A comedy with sincerity is what Fox’s Enlisted is and that is why Parker Young says he is happy to be a part of it. Young plays Randy Hill, the youngest of the trio of brothers this military-set series centers around.
Right away you can’t help but love Randy: his almost child-like enthusiasm for the Army combined with his sensitivity makes him want to be everyone’s brother! And that enthusasim was definitely exuded from Young at the screening event for the show at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills this week, which is where I caught up with the actor!
PPLA: What are you most enjoying about playing Randy? He’s so fun to watch.
Parker: It’s so much fun. It’s so freeing to play this character. He speaks what’s on his mind as soon as it comes through his mind, and so it’s just a very, very fun whole-hearted character. I feel like people are always like, “I love Randy. I like Parker, too, but I love Randy way more.” And it’s so true, Randy is such a great person. And it’s a blast to play.
PPLA: He seems to have a very sensitive side to him. Much more than the brothers.
Parker: Yes, absoutely. I think he’s the first person to be the most hurt by anything. His heart really guides him through life and so yes it makes him vulnerable and sensitive. But I think it’s also because he’s guided by his heart as opposed to a different body part on Pete, he’s got a good moral compass.
PPLA: It seems like that. Like he really cares about his brothers.
Parker: Oh my gosh, yes! Nobody is more important to him than his brothers.
PPLA: Do you have a favorite moment or storyline that has stood out to you with Randy and the show? A day where you walked away thinking, that was a great day at work!
Parker: There’s been so many great days. A couple things that jump out are in our second episode. We kind of touch upon PTSD a little bit and Randy is really impacted by that, and I think for the first time we really see him step up and kind of have to take something very seriously. It’s a really defining moment for Randy. Because he’s such a goofball and he’s not taken seriously enough so often, any time where people recognize him as being as competenent as his brothers is a defining moment. It shows that he is growing up. So that was a good moment. And then Derrick (Chris Lowell) and I had an episode where he kind of teaches me how to be a marksman. It’s an episode called “Randy Get Your Gun”. And that was a really fun episode. I love that episode. The whole season we’re supposed to be like Randy sucks, so finally in this one it was like we diagnose why? Now he’s capable of more. That was a really funny episode. One thing stuck in my head, I remember crying about the Toy Story situation and crying about the lamp not even having a family (laughs), and I went to put my head on the lamp that was on the bed that we had been shooting on, and it had been on for hours, and when I put my head on it, it burned the heck out of me! And I cried even more! And they used that in the episode.
PPLA: I know you guys had to go through a real boot-camp experience in El Paso, Texas at Fort Bliss, tell me about that experience. How would you say it impacted you as an actor?
Parker: I feel so fortunate that I can say that I’ve been through that. I have that expertise and understanding of what it means to be in the military. At least a portion of it. For me it was a dream come true. I feel like I understand how serious this business is; the military, and the discipline that they have. It’s really fueled our show and our commordority and what we bring to it. Because it’s not just for ourselves and for America, it’s for the men and women that protect our country. And these people go to work everyday to protect us. It’s amazing.
PPLA: From the websiodes of the boot camp, it definitely seemed like you were the most excited from the group.
Parker: Oh I was, definitely! I was afraid the others were going to back out. I was like guys, we’re doing this! I was definitely excited. Much like my character would have been.
PPLA: The Army can be a very sensitive topic for some, does it add pressure all being on a show revolving around it?
Parker: Yes. I think we want to do it justice. We owe them that. I want them to be proud of us because we’re doing this for them. I don’t want them to think, ‘Oh these guys are making a mockery of us.’ We’re not. It’s important for us to be able to go to VA hospitals and show them the show and be like we want you guys to see this and have input. And men and women in the military have such a great sense of humor. These guys are so funny. They get it. It’s just a matter of giving it a chance. When you go to war it’s serious business, but these people have sense of humor; they’re still human beings. so the comedy registers with everybody. It’s cool our military advisors on set they see how seriously I take everything. I want everything to be right, and then I add the comedy.
PPLA: What do you hope viewers get out of this show when they tune in to watch it Frida nights? Parker- I hope people just have a good time. I hope people just allow themselves to laugh. Laughter is so important. So just to laugh and have some respect for people in the military. Have fun, laugh but realize that these men and women exsit in the world. Don’t forget it.
Enlisted premieres on January 10 on FOX at 9:30est/8:30pst. Keep up with Parker Young on Twitter.