SDCC: ‘Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll's’ Denis Leary Has a Message For David Bowie


Actor-comedian Denis Leary made his Comic-Con International debut to promote his new FX comedy “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll,” and gained a new appreciation for Marvel’s god of thunder in the process.

“I got into an argument with a Batman and he got a little weird on me,” he told the audience, recounting an encounter from earlier in the day, “and then a Thor came over and told Batman to move on. Now I’m a big Thor fan.”

The creator, producer and star of the series, Leary was joined on the panel by co-star John Corbett, John Ales, Robert Kelly, Elaine Hendrix and Elizabeth Gillies.

“Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” is perhaps not typical Comic-Con fare: It’s about a fading rock star named Johnny Rock (Leary) who, through drugs and his own abrasive nature, never hit it big despite a promising start in the ‘80s. Johnny’s bandmates have all moved on, with his partner Flash (Corbett) now a guitarist for Lady Gaga while Johnny is playing bars. But Johnny is given one last shot at success, and perhaps redemptions, when the ambitious young Gigi (Gillies) turns up, offering him a chance to turn her into a rock star.

Leary, who also co-created and starred in FX’s “Rescue Me,” said he wrote the role of Flash with Corbett in mind, knowing the “Northern Exposure” veteran is also a musician. “I’m Internet-savvy,” Leary said. “I Google shit all day long.”

“I was actually on the road with my band when I got the call,” Corbett said.


On the other hand, Kelly, a stand-up comedian and friend of Leary, had to learn how to play the drums using pillows and drumsticks. “It was tough,” he admitted. “But I eventually learned.”

“By the end of the season, we had to do a one-shot of the band playing,” Leary added, “and Robert really played, and he played perfectly.”

Asked if he could ever really be a rock star, he replied, “You would actually have to be a cool person to be a rock star. You can’t fake it. I’m just not cool enough to be an actual rock star.”

One person Leary thinks is cool enough is David Bowie, whom he hopes will eventually appear on the series. “Seventies music sucked, progressive rock sucked,” he said. “David Bowie saved me until the Ramones showed up. This is a message to David Bowie: Please come on my show.”

Leary also revealed that making “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” poses more of a challenge than his previous series, the firefighter comedy-drama “Rescue Me.”

“This is the truth: It’s way easier to fake being a firefighter,” he said. “The stunt men to all the heavy lifting and most of the dangerous stunts. It’s really hard to ‘look cool’ while being on a stage pretending to be a rock star.”

“Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.

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