Interviewing Jim Hoffmaster

Headshot of Jim Hoffmaster

Jim Hoffmaster has starred in shows like American Horror Story, 2 Broke Girls, Castle, The Mentalist and Parks & Recreation. He’s also starred in Gilmore Girls, Monk, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and House.

Right now, he’s starring in Shameless as Kermit, which returns to the screens with a continuation of the ninth season in January 2019, and he’s having a documentary made about his life and career called Acting Like Nothing Is Wrong.

When he isn’t on set, he runs a blog about his life and thoughts on acting. He’s even the occasional topic of memes.

Here’s what happened when I sat down with Jim for an online interview.


How much of the Kermit character is scripted – is there a whole bunch of outtakes where someone said, “Oh, crap, you can’t say that!” and it didn’t make it in?

Kermit is pretty much entirely scripted. With the cast in general, at least far as I’ve seen, someone might improvise a little something at the end of a scene, or in group reactions, but there’s not a lot of crazy “going off the reservation” improvising going on with Shameless.

Your blog is a gem of the internet I’ve recently discovered, and you obviously squeeze in some time to write. Is it just for release and fan interaction, or do you have a whole drawer of unpublished fiction that’s waiting to be published somewhere?

Thanks for the compliment on my blog. I started keeping a journal in 1980, basically as therapy. Then, inspired by a friend who’d gotten into blogging on the ground floor, I went online and have never looked back. I don’t think I have much of a readership, but I enjoy it.

I don’t do any writing outside of the blog. But with the compliments I sometimes get on that writing, I’ve wondered if I might have the makings of an essayist. It’s not exactly on my “bucket list” to be published…but let’s just say if I became successful enough for anyone to be interested in what I had to say (And dropped a suitcase of money at my door), I might give it a shot.

What do people get wrong about you the most?

What do people get wrong about me? Not much, I think – I doubt people are spending a lot of time thinking about me in general – but it does seem like some fans think I might be a barfly in real life (I’ve had people ask me to appear at their event where they would pay me in free drinks, and ask if we’re really drinking beer on the show).

I feel like everyone forgot you were in House, too. And Parks & Recreation. Two Broke Girls. American Horror Story. How often does it lead to people who know they recognize you but have no idea where from?

In terms of being recognized, it happens more since the show went to Netflix – Sometimes people know who I am outright, and sometimes it’s “You look familiar – are you an actor?”, then they get very excited when I mention Shameless. But it’s pretty rare that someone recognizes me from something other than Shameless (If people say something about the other things I’ve done, it’s usually someone I know telling me, “I saw your episode of Monk in syndication last night…!” or something like that).

You’re a harmonica player, too. Any favorites?

If I have a favorite harmonica player, it’s probably Little Walter. And I’d say I’m partial to Chicago blues harp in general.

Where can people hire you, and what’s on the cards now for the next few months?

Should someone want to work with me, I’m represented theatrically and for VO at BBA (Lyle Skosey and Mike O’Dell respectively) and commercially by JS Represents (Jon Strotheide).

The most interesting thing going on right now? I’m the subject of a documentary (Acting Like Nothing Is Wrong), which began shooting in earnest this month.

The plan is to hopefully conclude filming in June, put it together, then hopefully get into as many film festivals as possible in 2020 (Beyond that, who knows?).

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