Just when it looked like things might work out for Sarah Braverman on Parenthood, her troubled ex-husband reappeared worse off than ever. How is Seth’s return going to affect Sarah’s relationship with hunky English teacher Mark Cyr? I spoke to Lauren Graham (Sarah) and Jason Ritter (Mark) about any potential conflict, their (fictional) wedding episode, and turning on the waterworks.
So there's only smooth sailing ahead for Sarah and Mark, right?
Lauren Graham: Yes! Nothing bad will ever happen to them, just like in life, nothing ever breaks people up.
Jason Ritter: Six more seasons of bliss.
That’s good to hear. When’s the wedding episode?
Lauren Graham: It’s going to be the 100th episode.
Jason Ritter: We planned it like that on purpose.
Lauren Graham: And we can’t really say anything else about it. No, I want them to get married and have only happy times, but I don’t know. An hour of happy times on TV—popular show? Maybe not.
How long until we see a confrontation between Mark and Seth?
Jason Ritter: It’s less a direct confrontation and more of a stress on the relationship. I don’t think—
Lauren Graham: They’re not gonna, like, duke it out.
Jason Ritter: No, he’s almost twice my height. Which gives me an advantage, because I’m—
Lauren Graham: Fast! Wiry!
Jason Ritter: I think it’s the kind of thing where Mark knows they are spending time together, and that this man is an important man in her life. The fact that he’s getting well makes him even more of a threat, because he’s becoming more and more of the man that she fell in love with and had two children with. So a man’s insecurities can start to blow up in that kind of situation.
Obviously the kids are in a bit of an awkward position. Will we see them warming up to Mark, or are they just happy to have their dad back?
Lauren Graham: Both, I think. They are in an awkward position. Whatever happens in the next few episodes, it’s not done. Their father has not really been in their lives, and this relationship is still kind of new, so there’s a lot of places for it to go.
Jason Ritter: I think they both want their mom to be happy.
Lauren Graham: Yeah. And get married in the 100th episode.
What do you think makes Sarah and Mark such a great couple, aside from the fact that you guys look adorable together?
Lauren Graham: [laughs] It’s just that. That’s all you need. We look good together! That’s all it takes.
Jason Ritter: We should have wedding pictures. Does that mean we have to get married?
Lauren Graham: I think Mark, Jason’s character, is incredibly kind. I think they have a lot of fun together. They have a bizarrely similar kind of sense of humor. And I think in a way, it is an advantage that he is younger. I think Sarah in her development is not really where she could be, you know, and so it makes sense to me that she’s with somebody younger. But basically it’s just because they look cute together.
Lauren, I think you’ve cried in almost every episode of Parenthood. Will that trend continue?
Lauren Graham: [laughs] Oh, my God. I don’t mean to! It’s so insane, because I couldn’t even—I couldn’t used to cry as an actor. All I did was tell jokes. There’s something about the stories on this show that—it’s hard because it is a character who’s really struggling, and I don’t want to cry anymore. I don’t want Sarah to cry anymore. I can’t even blame it on Mae, because it used to be just in scenes with Mae Whitman [Amber] that we would start crying. I don’t know. I don’t know what her problem is. I’m taking her to therapy immediately. Mark makes her happy! Now she only cries in happiness.
Jason, when are you going to cry on Parenthood?
Jason Ritter: I almost cried when I found Seth’s cigarettes in [Sarah’s] bed. It’s weird, because that wasn’t written in the script. It’s just unexpected and they’re real situations, and it’s hard not to be affected by it. But luckily, my—
Lauren Graham: Machismo.
Jason Ritter: It came in and said, “Choke it down, man! Choke it down, people are going to see this.” … It is okay for men to cry, though.
Lauren Graham: Yeah, you should cry right now.
Parenthood airs Tuesdays at 10pm on NBC.