Earlier this month, I attended Mom 2.0 Summit, a conference for bloggers and social media influencers. This was my third time going, and as always, it did not disappoint. I had a great time learning and networking with other influencers, as well as brands. I also had the amazing opportunity to interview Barry Watson, best known for his roles on 7th Heaven, What About Brian, Samantha Who?, and Gossip Girl.
Barry is starring in the new series, Date My Dad, an original scripted family dramedy that tells the story of a widower and single dad trying his best to raise three daughters. The show guest stars the legendary Raquel Welch with Zenia Marshall as Mirabel. The show will premiere on June 2 at 9 PM ET on UP TV.
I had a chance to watch the pilot with my family and we all loved it! It was funny and relatable, and best of all, it was engaging. It’s so hard to find shows that we can all watch together, so it was so refreshing to finally find one that we all can enjoy. We are really looking forward to watching the series together as a family!
As I sat down to compile my questions for Barry, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. He is, after all, “Matt Camden” from 7th Heaven, one of my teen crushes. Within seconds of meeting Barry, however, all of my fears went away and I was able to have a candid conversation with him. He is kind, genuine, and down-to-earth and was more than willing to share his thoughts on the show and even open up about his personal life.
Interview with Barry Watson
Why should all families tune in to this show? Why should families watch this show together?
Well, because there’s not anything on TV right now that the whole family can enjoy. If you have a couple TVs in the house, usually somebody’s watching on one TV and somebody’s watching on another TV and they’re not the same thing. This is something that everybody is going to be able to watch whether they’re a dad who relates to Ricky, or a mom who gets a kick out of watching Ricky go through the dating world. Or the kids latch on to one of the girls. Everybody’s going to find somebody that they can relate to within the show. All generations can watch this. It’s special. I hope it works out.
Being a dad yourself and having three kids, can you imagine what it would be like to be in Ricky’s situation…to lose your wife, to be a single dad and have to enter the dating world? What would that be like?
Well, I had a situation before I was with my wife, Natasha, where I was a single dad for a couple years with my two boys. Different, I didn’t lose my wife or anything like that. Their mom had to work on the east coast and so she was away doing work and so I had to take time out of what I did. I stopped working for two years. Really just had to do my best. You know, as a parent, I wasn’t trying to be perfect. Sometimes I probably was trying to because I didn’t know what I was doing. You try to navigate through and you do the best you can. And some of it’s messy and some of it seems to move a little smoothly. My boys were probably six and three and a half at the time when I was going through that. But it’s nothing like what Ricky goes through with losing a wife. Losing the person that you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with and help raise these three amazing girls. I can’t even imagine, and as an actor I have to try to create that.
How do you get yourself into that role?
It’s not always easy, but the one thing is I just try to use the other actors as much as I can. These girls are all pretty green. Some of them have worked a little bit as young child actors. I just try to look in their eyes and just try to let whatever I see happen with them try to trigger me. That’s sometimes that I do in real life with my own kids. That’s the best I can do is just listen. And then, hopefully, it’s all worked out, and from what I’ve seen it seems to have worked out. You never know when you’re casting all this and you meet the girls and you just have to keep your fingers crossed and get lucky. And I think we got lucky with the casting with these girls. They all help me so much with getting through what I need to get through as playing Ricky Cooper being a widower with three daughters. Which you can try to create as much as you can in your head, but then it’s not always right.
When you turned 40 was it as big of a deal for you as it was for Ricky? Did you freak out?
No, you know what? It was actually the opposite. I was the opposite from Ricky when I turned 40. I was excited to be 40. I don’t know, maybe women go through this too, but as a man I feel like, “Oh, okay.” Not that I got it and I get it, but I just feel like, “Oh, okay.” Maybe it just takes us a little longer to get to where we need to be. But I feel like I’m really a man now in my 40s. And I feel like I’ve really got it and I’m secure with everything. I think as humans we go through these insecurities or whatever it is, but I feel like I’m just really secure with who I am in my 40s. I was always thinking like maybe I’d have a midlife crisis, like you see in the movies or something like that. And so many people do I guess, but no, I didn’t go buy a Ferrari or freak out or anything like that. I think I became a better dad, a better partner in life, and hopefully a better person in my 40s. Yeah, so I didn’t have that freak out moment like Ricky did. But it was fun to play.
Do you feel like you’re similar or different than Ricky? Or a combination?
A little bit of a combination. Every actor throws in a little bit of themselves in every character. There’s definitely pieces of me in Ricky Cooper for sure. But we’re not completely the same.
The show will be airing on Friday nights. Do you plan on tuning in with your kids?
I am. I’m going to sit down and I believe, from what I’ve heard, is they might air the first two episodes on June 2nd, so you might get the pilot and the second episode all in one night. I’m going to be sitting down with my family and we’re going to be watching the show. My kids are talking about it more than I am. They have said, “You know what? We would still really like the show even if you weren’t in it.” And I said, “Well, it wouldn’t be as good if I wasn’t in it you guys!”
Do you know if there’s going to be a second season?
We don’t know yet. People have to actually watch. We have to have an audience for us to get a season two. And if I knew we had a season two, I’d tell you, but no I don’t know. I hope it goes well, and obviously, my kids hope it goes well. I haven’t been a part of something like this in a long time that I feel pretty strongly about.
Right, maybe it’ll be the next 7th Heaven.
Maybe. It’s different. You know 7th Heaven was all word of mouth. It still happens these days but you never know. There’s so much television on, so hopefully we get the right people to tune in when we need to. You never know but we’re having fun doing it!
As you can tell, Barry is passionate about the show and really wants it to do well. It was wonderful to meet him and I am excited for the show’s potential. We just need all of you to tune in! Start by watching the trailer below!
More About Date My Dad
Date My Dad is a 10-episode family dramedy that tells the story of a single dad raising three daughters. Ricky Cooper (Barry Watson) had the perfect life. A former professional baseball player, he was married to Isabella, the love of his life. Ricky’s world comes crashing down when Isabella passes away leaving him to raise three daughters alone. Date My Dad picks up three years later while Ricky is parenting the girls (Zenia Marshall, Lilah Fitzgerald and Audrey Smallman) with the help of his live-in mother-in-law, Rosa (Raquel Welch).
On his 40th birthday, Ricky experiences a different type of crisis when Rosa unexpectedly announces that she is moving. He becomes panic-stricken knowing he will have to tackle everything from make-up to boys to driving on his own. His daughters – Mirabel (15), Elisa (12), and Gigi (8) – have also been busy. They have taken matters into their own hands by making it their mission to get their dad back in the game…the dating game, that is. Ricky is in for a rollercoaster ride as he is pushed into the dating world for the first time in 20 years, while also being the best dad he can be to his girls.
Tune in to Date My Dad
Date My Dad airs Friday, June 2 at 9-10 PM ET on UP TV and will be followed immediately by Episode 2 at 10-11 PM ET. To celebrate this great new addition to the UP TV roster, join @UPtv on Twitter every Friday night during Date My Dad for the chance to win great prizes and chat about the show with special guest hosts. Follow along with the hashtag #DateMyDad.
Trust me, friends. This is one show you don’t want to miss!
Will you be watching the premiere of Date My Dad on June 2?
I partnered with Everywhere Agency and UP TV to bring you this post. UP TV is the entertainment brand that can truly say “We Get Family” and offers viewing experiences that feature authentic, relatable stories about all types of families, in all their complexities. As always, all opinions are my own.