I spoke with Allen Maldonado about You’re the Worst, Black-ish, and so much more. Allen plays Honeynutz in You’re the Worst, in which he’s not the worst but his time is coming. It’s one of the best comedies on television. Allen also stars as Curtis in Black-ish. The writing on that show is beyond clever. They deal with controversial subjects uniquely. Now we just need to get Allen on The Muppets and the circle will be complete. You’re the Worst, Black-ish, and The Muppets are required weekly viewing. Allen was wonderful to speak with. He’s so sincere and even gives back to the community. He founded Demo Nerds, which give free acting classes to foster kids and at risk youth.
Lena: Is there anything that you don’t do? [Allen is an actor, has a record label, a production company, a clothing line, does charity work, etc.]
Allen Maldonado: Sleep. [Laughing] I don’t sleep much but other than that I kind of have my hands in everything.
Lena: Everyone wants to know if we will be getting more Honeynutz this season on You’re the Worst?
Allen Maldonado: We get a lot of Honeynutz this season. We are going to have a whole new storyline. We are going to have a rap beef, fights, brawls—it’s going to be hilarious. I’m excited for the turning point this season. We are going to be having a lot more scenes and interactions with everybody.
Lena: Have you completed filming yet?
Allen Maldonado: We wrapped this summer. I’m here filming Black-ish now.
Lena: I watched my first episode of Black-ish last week and now I’m hooked. It’s a great show. What did you think about the season two premiere?
Allen Maldonado: It was crazy. Definitely a controversial subject, the n word [“The Word”], but we had a really fun take on it. It was very well done as far as being respectful to each side of the argument and the controversy of who should say the n word and who shouldn’t.
Lena: The writing is fantastic on that show.
Allen Maldonado: Yes, Kenya Barris and the whole writing crew. They are amazing and I love them.
Lena: What can we expect from Curtis this season on Black-ish?
Allen Maldonado: Definitely a lot more Curtis—a lot more of his crazy advice that he gives Dre (Anthony Anderson). Dre goes through all of his situations with his family and there ends up being some turmoil and obstacles that he has to go through in regards to keeping them in tune with their black culture. I kind of give him the insight from a younger perspective. Most of the time I’m wrong [laughing], but sometimes I’m right. It’s good fun as far as giving him advice and what he should do.
Lena: Going back to You’re the Worst, I just got ahead of myself and got excited about Black-ish, it seems like everyone takes a turn at being the worst but who do you think is all-around THE worst?
Allen Maldonado: Like you said, everybody takes their turn, but I think Gretchen (Aya Cash). I think she’s the worst. I think she wins the award. She gets on all of us but she does stuff with us that is even crazier. We look at her like what the? [Laughing] I’m going to go ahead a give it to Gretchen.
Lena: How would you rate Honeynutz?
Allen Maldonado: I’d give him 6.5 out of 10.
Lena: Are we going to get to see him actually be the worst this season?
Allen Maldonado: Oh, yeah! You are definitely going to see it. We have the rap beef going on, so that’s definitely going to be the worst.
Lena: You’re the Worst is definitely one of the best comedies. What is it like on set and working with the cast because it has to be fun?
Allen Maldonado: It’s super fun. It’s laid back and good energy on the set and working with the cast. We have fun and play games in between the takes. There is a game called Heads Up! that is kind of like charades. Kether and I are the champs. You don’t want to play us. We have a good time and there is a video of us playing. It’s just a fun set. Everyone from the writers to the crew to the actors, everybody is just sharing the love.
Lena: I’ve heard that Desmin Borges is an amazing cook. Does he bring any treats to the set?
Allen Maldonado: You know what, I have not had a chance to taste any of Desmin’s stuff. I need to give him a call. I need to make that happen. He’s always cooking on the show.
Lena: Breakfast lasagna.
Allen Maldonado: That’s the breakfast of champions.
Lena: This question applies to You’re the Worst and Black-ish, how hard is it to film your scenes without laughing?
Allen Maldonado: Oh man, it’s hard on both sets. We are always going back and fourth about who is going to make each other crack. On Black-ish Anthony Anderson is just hysterical. It’s definitely difficult at times but you have to try and buckle down. We keep a very lose set but if it happens, and it happens often, we just keep going with the flow. It’s definitely a task.
Lena: Anthony’s laugh is amazing.
Allen Maldonado: It’s infectious. As soon as he starts laughing so does everyone else. It starts a chain of events like a domino effect.
Lena: Do you have any pointers for us non-actors on how to keep a straight face when someone tells you something that’s completely hilarious, but it’s not something that you should be laughing at?
Allen Maldonado: You can try to look past the individual that’s talking, but at the end of the day when it’s funny, it’s funny. You are just going to crack no matter what.
Lena: Black-ish also has an amazing cast. Did you watch Laurence Fishburne in Hannibal?
Allen Maldonado: I love everybody. They are all great. I never got a chance to check Hannibal out.
Lena: Wednesday is definitely your night of television.
Allen Maldonado: Yeah! I’m popping up all over the place.
Lena: Survivor’s Remorse also airs on Starz on Saturday nights.
Allen Maldonado: It’s executive produced by LeBron James. I’m excited about that.
Lena: What else do you have coming up?
Allen Maldonado: I have an online series that I produce and I wrote called Who the F*uck is Uncle Joe? It will be coming out this fall. I’m working on Black-ish and we got picked up for the full second season. I’m continuing the momentum on You’re the Worst and I have some other things coming up that I can’t really talk about right now. It’s been a great 2015 and it’s going to be an amazing 2016. I also founded Demo Nerds. We give free acting classes for foster kids and at risk youth. If anyone in the Los Angeles area would love to participate they can visit the site and sign up their child. http://demonerds.com/
You’re the Worst airs Wednesday nights at 10:30/9:30c on FXX.
Black-ish airs Wednesday nights at 9:30/8:30c on ABC.
Survivor’s Remorse airs Saturday nights at 9:30/8:30c on Starz.
Allen Maldonado on Twitter: https://twitter.com/allen_maldonado
Photos: Joseph Rene Briscoe