Nat Faxon has an impressive resume. The 37-year-old Manchester-by-the-Sea native not only stars in the Fox comedy “Ben and Kate,” but he’s also an Oscar winner (best adapted screenplay for “The Descendants”), and he just codirected “The Way, Way Back” with a cast that included Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, and Toni Collette.
Still, it was only recently that his parents were persuaded that Hollywood might be the right place for Faxon (below).
“The Academy Award finally legitimized my profession in my parents’ eyes, I think. I’ve been in LA for a while, and this wasn’t an overnight thing that happened. My parents knew I’d put in a lot of work and time,” Faxon told us Thursday, sitting in the Bristol Lounge at the Four Seasons. “I think they always wanted me to come back to Boston and be a politician.”
For now, he’s busy hyping “Ben and Kate,” in which he plays the ne’er-do-well older brother of a bartending single mom played by Dakota Johnson, daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson. Though funny and charming, the sitcom hasn’t quite found its audience yet, and to its credit, the network is being patient before deciding whether to pull the plug.
“They recognize they’ve got something in this show,” said Faxon.
Told that “Ben and Kate” is popular with many of our female co-workers, the actor leaned closer.
“Probably because of this face,” he said, “probably because of this eye candy of a guy.”
When he’s not working on the show, Faxon is writing with Jim Rash, his co-writer on “The Descendants” and his codirector on “The Way, Way Back,” the movie the two shot last summer in Massachusetts.
Faxon said he and Rash wanted Carell to be in the movie, but “The Office” star initially declined because he likes to spend the summer with his family in Marshfield. When Faxon and Rash arranged to shoot the movie there, Carell was on board.
And what’s next? Will he make his parents happy and run for John Kerry’s Senate seat? Or, like Ben Affleck, is he sitting this one out?
“I’m not gonna make an official announcement,” he said, tongue in cheek. “I’m gonna hire a team and think about it. I want to be diligent. It’s always a possibility.”