Bryan Greenberg, <EM>October Road</EM> Bryan Greenberg, October Road
Bryan Greenberg has nothing to complain about. First, he snuggled up to Hilarie Burton on

One Tree Hill, then he was all over Uma Thurman in Prime, and now he's smooching That '70s gal Laura Prepon in the new ABC drama October Road, debuting tonight at 10 pm/ET. Returning to his hometown after 10 years, Greenberg's author Nick Garrett is welcomed back with hesitation by those who feel betrayed by his first novel, and that's where the story really begins: The on-screen romances are just a bonus. TVGuide.com asked Greenberg about reuniting with old friends, adolescent geniuses and the hope of wooing Grey's Anatomy viewers. Plus: How he's getting "payback" in an upcoming film, and how he's mixing his forthcoming album with his own two hands.

TVGuide.com: So, I watched the first four episodes of October Road and....
Bryan Greenberg: You watched all four, huh?!

TVGuide.com: Yeah, well, I couldn't stop, since I had them all.
Greenberg: You got addicted, that's a good sign.

TVGuide.com: And then after I finished the fourth, I realized that I have to wait a month to see what happens next.
Greenberg: I know, right? I'll tell you this much — it gets better. That's not bulls--t. I think the show really starts warming up in Episode 3, because you're in the world and the characters start to blossom. I just saw 5 and 6 yesterday, and 6 is my favorite.

TVGuide.com: Oh, I can't wait! I have to say, though, I miss Jake on One Tree Hill....
Greenberg: [Laughs] I know, it's tough.

TVGuide.com: But it's great to see you in a lead TV role.
Greenberg: Yeah, this one is more my age. Hopefully the One Tree Hill audience will like it as well.

TVGuide.com: What about October Road appealed to you?
Greenberg: Well, I liked the character and his age. It's [about] a guy whose had some success early on and is struggling with his next project, and has gone back to his hometown, so there's a lot that I could relate to. And the writing was great — each character is well defined, even the bad guy. It's not just, "I'm twisting my moustache." It's like, "No, you're robbing me of my love life, and I'm going to make you pay for it." I had a lot of trust in [executive producers] Gary Fleder and Scott Rosenberg. They were really enthusiastic about working with me, and that's also very seductive. It makes you feel free to do what you want.

TVGuide.com: The show definitely has humor, too. I was laughing out loud at some scenes, but it seemed natural.
Greenberg: Totally. It's a thing for guys' guys. Even though it's a soap opera, it's for guys. It's how they talk. It's who we are. There'd be a lot more bleeps and curses, probably, but that's what I like about it. [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Are we going to see more flashbacks to Nick's time away from Knights Ridge [Massachusetts], or will we only see the present?
Greenberg: The writers sort of fell in love with Knights Ridge within the present, but if the show goes on, I think they talked about going back and doing [flashbacks].

TVGuide.com: Will Nick return to New York sometime during the first season?
Greenberg: Not in these six [episodes], but I know that there's talk of it. I would love to see that. After he's been invested in this world, it'd be interesting to see him go back to his New York world.

TVGuide.com: Also, will we learn the content of Nick's book throughout the series, or is that just a jumping-off point to get him back home?
Greenberg: Little things pop up here and there, but those details become inconsequential when you start understanding these characters, and the drama of the relationships in the town really take precedence over that.

TVGuide.com: I really like the Hannah (Laura Prepon) story line, but I enjoy the issues with her son, Sam (Slade Pearce), too. How is it to play a father figure?
Greenberg: Well, you know I did on One Tree, but here I can actually talk to this kid. It's weird, because I play Nick as if he would think kids are aliens. [Laughs] I'm 28 years old and my friends don't have kids, and I haven't hung out with 10-year-old kids probably since I was 10, so it's foreign [to me] and to Nick. The fact that this kid could be his is just mind-boggling. And the kid is so smart and intelligent, Nick takes a general interest in him from the get-go. But there's a lot of awkwardness in trying to be a father. It's very About a Boy. I love that it's not smooth sailing.

TVGuide.com: And you do a great job with those scenes.
Greenberg: Yeah, I like working with Slade. He's like one of those little Haley Joel Osment/Dakota Fanning types. They're smarter than you are, which is kind of weird. [Laughs] They're, like, reading Proust and stuff.

TVGuide.com: Are we going to see more of that love triangle with Aubrey (Odette Yustman) and Hannah in Episodes 5 and 6?
Greenberg:
Ohhhhh, yeah, that really comes to a head. So much stuff goes down in 6, it's crazy. I hope people like it.

TVGuide.com: Are you excited about the show airing on Thursdays, following Grey's Anatomy?
Greenberg: Yeah! All I really wanted was for ABC to give it a chance. I really believe in the show, I liked working on it, and it's not like anything else on TV right now. There's no hook.

TVGuide.com: It does have a unique story line.
Greenberg: Yeah, it's just about people. There's no "countdown" or anything like that. I was initially worried because it seems to me that the hit shows, like Lost or 24 or Desperate Housewives, are completely stylized, and this is just sort of normal.

TVGuide.com: But those shows can be overwhelming at times. This is refreshing.
Greenberg: Rosenberg and those guys say that this is a show for guys who don't want to see a crime being solved or a gun being shot. But ABC initially didn't know what to do with it, so they put us on hold after we shot the pilot, and then they gave us this mid-season [run]. I'm very thankful for it, but at the same time, there are some big shoes to fill after Grey's Anatomy.

TVGuide.com: What else do you have going on?
Greenberg: I'm working on my music, finishing up the album [Waiting for Now], which I'm actually mixing right now. They're putting a couple of my songs on October Road, which is huge. At the beginning of [Episode] 3, there's a song of mine on there, during the montage where I'm talking in the graveyard. So yeah, I'm finishing up the album, trying to get that on iTunes. This album has been a long time coming for me.

TVGuide.com: Is there an actual release date? [You can check out a few of Bryan's songs on MySpace.]
Greenberg: Well, I'm doing it all myself. All these labels... I've realized that no one knows what they're doing in the music industry, because it's like a sinking ship right now with the Internet putting everything on its head. Companies are closing, everybody's scrambling around, and I'm like, "You know what? I'm doing better than most signed artists at getting my music placed," so I'm just going to release it, start playing some shows and see what happens. One Tree Hill was great about placing some of my music, and I got to tour with Gavin [DeGraw], Michelle Branch, Tyler [Hilton].... It was a lot of fun.

TVGuide.com: Sounds like doing it on your own is much better.
Greenberg: It's a little more rewarding for now. I also just did a movie called Nobel Son, which is going to the Tribeca Film Festival next month. It's Alan Rickman, Danny DeVito, Mary Steenburgen, Bill Pullman, Ted Danson, Shawn Hatosy and Eliza Dushku. I play the son of Alan Rickman, who's a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, and I get kidnapped for his money. The guy who kidnaps me is a half brother I never knew existed, who wants payback. It's dark and twisted and fun and weird. It's a very weird movie, but good, though!

Check out this video preview of ABC's October Road.

Get to know Emily VanCamp of ABC's Brothers & Sisters in the March 19 issue of TV Guide. Click here to subscribe.

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