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Everybody Loves Raymond Stars Ray Romano And Brad Garrett Deep Dive Into Their Bupkis Roles - Exclusive Interview

Contains spoilers for Peacock's "Bupkis" 

Everybody loves Ray Romano and Brad Garrett. The duo met and became lifelong friends on the late '90s sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," and after almost 20 years, their chemistry hasn't wavered. Now, they're sort of reconnecting on Pete Davidson's "Bupkis" series — though they don't actually have any scenes together. During this exaggerated story of Davidson's life, Garrett plays Pete's uncle Roy, while Romano takes on an absolutely unhinged fever-dream version of himself.

Both actors have been pretty busy since working together for nine seasons of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Romano has gone on to play roles in "Parenthood," "Ice Age," "The Irishman," and "The Big Sick" on top of his successful stand-up comedy career. Meanwhile, Garrett has enjoyed a slew of voice-acting roles along with starring in shows like "'Til Death" and taking on films like "Music and Lyrics" alongside Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant.

Looper spoke to Romano and Garrett during an exclusive interview, where the friends discussed their chaotic "Bupkis" roles, working with Pete Davidson, and going down "Everybody Loves Raymond" memory lane. Keep in mind that these guys are comedians at their core — so don't take all of their comments too seriously. 

Getting frisky with Pete Davidson

You both get to work with Pete Davidson together in some pretty chaotic scenes. What were some of the highlights, both on and off the screen, and were any portions awkward to film?

Ray Romano: Well, Brad, you have the awkward scene, right?

Brad Garrett: It was a little awkward, I have to say.

Romano: Was any part of you naked in this scene?

Garrett: I was totally naked.

Romano: I'm out. I am out.

Garrett: No, wait a minute — in the audition.

Romano: Oh, okay. Got it.

Garrett: Let's be honest — me naked is not going to help anybody, so I won't get into details about that. But the great thing about it was how comfortable the set was. What was frightening is that [it] was my first scene that I filmed in the show. I had just met everybody for the first time. And it's intimidating when Joe Pesci yells, "Keep your frigging pants on," so I didn't expect it to go that way.

Romano: That's a first for you ever, to have any scene with any nudity in it, right?

Garrett: Well, in real life as well. Let's not forget the wedding night ...

Romano: ... when your wife said, "Keep your friggin' pants on."

Garrett: She ran into the lobby with a saber, and it was a standoff.

Romano: The show "Naked and Afraid" was inspired by that, right?

Garrett: Correct.

Romano: All right — and we're back.

Garrett: Go ahead, Ray. Your turn ... You say some things that are very awkward.

Romano: There was no awkwardness for me except for [wondering] how far out there they wanted [my character] to go. There was stuff written, and then we started ad-libbing, and I didn't know how dark and weird they wanted it to go. There was no limit, really. They edited it down. But I said things there that I've only said to you, Brad.

Garrett: Yes. Well, Ray's cameo is hysterical. But when you know who Ray is ... We spent a lot of hours together in our earlier life. I don't think I've ever heard him curse.

Romano: Oh, you've heard me curse. What do you mean? I curse.

Garrett: Maybe in telling a joke. But never in a moment of frustration.

Ray Romano: What do you mean? ... In Vegas, when we're gambling, I'm cursing.

Garrett: [Jokingly] That's different because you're on all the drugs. That's different. I'm talking on the daily. But you're not the type of guy to let an F-bomb fly or something like that within —

Romano: Oh, never.

Garrett: Yes. He's a real gentleman. It's great to see that part.

Romano: Shut the f*** up, let's go.

Garrett: See what I mean?

Romano: I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

The comedy kings

Ray, would you ever be down to do a comedy set with Pete Davidson, and did you talk shop at all during filming?

Romano: Yes. That's how I knew Pete, though we didn't meet through stand-up. We actually met through ... He did a movie with a director that I worked with a year before that. We kind of hooked up through that, through him. We've been in the clubs together — not a lot, but at the Comedy Cellar, I've been there on the same night he's been there, and we talk a little bit of stand-up.

Actually, while we were shooting, he came to the Cellar one night when I had just left. Our paths didn't cross. But we talk a lot of shop. I did have a little bit of a friendship with him before this started, so that's why I jumped on — because I liked him, and I liked what he was doing, and I knew this was going to be funny.

You both starred in "Everybody Loves Raymond" together, which is a much different comedy. What drew you to this role, and how does it compare to your time on that show?

Romano: It does not compare ... You're right; it's totally different. That's what drew us to it. It was fun to go off the plantation, as we say, and do something totally unexpected for the audience and for us. That's what drew me to it.

Garrett: Same here. It's very different. And anything else ... It was on the page immediately, and I was impressed [with] what Pete did in [the] "Staten Island" movie. It was a great opportunity. It's definitely something out of the box for me too. They say, "Try to do what scares you," and it scared me.

Romano: Lionel Richie says, "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."

Garrett: That's a good one.

Next-level MCU references

Ray, you have some pretty iconic MCU references in this show. Would you be game to join the MCU, and which actors or characters would you love to have scenes with?

Romano: By MCU, you mean Marvel?

[Laughs] Yes.

Romano: That's how far out of the loop [I am], but I know I had to research when I got the part. If you think I can be a superhero, I'm all for it. I don't know what my power would be. Fear? No. Smell? I do have a ...

Garrett: You got a good sniffer.

Ray Romano: And I'm neurotic, so I'm always smelling gas somewhere.

Garrett: That could be the thing. You fly through the city, and anyone that has their propane tank on or anything like that, you land in their yard. You scratch your nose like you're doing now.

Romano: I can smell the bad guys.

Garrett: You could smell bad guys — "The Sniffer."

Romano: Yes. But if they want me in the Marvel thing, I'm in.

Would you want to be a hero or a villain?

Garrett: That's a good one.

Romano: I guess I got to be a villain, because what kind of hero am I going to be? I think villain.

Garrett: I want to be the guy standing on the street pointing at the sky. "What's that?" I want to be that guy — something small.

Ray, you play yourself in the show. How much of a hand did you have in developing this unhinged version of yourself? What was that experience like?

Romano: Well, they wrote the role, and I juiced it up a little — a couple of moves, a couple of physical things. It was just unleashing the inner bad guy. But again, [Pete Davidson] was imagining it all. It was in Pete's brain, and that's the coolness of the whole show. It's inside the mind of Pete.

Everybody Loves Raymond memory lane

You both played brothers on "Everybody Loves Raymond." How much, if any, did your on-screen dynamic match your real friendship? Were there any of your bits inspired by real-life moments?

Romano: We had just met. We never met until we met on the set of "Everybody Loves Raymond," and we became good friends. But we all brought our life experiences to the writers room, at least. Brad, you weren't in the writers [room]. Well, we weren't allowing you anywhere near us.

Garrett: Yeah, [I was by the] craft service of the set. There was a little cage I would wait in, and they would rattle it and open the door.

Romano: But it was a reflection of life on "Everybody Loves Raymond," for sure.

Brad, you had a role in "Music and Lyrics," which is one of my favorite movies of all time. What are some of your favorite memories with Drew Barrymore and Hugh Grant?

Garrett: How incredibly nice they were, how collaborative they were ... They're big movie stars, and I haven't done a lot of films even to date.

It was a lot of fun. I wanted to be Hugh Grant for a day, which was weird, and that's why I was in his dressing room. But we figured it out, and it was a great time. Drew was so sweet — the sweetest. It was a lot of fun ... I haven't done many rom-coms. I did something with Vin Diesel, but that ended abruptly.

All eight episodes of "Bupkis" are now streaming on Peacock.

This interview has been edited for clarity.