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You're The Worst star Chris Geere talks Detective Pikachu and wanting to be Doctor Who

The British actor talks about being in the Pokemon movie and wrapping up You're The Worst after five seasons.

Earl Gibson III/Getty Images

Actor Chris Geere is at a crossroads. After five seasons, his show You're The Worst came to an end in April. In the beloved FXX comedy-drama, he played Jimmy Shive-Overly, whom Geere describes as a "really funny asshole." But starting this weekend, the British actor can be seen in Detective Pikachu, a big-screen take on Pokemon that couldn't be more different from You're The Worst.

Detective Pikachu stars Ryan Reynolds as the titular Pokemon and is aimed at kids. You're The Worst follows the relationship between Jimmy and Gretchen (Aya Cash) in a take that's simultaneously modern, sloppy, cynical and honest. The series obliterates the tropes of a normal rom-com while addressing topics like sex, depression and cynicism.

I got to talk over the phone with the boisterous and hysterical Geere about playing Jimmy, filming the most ridiculous sex scenes on TV and wanting to be Doctor Who.

Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.

When you first got cast on You're The Worst, what were your impressions of Jimmy? And how has that changed over the five seasons?
My first impression was, he's a really funny asshole. I love the fact that he was such an idiot. He seemed to have brains but not necessarily any common sense and I thought that was hilarious. As the show progressed, I went through what the fans went through: I loved him at some bits, I felt sorry for him at other bits, and I hated him lot of the time. It was always quite tricky to find something I liked about him when everything he did was disgraceful, but that was part of the challenge and enjoyment of the job.

What was your biggest surprise from the viewers of the You're The Worst?
Probably it goes back to the depression storyline. People were impacted by it. They were comforted by it. The impact highlighted how important it is. I will always look back at that as what really put us on the map. I've had great conversations with people who watch the show all over the world and everyone says the same stuff which is, "Oh my god I find the character so relatable." My first instinct is, "Really? Oh dear." Over the course of the whole show, I've realized we all have a bit of Jimmy, Edgar, Gretchen in all of us. It's just whether we choose to talk about it. Whether we chose to express that side of us.

How has your view of love changed from playing Jimmy on You're The Worst?
Jimmy and Gretchen complicate it way too much for themselves. Society makes you think you should be married by a specific age. And you should have this many children and you should live here… when actually what you should be doing is finding someone who makes you laugh and that you get on with and then not wondering whether you're going to be with them in 10, 20 years time. Just hope that you're with them tomorrow. I think that is what I have taken from the show. Love is far simpler than we give it credit.

Shifting from love to sex. The sex scenes in the show are ridiculous. What's it like to film them? And what do they add to the relationship between Gretchen and Jimmy?
Six minutes into the pilot they were having sex. We already flipped the romantic comedy on its head, because now that they've done that. They're not building up to anything. Shooting that first episode was filled with nerves. Towards the end of the show, we had a respect and understanding for each other that made it kind of easy rather than terrifying.

Sex was always written in a rather funny way. I remember the scene where she said, "I want you to slap me in the face." Then he slaps her in the face too hard, and she starts hitting him back and everything. Sex is really funny and you should be able to laugh at it. It shouldn't be the kind of the choreographed Sharon Stone-esque moves. It's dirty, it's awkward, it's weird. Sometimes you still wear your socks. I think You're The Worst was really good at that. Whether that be in a bed, or up against a pool table, it's just something that they do. They're very sexual people.

The obvious segue from this would be to start talking about the film Detective Pikachu.

Of course. From sex to Pokemon.

Who do you play in Detective Pikachu?
I have to be careful here. I have a very cool role that's featured throughout. I got to do some very, very cool stuff. I got to wear some cool things. There's a scene I had to shoot with a wind machine, which to date has been my most fun on set ever. I felt like I was in a scene from Die Hard but with Pokemon all around the room.

Now playing: Watch this: New trailer drops for Detective Pikachu
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What was your reaction when you first got the script for the film?
This is going to be fun. Because it has a bit of comedy, and a bit of adventure. My son watches the cartoon, and he's 6. And obviously, he has never seen anything I've done before. It's not really that wise to set a 6 year-old down to watch You're The Worst. "And this is daddy against the pool table with someone who isn't mommy." There was a massive draw in knowing I could share that experience with him. And hopefully I am going to be the cool dad at school.

What kind of roles would like to play that you haven't yet?
I would love to be Doctor Who. That's my big dream. Failing that, a big villain. I'd love to play a character that seemed friendly and harmless and then turned out to be an absolute psycho. But I'm thinking in 2023 I'm going be the Doctor.

Originally published Thurs. May 9 at 5 a.m. PT