For three years, Robert Patrick Benedict
has kept Felicity
viewers in stitches as Noel's (Scott Foley
) goofy, obnoxious sidekick Richard. However, behind-the-scenes of the WB drama, the actor admits that the comedy doesn't always come as that much of a relief.
"When you work on a closed set without a studio audience like this, you don't know if people are laughing or not," Benedict tells TV Guide Online. "And if they are, you don't know if they're laughing with you or at you. It's a lot of [pressure]."
Luckily, this season, producers decided it was high time that Benedict be given more to do than deliver some witty dialogue every third week. In a recent episode, Richard revealed some surprising vulnerability when he came out... as a virgin. "He's more three dimensional now as opposed to being [just] comic relief," he notes. "I was the annoying nudge down the hall. Now they're slowly developing him, and it's great."
Despite Benedict's beefed-up presence on the show, he has yet to attain series-regular status. Although working without a contract allows him to pursue other opportunities while simultaneously doing Felicity, the actor admits he'd jump at the chance to become an official member of the team.
"I've been with this show since the first season, so they're like family to me," Benedict says, adding that he's anxious to see what's next for Richard. "It's really fun to have a role like this that you can develop and watch him grow, especially someone as outrageous as Richard. The possibilities never cease."