The Conners: Christopher Lloyd Talks Favorite Roles and Onscreen Chemistry

Christopher Lloyd has played so many iconic roles in his career. From Jim on Taxi to Doc Brown in Back to the Future, King Lear on stage to the voice of Santa on Big City Greens.

So what drew him back to the role of Lou Vitori on The Conners, and would he reprise the role again?

And what did his young co-star, Ames McNamara, think when he found out he’d be sharing scenes with the iconic actor?

Read on to find out as we chat with both Christopher Lloyd and Ames McNamara about onscreen chemistry, favorite roles, and the difficulty of playing the contrabassoon…

It’s a pleasure to speak with you both. Let’s start with Christopher.The first time you played Lou was on Roseanne, and now Lou is back with The Conners. What drew you to this character or the show?

Christopher: Well, the episode, as far as I remember it, way back when I was kind of getting on a relationship on with Beverly. That was it, and it was kind of short and kind of loose. I remember there was something about a window somebody’s like falling out of the window.

But this time, it was much more involving because I’m teaching Mark an instrument, the contrabassoon, and I have a real agenda, you know, something I do. There wasn’t any romance for me in this episode, but I assume that can be taken care of down the road.

Lou seems very different this time around? He’s out of the nursing home. He appears to be in good enough shape to put on his socks on his own. What did you think of the changes in Lou?

Christopher: I feel that in the production of the episode I did way back when, (Rosenne Season 10 Episode 6), I came across as more elderly, sort of aged. I felt I was much more youthful and energetic in this second episode. But maybe I recovered.

Dan and Lou - The Conners Season 4 Episode 18

What’s it been like working with Ames and John Goodman?

Christopher: It was great. It’s like I feel we sort of established a real chemistry and all that, and appreciate each other’s personalities and talent. We could go a long way with a contrabassoon handy. The contrabassoon binds us.

So you’d be willing to come back for another episode?

Christopher: I would be delighted.

Christopher Lloyd Returns - The Conners Season 4 Episode 18

Ames, what was your reaction when you learned you’d be working with Christopher Lloyd?

Ames: I mean, I was super excited. I remember when he came on the show last time, and I said hi to him, and you know, talked with him briefly. But I remember thinking, “Oh, it would have been cool to have a scene with him.”

But then, to hear that he was not only coming back but that we were going to have a storyline together was awesome. And I had such a such a great time. It was amazing to be able to work with Christopher. I think he’s another amazing actor that I’ve had the chance to work with on the show. So I’m really grateful for that.

Christopher: Yeah, I think we have good energy for a good run.

Mark Starts Lessons - The Conners Season 4 Episode 18

Now have either of you actually had to play the contrabassoon? I’m assuming Ames has had to take a lesson or two.

Ames: Yeah. So I was playing it in the episode. I took a lesson before we did the table read. The instructor that they brought in, his name was Ken. He was super awesome. So I was able to sort of figure it out. It was kind of just how to make somewhat of a sound as I did in the episode, and it was really cool.

You can see how many buttons there are on the contrabassoon, and I was I’m really just pressing like four of them, and that’s it. So I’m not by any means using the contrabassoon to its full potential. But it was really cool for me to try and play it, and then maybe I’ll play it again in the future.

Christopher: You’re going to master it!

Mark Is Up To Something - The Conners Season 4 Episode 12

Mark has been through a lot the last year or so, but he’s proving to be resilient. Ames, what would you like to see happen with Mark going forward?

Ames: Well, I think just a continuation of what we see about him trying to deal with getting into college. I think that would be a really impactful storyline.

Also, I think, in the future, I would love to have some more storylines with Emma (Kenney), her character, Harris. The sibling relationship is a very interesting dynamic. I mean, I have a sister, and, you know, obviously, I interact with her every day. So I think that to show more of that would be a really fun thing to show.

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Christopher, you have played so many roles over the years. I could probably go on for the next 30 minutes, just listing them all. But, have you had a favorite?

Christopher: I had a favorite. To me, my first film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, is sort of my favorite because I had been striving to get into film for a long time with not even a hint that I made an impression.

And then suddenly, Cuckoo’s Nest comes up. A casting director in New York submitted me, and it worked out. Jack Nicholson, who was perhaps my favorite actor of the time, and I’d seen a lot of his work before. An incredible cast with Danny DeVito and others.

I just felt like you can’t do any better than this—Milos Forman, a great director, to say nothing about an extraordinary script. So for my first film, it changed my life. So it’s kind of my favorite, not to diminish anything else, though.

Lou Is The Master - The Conners Season 4 Episode 18

One last quick question. If you could be on any TV show other than The Conners, what would be your dream role. Which show would you choose?

Christopher: That’s tough. I’m acquainted with so many shows that I’m not sure what I would answer.

Ames: Yeah, I think for me, I’m a huge Marvel fan. I watch all of the shows and movies. So I think Moon Knight right now. I’m watching, and it’s so awesome. I love it. It’s the newest Marvel show. So obviously, you know it’s over now. I think any Marvel show but Moon Knight would be my answer for that.

Check out our The Conners Season 4 Episode 18 review or watch The Conners online here at TV Fanatic.

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.

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