Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson
On Showtime's House of Lies (Sundays, 10/9c), Clyde has always been the pod's comic relief. But can he step it up and be the top dog? Viewers are about to find out.
"You get to find the different shades of Clyde," actor-writer Ben Schwartz tells TVGuide.com of Sunday's episode. "Since the beginning, Clyde is someone who's after Marty's job. He recognizes that Marty is a friend of his, but I still think he would do anything he can to get to the next level, to get to be in the position that Marty's at. You see that he really is as cutthroat and is willing to sacrifice a lot."
Clyde's big power moves comes at a very interesting time for Galweather, and specifically for the pod after Marty's (Don Cheadle) new lady love Tamara (Nia Long) first suggested that he go out on his own in last week's episode. It won't help matters when Clyde steps up to bat and lands a big client for the team, the Dushkin twins from Las Vegas. "It's the first time that Clyde brings work to the company," Schwartz says. "It's the first time that Clyde is really showing his weight sand showing what he can do. We see how Marty handles that and what happens as it goes on."
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After being named one of the top 25 consultants of the year in the Season 1 finale, it was only a matter of time before Clyde started to show his true, ruthless colors. "The second season actually shows Clyde applying the skills and you get to see how strong he is and how cutthroat he is," Schwartz says. "There's a scene where Marty is talking and trying to talk to the Dushkin twins and instead I take over the entire pitch — I hijack and I make it my pitch."
As Clyde's more ambitious side begins to reveal itself, viewers will also learn more about his backstory. But, unfortunately for Schwartz, no flashbacks were involved. "You slowly find out that his life is so consumed with work that maybe he doesn't really spend time on anything else," he says. "You hear a little bit about Clyde's past, but I didn't get to wear any '80s pants, which is all I wanted to do."
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However, Clyde's moment of power in Sunday's episode also coincides with one of his first big moments of weakness. Schwartz is tightlipped about what exactly drives Clyde to show — gasp! — his softer side. "For the first time, something huge happens in that episode, which affects him in such a way that he has to talk like a human being to Doug [Josh Lawson] for the first time," he says. "It's such a foreign thing to express his emotions and that even when he's trying to, he has such a hard time in doing so."
Doug's attempt to cheer up his gloomy colleague with a delivery from Doug's Hug Emporium — although slightly sad — was especially fun to shoot behind-the-scenes. "We did that scene as one huge take because Josh and I both come from comedy backgrounds and improv and stage stuff, so it was such a cool feeling," Schwartz says. "He and I especially really go nuts with each other. We also did a Les Miz take of that where we sang the entire scene."
While scene-stealers Schwartz and Lawson provide priceless bonus footage for the House of Lies Season 2 DVD, not to mention their web series Flight Club, off-screen, it's a different story onscreen. Schwartz says that Clyde and Doug's bromance is headed for a rough patch, thanks in no small part to Doug's new girlfriend, Sarah (Jenny Slate). "She brings confidence to Doug who mostly doesn't have any confidence in himself at all. He just thinks of himself as a pawn but Sarah is there to be like you're so much more than this," Schwartz says. "Having Doug be with somebody I think affects Clyde quite a bit and also affects the group because Doug has this newfound confidence that he can't wait to whirl around as opposed to just punching numbers.
"As people strive for power or people get hungry for power, both Clyde and Doug, I think that affects their personalities and how they react to things," he continues.
With so many egos at war, does that mean the pod could potentially split up? Schwartz isn't ruling anything out. "Anything is possible, which is the coolest thing in the world. Truly anything is possible," he says. "That's why you watch — to see what happens. If Marty is really starting to start his own business, Clyde isn't even aware of that yet. Will he ask Doug and Clyde to come with him? Will he able to pull this off? Now that we're up to the last few episodes, you start getting your own answers and you start seeing how people react with said answers."
House of Lies airs Sundays at 10/9c on Showtime.