When the Frasier revival needed a new sidekick, star Kesley Grammer knew whom to call: the British actor Nicholas Lyndhurst, with whom he shared the stage in a 2019 production of Man of La Manchaat the London Coliseum.
In a new interview with the U.K. publication The Times (via Deadline), Grammer says he and Lyndhurst “fell in love” doing the musical.
“I warned them in America,” he added. “I said, ‘Wait until this guy gets here. You’ll be doing a scene with him, and suddenly, you realize he’s just run off with it.’ He’s an extraordinary actor, a dear friend. And I am so pleased he’s part of it.”
Lyndhurst, who starred in the long-running BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses…, joined the Frasier revival in January, taking the role of university professor Alan Cornwall, with whom Grammer’s psychiatrist character went to college.
“British, boozy, and larger than life, Alan has an intellect on par with Frasier’s — if only he ever felt like using it,” the character description touts. “Alan’s mischievous streak might be just what Frasier could use to shake up his routine, while Frasier’s thoughtful guidance might help Alan find some of the direction he’s been missing in his own life.”
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The casting came after David Hyde Pierce, who played younger brother Niles Crane in the original Frasier run on NBC, opted out of the Paramount+ reboot. “David basically decided he wasn’t really interested in repeating the performance of Niles,” Grammer explained to People last year.
Other Frasier alums are coming back, however. Bebe Neuwirth will guest-star in the revival, reprising her role as Lilith, Frasier’s ex-wife, and Peri Gilpin will also pop up, once again playing Roz, a producer of Frasier’s radio show. There’s been no word, meanwhile, of Jane Leeves returning to play Daphne, Niles’ physical therapist wife.
Joining the party are Jack Cutmore-Scott as Freddy Crane, Frasier’s son; Anders Keith as David, Daphne and Niles’ son; Jess Salgueiro as Eve, Freddy’s roommate; and Toks Olagundoye as Olivia, Alan’s colleague and the head of the university psychology department.
Grammar also told The Times why he decided to return to his most famous role for new episodes after nearly 20 years: “[Frasier Crane has] lived a kind of a parallel life with me,” the 68-year-old explained. “Now we’ve found our way back to one another. This character, who is obviously fictional, has a life outside of mine that is just as believable and palpable as the one I’ve actually lived — and I’m good at playing him. We were funny together.”
Frasier, TBA, Paramount+