It’s Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll for Denis Leary, Star and Producer of FX’s New Series

by Margaret Gardiner July 15, 2015

The trials and tribulations of an aging rockstar are at the heart of a new comedy series produced by and starring Denis Leary and featuring Elizabeth Gillies and John Corbett.

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Photo credit: Margaret Gardiner/HFPA

The stars of the new FX show, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, headed back to LA after an intense time at San Diego Comic-Con, promoting their series about a middle-aged rocker, who desperately wants to be famous. Unfortunately, the band breaks up the same day their one and only album drops. Twenty-five years later, almost out of money, but with his massive ego intact, Johnny Rock, (Denis Leary), meets a young singer (Elizabeth Gillies), and as a member of her back-up band, Leary gets a second crack at fame – but with the perspective of his earlier journey. Johnny Rock has to adjust to the idea that even if they hit it big, it won’t be because of him. There’s also the reality of inhabiting a rock and roll personae at an age most people are planning their retirement, while battling the demons that blew up a dream. This is a comedy, with fast talking truisms and raunch. Iconic rockers guest star.

John Corbett of my Big Fat Greek Wedding also stars. He chatted about trying to turn down Sex and the City when it was first offered to him, celebrating 25 years since Northern Exposure hit television, and his life as a real rock and roller – he has his own band that tours. He’s excited about reprising his role in Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, that is currently filming. Looking very much ‘the dude,’ Corbett, was comfy in jeans, a waistcoat, and V-neck Tee, his hair long, but not touching his collar.

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Photo credit: Margaret Gardiner/HFPA

Elizabeth Gillies, who does her own singing on the show, says she feels like a female Steve Tyler when she dons the lizard skin pants as an up and coming female rock star. “Those clothes definitely help me get in character.” In contrast to the musician garb, Gillies (who is also appearing in the movie, Vacation), wore a sophisticated Elizabeth and James indigo dress and killer Stuart Weitzman sandals for our chat. The dress had a bias, overlapping, hemline that was both edgy and traditional. She wore her hair in controlled corkscrews and sported black eye liner to dramatic effect. The talented singer, who has already appeared on Broadway, joked that she came out of the womb singing. If you think she looks familiar you may recognize her from her role of Jade West on Nickelodeon’s Victorious.

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Photo credit: Margaret Gardiner/HFPA

Denis Leary conceived of the idea of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll – which he also produces – while performing charity concerts with actors Lenny Clarke and Adam Ferrara, from his previous hit show, Rescue Me. Denis joked that despite their fame, personalities got involved as they toured, resulting in playful competition amongst the actors. Known for his work on Rescue Me, Leary has also appeared in numerous movies including The Amazing Spider-Man.

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Photo credit: Margaret Gardiner/HFPA

In stark contrast to the rough characters he often portrays, the Massachusetts native looked like he stepped off the pages of a fashion magazine, wearing a Steve McQueen shirt and a Ralph Lauren jacket. The show premieres on July 16, 2015 on FX.

Margaret Gardiner