Hector Elizondo: Last Man Standing

New sitcom starring Elizondo and Tim Allen premieres October 11th on ABC

By Julio Martinez, Latin Heat Online Magazine
Published on LatinoLA: August 16, 2011

Hector Elizondo: Last Man Standing

The problem with having Tim Allen and Hector Elizondo together on stage for the Television Critics Association (TCA) press conference for the upcoming ABC series, Last Man Standing, they can't help but suck up all the testosterone in the room.

Looking down at the assembled TV scribes on the last day of the TCA tour, Allen observes, "Oh, they're low. They're already tired. Already pissed off and tired." One of the TCA members remarks that Allen is portraying hyper-macho family man Mike who is very reminiscent of the hyper macho character he played on ABC's monumentally successful ABC sitcom, Home Improvement (1991-1999). Allen replies, "Why wouldn't I want to play the same kind of character? It works."

Elizondo plays his boss Ed and he just naturally riffs off Allen's remarks. "I'm doing the show because of Tim's biceps. I saw him in a T-shirt. Actually, I liked the idea of the show. I thought it was timely. And of course with Mr. Allen, you've got the last man here."

Allen goes on to praise every one of the series regulars (Kaitlyn Dever, Molly Ephraim, Alexandra Krosney, Christoph Sanders, Nancy Travis) in the cast, except for Elizondo. He sighs, "Other than Hector, everything went very well. He really was trouble. He's been trouble since he started. Lost all his hair. It was so, so sad."

Elizondo nods his head, "It was not a pretty sight. It was a tragedy, actually." In fact, Hector Elizondo's career has been anything but sad and tragic. Born in New York City of Puerto Rican and Basque heritage, Elizondo has enjoyed an enviable 42-year career on stage, film and television, beginning with his 1970 Obie Award-winning portrayal of God in off-Broadway's Steambath. His television work includes a 1997 Supporting Actor Emmy for Chicago Hope, and 1992 Emmy nomination for the PBS American Playhouse film, Mrs. Cage. He has recently guest starred on Grey's Anatomy and Monk.

When the discussion turns to the "manly man" aspect of the series, one journalist addresses Elizondo, "You once told me you were a bullfighter, which would be the epitome of a manly man. "

Elizondo replies, "Actually, a bullshitter. I was 22 years old and more tormented, and someone came up with the idea. I thought, that's an excellent idea. I'll go to Mexico and study the bulls. I didn't become a bullfighter. Once I took a look at a bull, I said, 'Okay, fine. Back to New York City.' The size of their hooves were like a small fort." Elizondo then notices Allen is doubled up laughing while gasping, "a bullshitter."

Elizondo replies, "I came back with dysentery." When he finally addresses the question of "manly men," Elizondo concludes, "He is one who knows because he listens. The word "duck" sometimes means a duck and sometimes you've got to duck (lower your head). That's knowing how to listen, to pay attention. Actually, that applies to everything in life. What do I know?"

Created and executive produced by Jack Burditt, Last Man Standing is airing Tuesdays at 8pm, beginning in October 11th.

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