride, I think, is one of the best out there right now doing that kind of work. I’ve just always been a huge fan of the show.”

The Middle airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on ABC.

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