They joke around, drink and break into Bon Jovi tunes. Turns out, the guys who star in Cougar Town aren't so different from their characters who spend hours sipping wine, tossing pennies in a can and trading zingers. This motley mantourage of onetime cougar Jules Cobb (Courteney Cox) includes her bartender boyfriend Grayson (Josh Hopkins), fun-loving next-door neighbor Andy (Ian Gomez), college-freshman son Travis (Dan Byrd) and lovable loser ex-husband Bobby (Brian Van Holt). We got them together on Byrd's 25th birthday to talk comedy, women and what's next for the "cul-de-sac crew."
TV Guide Magazine: Why do you guys think comedy is having such a resurgence on television these days?
Ian: People want to escape.
Ian: But it's true! We have wars going on, a recession...
Brian: Yeah, people like to laugh at absurd idiots making fools of themselves.
Dan: Like Bobby, he is an idiot.
Brian: Want to rephrase that, pal? What did we talk about? Bobby is an idiot savant.
Josh: We should sing "Happy Birthday" to Dan.
Brian: We should! [They sing.]
TV Guide Magazine: What's the coolest thing about your character?
Dan: Travis can hang with this group of guys who have some years on him and really relate. It's the same for me. Not that I look at any of these guys as older or anything.
Josh: Grayson's a broken stallion but he's come the furthest. He was not really in the group. He was cold, standoffish. Now he's got a license to join the absurdity.
Brian: With Bobby... I like his ability to not care what other people think.
Ian: [I like that] Andy comes off as a pushover, but he's really a professional manipulator. He has such a complex relationship with his wife. And he's got fantastic hair.
TV Guide Magazine: When you first found out you'd be costarring opposite Courteney Cox, how did you feel?
Ian: I was expecting some diva attitude, so that's how I treated her. She finally came up to me and said, "Why do I always have to say hello to you? I want to hug and kiss you hello in the morning." I was like, "Oh, OK."
Brian: I didn't anticipate how grounded she is.
Dan: She's just down to talk.
Josh: And she says what's on her mind, like, "Oh, my God, look at your hair. I mean, it looks fine but you should go comb it." She makes us get together. She's a bit like Jules.
TV Guide Magazine: Do you swill as much red wine as your characters, aka "the drink tank think tank"?
Ian: We pretty much do what we do on the show: say no to sobriety.
Brian: We go to a bar, we play pool.
Ian: Last season, we thought we were off and we went out for a beer. Then we found out we were going to have to go back to work. It took a long time to shoot the scene because I couldn't say the words "full Shawshank."
TV Guide Magazine: You guys have been described as "man candy." Do you get a lot of attention from female fans?
Josh: Let's be honest, I should field this. No. It's a comedy, so "These guys are idiots" is mostly what I get in public more than "Wow."
Dan: I barely see anyone but these people. I don't know how the ladies are feeling about Travis.
Brian: Dan does well. He's being humble.
TV Guide Magazine: You're often on camera in boxers, trunks, Speedos, half-shirts — do you all work out?
Brian: Josh does abs every day. My character's a mess, so I eat, drink, do whatever I want. Thank God.
Ian: My weight fluctuates by episode in 5-pound increments. It's going up, but at a certain point the self-loathing will kick in and then...
Brian: When is that kicking in?
Ian: Not for a while. My character needs to be overweight, so everyone else looks smaller. I pad.
Josh: He's not actually bald in real life.
Brian: This is actually Robert Downey Jr.
TV Guide Magazine: Speaking of, any dream guest stars?
Ian: I want my wife [Nia Vardalos] to be on, and then maybe Obama.
Brian: Sarah Palin. The Situation.
Josh: I want Cookie on the show.
Dan: You mean Snooki.
Josh: I want Cookie, too.