PASADENA, Calif. – Dax Shepard struggled with coming to terms with the fact his character on the new ABC comedy “Bless This Mess” isn’t an all-American handyman like he is.
Speaking to reporters at the Television Critics’ Association winter press tour at the Langham Huntington, Pasadena in February, the executive producer said he found his character’s lack of DIY acumen difficult to adjust to in the “fish out of water” home renovation comedy, considering he’s very handy in his personal life.
“It was a big blow to my ego to not be able to wield the hammer like a pro in this,” said Shepard speaking about the series’ plotline of a married couple who decide to leave their lives in the big city behind for the simple life in rural Nebraska – only to find that the farmhouse they’ve inherited is in dire need of some TLC. “In fact, I said many times I almost don't know how to make it look bad.”
The “Parenthood” star, emphatically suggests he’s a better handyman than the average person, and even said he’s got the resume to prove it.
“Oh, boy – I’m a California 10, on the handy scale and I’m a Michigan 5. I think your average guy from Michigan can probably change the jets in a carburetor, and I think your average Californian can change a tire on the side of the road,” explained Shepard, 44, who is married to “The Good Place” actress Kristen Bell, 38.
“Nonstop, I put a new wheel stud in my sister’s car about five days ago, and I plugged my wife’s tire the day before that. So, there’s always something at my house that requires [fixing]. But I’m much more automotively inclined, although I do like building stuff.”
When asked what was the last project he completed, the “Ranch” actor paused before answering.
“The last thing I built – I don’t want to lie to you, so I really want to jog my memory, he said. "I built a giant wall in our back yard, a beautiful giant wall. That was one of these projects I had assessed it was going to take me maybe a day and a half, and it took me three weekends. That’s kind of my pattern.”
During the series’ panel session, Shepard revealed to reporters that he renovated the first home he ever purchased in Los Angeles and while the job ultimately was completed, it wasn’t without its fair share of setbacks.
“The first time I bought a house in L.A., I renovated it right before I moved in. And there was a period where they said it would be done, and I had scheduled to move in,” said Shepard. “Of course, it was not done, but I moved in anyways. And I was dead asleep, and I'll try to edit out the F-bombs, but I wake up hearing, ‘What motherf-----?’ ‘No, F you.’ ‘What?’”
He continued: “Then I hear a scuffle break out, and I walk out in my underwear, and there's two guys that are laying hardwood floor fully engaged in fisticuffs in the living room. That's a bad remodeling story – when the workers fight on the property. And I said, ‘You gotta do this on the street. I don't want to be liable for this.’”
“Bless This Mess,” which is co-created by Lake Bell and Elizabeth Meriwether, also stars Pam Grier, Ed Begley Jr. and JT Neal. The series premieres Tuesday, April 16 at 9:30 p.m. on ABC.