Anders Holm is a mess on Comedy Central’s Workaholics, in which he plays the pot-smoking, unmotivated, office drone Anders (he writes and directs for the show, too). But in his new movie, Unexpected, he’s forced to get his act together after he and How I Met Your Mother’s Cobie Smulders find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy.
In real life, Holm is married and father to a 19-month-old son, Arne, something that shocks fans of his on-screen character. “Some people, when they’re high, are like ‘You’re 34 and have a kid? No way!’ ” Holm said.
Being an adult doesn’t mean Holm thinks he has his life together. “I’m a wreck, just like on the show,” he said.
Van Winkle’s spoke with the actor/comedian about his new film, the struggles of keeping up with his newborn’s sleep schedule and why he’ll never, ever keep a TV in his bedroom.
As a father, did the movie hold special meaning to you?
Yeah. I feel like I got to say stuff in the movie that was out of my real life, so it was fun to put that out there forever in the stratosphere of movies and all that. But it was also such a fun experience. I had such a good time. [Director Kris Swanberg] and Cobie were just delightful.
Did actually being a father help you with your performance?
Yeah, this actually happened behind the scenes. In the delivery room scene, [they used a real baby boy], and they were like “We need to get the baby naked. Let’s take the diaper off.” And I was like “Uh, careful when you take that diaper off. It will pee at you.”
Everyone was like “Ha ha ha, you’re so funny.” And then they took the diaper off, and it peed everywhere. They were like “How’d you know?” And I’m like, “I’ve got a son.”
How did your own son mess with your sleeping habits?
Well, he changed them in that [babies] only sleep for, like, two hours at a time, and then they’re up for five hours and then they sleep for two hours again. So that means I sleep for two hours, then I’m up for five hours and then I sleep for two hours.
But I’m not going to lie. I’m not going to bullshit you. We got a night nurse, so I got to sleep pretty good. My wife had to breastfeed in the middle of the night, so she got the raw deal.
Are you going to show your son Workaholics when he grows up?
Yeah! I mean, my parents are good parents, but I was watching Animal House when I was, like, seven years old and Caddyshack and all sorts of movies I probably shouldn’t have seen. Maybe I’m not a great person, but it made me who I am, so yeah, my kid can see all this stuff whenever he wants.
How are you different in real life than your Workaholics persona?
I’m a wreck, just like on the show. You know what’s weird? I think people think I have my shit together more so than I do on Workaholics, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. I was a shitty student growing up and I don’t know stuff. I barely know how to tell time. I just learned the months, like, in my 20’s. Got huge gaps of knowledge.
As a comedian, do you think getting a good night’s sleep is important to being funny?
Yeah. You don’t want to be underslept. You might be funny, but in the wrong ways where you’re just, like, ornery and not saying things that make sense. Which could be funny. But you want to be well-rested and have your brain working.
Do you watch TV before bed?
No. I will never have a TV in my bedroom, because I’m not a person who will just go to sleep watching TV. With a million channels now, it’s like, you’re watching The Shawshank Redemption, and then Die Hard will come on, and Jaws will come on, and you’re like “I have to watch this.” I don’t like the whole idea of having a TV in the bedroom. Plus, you ought to be sleeping or jamming, you know what I mean? That’s what bedrooms are for.
Where’s the craziest place you’ve ever fallen asleep?
Oh. Fuck. When I was taking the ACT’s, there was a reading comprehension part. Fell asleep. Was just reading and I was like, “Dude, this is super long, I’m going to put my head down for a little bit.” And then this lady came down and was like “Hey, wake up!” And I’m like, “Oh yeah, this is super important.” So yeah, that was pretty bad.
Unexpected is out in theaters, VOD and iTunes on July 24.