Interview: Hunter Parrish: Weeds

In 2005, shortly after moving out to stake his claim in Hollywood, Dallas native Hunter Parrish got offered a career-defining role as Silas Botwin in Showtime's critically acclaimed series 'Weeds.'

Though the show was still in development at the time and very few people outside the realm of 'The West Wing' had ever heard or noticed the show's lead cast member Mary Louise Parker, Parrish felt confident about his part, knowing that the show was something unique.

"I actually auditioned for the part and didn't hear anything for like four months," Parrish recalls. "Then, one day I got a call and they were like, 'Do you remember that show a while back? Well you are going to go back and read for it. It is between you and one other guy.' It was weird but very exciting."

Nothing could prepare him for the names that he would get to work with through the first three seasons of the show. So far, Parrish has worked alongside such high-profile names as Mary Louise-Parker, Elizabeth Perkins, Shoshannah Stern and most noticeably, Mary-Kate Olsen.

"Well, we were about to cast the part [to another girl] when we were told that Mary-Kate was interested in the role," Parrish revealed. "So, like three days before we were supposed to begin shooting, she came in to read for the part and she got it."

Parish continued to speak very highly of the child star/fashion icon, mentioning how easy she was to work with, as well as her excitement to be part of the show. "She really thought that her role was going to help push her career forward - which it undoubtedly has."

From there we turned our conversation more toward Parrish's take on the show, including his favorite season thus far.

"I liked season two," he said quickly. "Getting to work with Shoshannah Stern, who played my girlfriend for season one and part of season two, was truly amazing. And it was just something about working with her."

In addition, Parrish found that season two offered a more intense, climactic feel than any of the other seasons. There was always that 'what happens next' feeling.

As for Silas Botwin, Parrish doesn't shy away from the fact that though there are some major differences between him and who he portrays on television, there are many similarities as well.

For starters, Parrish admits to being a complete mama's boy.

"I am really close to my mom. My move out here to LA from Dallas was difficult on my family," Hunter says.

However, when poised with the question: 'What if Nancy was your real mom?' Silas does not shy away from his true feelings.

"If Nancy was my mom, I would have to go into business with her. Silas was at that age where you see what your parents are doing and you assume that it is right," Parrish continues. "Silas felt like he needed to be the man of the house, so he felt he needed to do [whatever was necessary to provide]."

And with the coming of season four, many things are in store for audience members. One of which is the theme song, 'Little Boxes.' Having played before all 49 episodes thus far, the creators for the show have decided that the time has come to retire the track. This decision shocked Parrish.

"When I first heard about the change, I was not sold on the idea," Parrish vividly recalls. "However, as we got the scripts for the new season and started to see exactly where the show was going, I began to realize that the song was part of the show's past. We are headed in a completely different direction and by leaving the track behind, the show has been given a lot more creative freedom."

Parish went on to mention that throughout the first three seasons, many musicians have taken their turn at the mic to recreate Malvina Reynolds' classic, 'Little Boxes.' But as we all know, when there are different versions of the same thing, everyone has their favorite. And shockingly, it took no time at all for Silas to come up with his.

"Regina Spektor. The way she performed the song was so different and awesome. She is by far my favorite of any that we have had on the show."

Lastly, we had to hit on what to expect from the fourth season of 'Weeds.' And though Parrish was a little tight-lipped about the plot and exact direction, he did give me a little insight.

"We are reinventing the show. We have so much creative freedom now and there is really some refreshing material."

Sounds exciting!

*The fourth season of 'Weeds' is airing now on Showtime.
*'Weeds Season 3' is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD box set.


About Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis
I owe this hobby/career to the one and only Stephanie Peterman who, while interning at Fox, told me that I had too many opinions and irrelevant information to keep it all bottled up inside. I survived my first rated R film, Alive, at the ripe age of 8, it took me months to grasp the fact that Julia Roberts actually died at the end of Steel Magnolias, and I might be the only person alive who actually enjoyed Sorority Row…for its comedic value of course. While my friends can drink you under the table, I can outwatch you when it comes iconic, yet horrid 80s films like Adventures in Babysitting and Troop Beverly Hills. I have no shame when it comes to what I like, and if you have a problem with that, then we’ll settle it on the racquetball court. I see too many movies to actually win any film trivia contest, so don’t waste your first pick on me. My friends rent movies from my bookcase shelves, and one day I do plan to start charging. I long to live in LA, where my movie obsession will actually help me fit in, but for now I am content with my home in Austin. I prefer indies to blockbusters, Longhorns to Sooners and Halloween to Friday the 13th. I miss the classics, as well as John Ritter, and I hope to one day sit down and interview the amazing Kate Winslet.

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