By Parade Magazine
Baio plays David Hobbs, a former favorite TV dad who gives up his career to stay home with his three kids while his wife pursues her acting career.
"I had done that. I was sort of out [of the business[ with my wife and baby just playing golf and hanging out," says Baio. "It was great and I was happy, my life was pleasant." As for his character's often bumbling ways, Baio expressed compassion at a fellow father's plight: "I totally get the guy and relate to the guy. I am the guy! It was fun and I get to put a lot of my stories into the show and my little moments that happen to me in real life because of being a celebrity and whatever," he adds. "It's good fun and a way to make fun of a guy who is not a dumb dad, but uninformed. He's been out of the loop for so long that he doesn't really know who these people are so he's just catching up to the process."
Read on for more with Baio including how fatherhood changed his career outlook and the fact that really surprises him:
On new fatherhood.
"I don't put weight into things anymore, which is a good thing. It has put a lot of things in perspective. In a sort of bizarre way, when my father died five years ago, I realized I was next on the ladder to go. And then I had a baby and then I realized, 'wow, I'm really next to go!' It made me think, 'I might as well enjoy myself! What the hell am I doing worrying about this silly business?' All of that came into play and there are so many different elements that occurred at the same time. I don't know if it woke me up or whatever but it made me less crazy about being an actor.""
On Arrested Development.
"I would [tell you something] if I could. All I did was go to work and got a couple of pages. I have no idea what the story is. I went and got to work with Henry Winkler, who is fantastic. I wasn't even able to talk about going to do it for a long time. I would tell you more if I knew but it was Henry, me and the director. It was nice to work with Henry on a different thing, it was great."
On reality inspiring fiction.
"There is a Costco thing coming up [in an episode] that actually happened to me in Costco. It's so bizarre because people say it takes an hour and half to get through that place but sometimes they'll recognize me and help me by opening a lane. I'm like, 'wow!' You get a little embarrassed by it but hell, I'm going to take it. And we had another story with James Maslow [from Big Time Rush]. Something happened with him that actually happened with me. It was a music guy who wanted to do a television show about ten years ago. He didn't even know he was insulting me by what he said. Basically he said, 'I want to do something cool. I don't want to do something like Charles in Charge but something cool.' And I was like, 'okay I get it, you want to do something cool that gets cancelled in 6 episodes.' So we put that in the show."
Reflecting on his transition from teen idol to TV dad.
"Honest to god, I've never given it that much thought. I didn't go, 'hmm, I'm playing a dad now.' What is a little odd is that I'm 52 years old. That's very surreal and I forget that I'm that age. But still in my head, I'm 23 years old. So that's weird. The age thing is freaky."
On his playing (and being) a dad.
"I'll be in some of those situations [in real life] and I'll bring some things in the show. I talk to Ryan, who plays my eldest daughter on the show, and I have conversations with her that make me think, 'oh god, is this what I'm going to have to look forward to [with my daughter]?' All the things she's telling me about boys, school, and clothes. I'm like, 'oh god, help me.' A lot of times things cross over. I call my TV wife Renee, which is my real wife's name. The youngest girl on the show is almost the same age as my daughter and she has the same name as my real daughter, which is Bailey. So I get lost sometimes and there are moments on the show I go, 'where the hell am I?'"
Devoted Hollywood Dads