July 11, 2015

Catching Up With The Cast Of The New FX Comedy Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll At Comic Con

(PCM) Denis Leary makes his return to television in the new FX comedy “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” which premieres on Thursday, July 16 at 10pm ET/PT!  In the new series (which we are addicted to already) Leary portrays an aging rock star named Johnny Rock, whose years of substance abuse and egotism prevented him from ever truly making it big. His former bandmates played by John Corbett, John Ales and Robert Kelly have all moved on to a brighter future, but Johnny is stuck in his lost dream of super stardom. His only true supporter is back-up singer Ava, played by Elaine Hendrix, who still believes in his dream of reaching the top.

He randomly discovers a daughter named Gigi, played by Elizabeth Gillies, that he never knew existed who is an aspiring rock singer and with her assistance is able to put the band back together once again.

We caught up with the “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” cast at San Diego Comic Con to get a more in-depth look at this new dysfunctional family of rock!

When speaking about what led to his decision to put together the series Denis Leary tells us “I’ve known musicians my whole life, in my teenage years a lot of guys I grew up with became members of rock n’ roll bands in Boston and most of them went on to be in successful bands for the last 35 years. So, I was backstage a lot and I got to witness a lot of the crazy ego maniacal behavior. I knew I wanted to do a half hour series and I knew how to get there and I also discovered Elizabeth Gillies. Hopefully it it works I’m just going to ride her coat tails for the next five years”.

We asked Leary which rock stars had the biggest influence on his character and he revealed “There are a couple guys I know who never made it and they were pretty bitter about it for a long time, so I based some of it on those guys. They still look like rock stars and they walk around the Lower East Side and Brooklyn decked out … when you look like Keith Richards in that outfit, you look kind of crazy! I love the idea of a guy walking around with this outdated look. That is the most fun part of the show for me. It is also interesting to see him learn and interact with Gigi as he figures out how to be and act like a dad”.

Elizabeth Gillies playfully adds “It would be a really funny episode to have me dress Johnny up wearing dad clothes!” She also says that over time Gigi and Johnny’s relationship becomes “complicated, but it’s funny too because we just tear each other apart. We mentor each other in a weird way. Gigi parents Johnny and he teaches her about rock n’ roll, but she doesn’t have all the issues he does. Gigi is clean and sober and he’s the exact opposite of that, so they teach each other”.

Leary says that the biggest lesson that Johnny learns in the first season and comes to grips with is that he is never going to be famous and if there is anyone in the family that is going to be famous at all it is most definitely going to be Gigi. He also reveals that his dream would be to have David Bowie cameo on the show and that he has a new found respect for what it takes to be a true rock star!

When discussing her character of Ava on the series Elaine Hendrix says that Ava and Johnny “love each other a lot and she is trying to protect him through all of his dysfunctionality.” In revealing which real life rockers have had the biggest influence on their characters John Corbett immediately says “KISS! Which is great for Comic Con too. When I was 14 or 15 years old all I did was draw the fifth member of KISS which was me (which was kind of a take on a scary clown)”. Hendrix adds “For Ava, I think it’s all Blondie. Those rocker chicks who really brought style and flair to their music and were really badass!”

Actor Robert Kelly who plays drummer Bam Bam says that his character is like all drummers “neglected, looked over, have food issues. Everyone is the band is having sex and you are ordering a pizza alone.” He goes on to say that both he and John Ales did not play instruments in real life so they had to learn to play both the drums and bass respectively for the series.

John Ales who plays bassist Rehab tells us that “Denis did a phenomenal job with the casting of this series. He had a vision about who he wanted for the long haul and touched on exactly the right personality for each one of us.” Kelly adds “We love and hate each other just like a real band . We fight, we love and we laugh and it’s great”!

Check out the latest Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll promo clip below:

About the Author

Kristyn Clarke
I am a journalist and interviewer who is completely obsessed with music, TV, film and all other aspects of pop culture! I am currently the Director of Operations for and my work can also be found on,, and! Have my B.S. in Television/Video Production from Wilmington University and have been working in online media for the past ten years and loving every moment of it!


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