Caught in ‘The Middle’ With Actor Neil Flynn

Caught in ‘The Middle’ With Actor Neil Flynn

Fan questions and Season 3 spoilers

By Lie Shia Ong

Neil Flynn has many acting credits to his name, but for the past three seasons, we’ve come to know him as Mike Heck, the patriarch of the Heck household. Along with wife Frankie (Patricia Heaton), we’ve sometimes seen him parent his three kids, Axl, Sue and Brick, in unorthodox ways, and he’s also not the most sensitive husband at times. But one thing is clear: Mike loves his kids and he loves his wife, and the fact that he isn’t perfect (and neither is the rest of the family) is what makes “The Middle” so loveable to watch.

Mike has had several memorable episodes this season. He’s tried to surprise Frankie with a brand new dishwasher for Christmas (but things didn’t go exactly like he planned). Then, just last episode, he was completely oblivious to his wife trying to make Valentine’s Day a romantic one.

MSN TV spoke with Flynn about what’s ahead for one of America’s favorite TV families this season, and why he thinks it’s important for a family show like “The Middle” to be on the air.

MSN TV: Do you like the fact that, despite all the shenanigans on “The Middle,” you and Patricia Heaton portray a realistic married couple with all the ups and downs?

Neil Flynn: Yes, that’s something that I particularly like about the show, that everything’s not perfect in their world, so they’re a believable couple…

How many more episodes of “The Middle” can we expect this season, and are there any spoilers you can give us?

Well, there’s a huge plane crash coming up. No wait, that’s not our show. That wouldn’t make any sense! [Laughs] How many do we have? There’s probably a good 10 left to air. As far as scoops go, I’ll have to think about that because the episodes kind of run together in my mind once we’ve finished them. I know that Brick heads to a spelling bee for a second time. Sue heads to a Justin Bieber concert. We worked with Ed Asner this week. It’s nice to have a guest stop by… It’s always fun to have them come by and actually meet them and work with them. I guess Whoopi Goldberg is going to be eventually [stopping by] as well.

How fun has it been to watch the Heck kids grow up as the show has evolved?

It’s great. I think the kids are all great characters and the actors playing the kids are great people, so it’s all positive. I think it’s a real strength of our show that the children’s characters are so solid and played so well.

Some of your fans tweeted and sent Facebook questions for you. Chris wants to know why is it so hard for Mike to smile?

[Laughs]. I think it was a surprise to Mike to hear that he didn’t smile very much. I think other people think he’s more serious than he thinks he is, but he’s just a pragmatic guy that 90 percent of the day feels just fine, and if something good happens, then he’ll smile. But in the meantime, he’ll just say in the middle of the emotional road.

Tiffany wants to know if the Hecks are anything like your real-life family, and what has your favorite episode been so far this season?

Wow, she throws in two questions. OK! The Hecks are not far from the family I grew up in. There are some similarities there. I tend to like the holiday episodes. I think those are really written well and we’re usually all together, and I like scenes where the whole family’s all together; so an holiday episode.

Any message you want to send out to the fans of the show?

I appreciate the loyalty and the affection fans have had for the show. We really enjoy doing it and I’m really glad that people appreciate it and tune in!

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