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From Montgomeryadvertiser.com

Hollywood Howerton (serenity mention) - Spoilers

By Darryn Simmons

Tuesday 23 August 2005, by Webmaster

Glenn Howerton has decided he deserves a break today.

With everything he’s had going on lately, you can hardly blame him.

The Montgomery native is currently all over the big and small screens: He’s one of the stars (as well as executive producer and one of the writers of episode 5) of the new FX comedy "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and has roles in the films "Must Love Dogs" (now in theaters) and the upcoming "Serenity."

"I’ve been working pretty consistently the last year and a half," Howerton said. "It’s funny, because it seems like all the projects are coming out at the same time."

Howerton has been on a roll since making a guest role as a doctor on the TV show "ER." After his stint on the hit NBC show, he made one of his usual trips to New York (he currently resides in Los Angeles).

"I like to go out there and recharge creatively and meet up with friends," Howerton said.

This time, Howerton hooked up with his friend Rob McElhenney, who had this idea for a show about a bunch of self-absorbed actors living in L.A.

Howerton liked it, and McElhenney wrote the script. The two brought the idea to their other friend Charlie Day, who signed on.

"We shot the show with our video camera and got a good response from the people we showed it to," Howerton said. "So we thought, let’s go with it."

Spurred by the idea that they were doing something unique — many have done independent films, but few were doing independent television shows — the threesome took the taped pilot to 3 Arts Entertainment, which managed all three of them.

"They flipped over it," Howerton said.

The people at 3 Arts Entertainment started setting up meetings for the three with various television networks. In the meantime, Howerton, Day and McElhenney filmed a second episode that Howerton said was better than the first.

While looking for a network to land the series, creative control was important for the creators of the show — they found the most freedom at FX.

The network, with edgy, sometimes controversial shows like "The Shield," "Nip/Tuck," and "Over There," was perfect for their show, Howerton said.

"Their shows go a little darker and that’s how our show is," he said. "Our show deals with a lot of hot topics like molestation, abortion and cancer."

Howerton said that the fact these topics are so hot at the moment makes them ripe for parody, which is what "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is all about.

The show follows four friends (Howerton, Day, McElhenney and "Punk’d" actress Kaitlin Olson) who run an Irish pub in Philadelphia. Howerton plays Dennis, who is self-absorbed, selfish and vain.

"He’s definitely not like me at all," Howerton laughed. "He’s the smart one but he’s also definitely me-first."

"It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is shot documentary-style, with a loose, hand-held digital camera feel. The show has gotten a positive reaction thus far, Howerton said.

"I think the best compliment I’ve gotten from my friends is that they said they’d watch it even if I wasn’t on it," he said.

His mom admits she doesn’t feel quite the same way.

"I don’t know if I’d be watching the show if he (Glenn) wasn’t on it," said Howerton’s mother, Janice. "I think it’s a good show, though."

The show has developed a cult following in Montgomery after only three episodes.

"I like most anything on FX because it’s more risqué," said Gary Leeson of Montgomery, who’s seen one of the episodes. "I think ’It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ is probably one of the best comedies on television because it’s not afraid to tackle any subject and make light of it."

William Scott, who attended Jefferson Davis High School with Howerton, agreed.

"It’s different than the usual sitcom junk on television," he said. "I think Glenn does a really good job on there."

"Different" is a pretty fair assessment. Among the show’s plot lines: characters trying to meet women at an abortion rally and looking for black friends to prove they aren’t racist.

"It’s definitely not for the easily offended," Howerton said.

In between working on the television show, Howerton has also been visible in movies with the roles in "Must Love Dogs" and "Serenity." In "Must Love Dogs," he plays he younger brother of female lead Diane Lane.

"It was a cool experience," Howerton said. "We had a good relationship on the film and she was easy to work with."

Howerton auditioned with Lane for the part.

Still, the movie role Howerton is most excited about is the much smaller role in "Serenity," which is set for release Sept. 30, according to the movie’s Web site.

"I got to fulfill a fantasy," Howerton said.

The movie is the feature-length adaptation of Joss Whedon’s TV show "Firefly," a sci-fi, action/adventure flick. The chance to do an action sequence was a big draw for Howerton, who growing up had dreamed of being an actor and jumping from a moving vehicle — or any other action-packed scene.

He gets to do just that in his brief scene in "Serenity." Fleeing from a bank he has just robbed, he attempts to jump on a moving spaceship, misses and is attacked by flesh-eating aliens.

"The star of the film shoots me, so I don’t suffer from getting eaten by the aliens," Howerton said. "It was fun."

Currently, Howerton is on a hiatus and is enjoying his works coming out. He’s waiting to see how "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" does as the series continues.

"I’m going to sit back and celebrate for a while," he said. "I think the show will continue to do well — at least I hope so."

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