The new sitcom American Auto follows the story of the Payne Motors company and the struggles its staff find themselves in with a new CEO, Katherine Hastings (Ana Gasteyer). In the show, Jon Barinholtz plays Wesley Payne, grandson of the company founder who believes he should be there and can do whatever he likes.

In an exclusive interview with uInterview founder Erik Meers, Barinholtz explained what he likes most about his character.

“The blind confidence of a white privileged man of a certain age who believes that his opinion should be heard on everything and it is something that was interesting to explore with the character for Wesley,” he said. “I think it gets him into situations where, while that seems like a not sympathetic trait, which I don’t think it is, it gets him situations where you do find some form of sympathy and you just see a person who is ultimately trying to do the right thing and does take pride and you know the company he was born into by family and I don’t think he has a lot of friends outside of the workplace so, which you never tell anyone in the workplace, so I think there’s a vulnerability there where he kind of needs his coworkers as friends as well and I really love being able to play that side of him.”

Barinholtz, who is the younger brother of fellow comedian Ike Barinholtz, also described what it was like working with Gasteyer.


“I mean she’s such a great lead for a show because not only is she insanely talented as a comedian, she’s just an amazing actress and just like a great energy,” he said. “Every scene is really fun with her, they write for her well, and she performs it flawlessly. The one that sticks out is in the first season we pulled an all-nighter at the office and there’s like a certain connection point between Wesley and Catherine in the show. She’s the CEO, she’s the boss of the company, and he’s a little butthurt about the fact that he wasn’t named CEO even though he was never really in the running. There is this connection point where they both love money and love success and they are tied into the success of this company and they there’s a moment I think like seventh episode of last season where they’re outside having a vape and Wesley thinks it’s a moment of vulnerability where he’s like, ‘Oh my God, this could be a love connection’ and she doesn’t think that at all because she exists in reality and Wesley doesn’t and Wesley goes in for a kiss and she goes, ‘ew, ew, ew.’ I would’ve loved to be in the editing room just to see how many takes I blew from laughing because every time she’d react to me sort of cracking up, it was very hard to get through that scene.”

American Auto is available for streaming on Peacock and at 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesdays on NBC.

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