On NBC's new White House comedy 1600 Penn
, Benjamin Stockham plays youngest son Xander Gilchrist. If you thought being the president's kid would make life easier, you certainly haven't met the Gilchrist brood! Life seems plenty complicated for the children of Bill Pullman's, President Dale Gilchrist. In the new comedy's crazy, heightened world Stockham's Xander just might be the most grounded member of the first family.
BuddyTV was lucky enough to talk to Stockham about playing Xander, what's coming up for the youngest member of the family, and what it's like working with such a funny cast of characters.
Tell us a little bit about Xander, your character on 1600 Penn.
Xander is a very smart 12-year-old. He's serious about just about everything. He also wears black all the time, which I think is cool.
What's your favorite part about playing Xander?
My favorite part about playing Xander is probably the glasses. His personality is kind of wrapped up in these lens and frames.
What was the audition process like for landing the part?
Well everybody in the room was so much bigger than me. I was pretty sure I wasn't going to get the part, but here I am!
What do you like most about working on the show?
I like this show for it's comedy and for it's behind-the-scenes team. It's hilarious behind-the-scenes. Everybody is just so funny.
Have you ever been to the real White House? What's it like filming those scenes in the White House set?
I have not, but I'm pretty sure it's an exact replica because everybody says so. It feels like we're just right in the White House! Even though I've never been in there, I think that's what it would feel like if I was.
What's your character's relationship like with the rest of the siblings? It's kind of a crazy family!
Well in one episode Dale (Bill Pullman) and Xander just kind of bond, and that's pretty cool. Xander and Marigold (Amara Miller) do not get along at all. Xander and Becca (Martha MacIsaac), she's a good big sister to him. With Xander and Skip (Josh Gad), they're more like friends. And with Xander and Emily (Jenna Elfman) it's kind of weird because she's a stepmom and I don't think she could ever fill that mom space. But I learn to appreciate her.
So what's it like working with the rest of the cast?
It is awesome working with the rest of the cast. I feel like they're all just so funny and I'm kind of just there. But everyone tells me I'm so funny, so that's nice.
So what's coming up for Xander in the first season of the show? What can we look forward to?
You should look forward to an episode, I don't remember what it's called, but Xander runs for class president. It's a pretty cool one. You should also look for an episode called "Game Theory".
Catch all the first family hijinks on 1600 Penn
Thursdays at 9:30pm on NBC. You can follow Benjamin Stockham on twitter at @Benjstockham
(Image courtesy of Kenneth Dolin)