A conversation with Kite

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Does this guy look familiar? No? How about this one?

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Yep, that’s Oleg from 2 Broke Girls. And if I was going to be speaking to anyone from the show, it should have been one of the girls. But Jonathan Kite was a pleasant surprise: so excited to be talking, and his enthusiasm was infectious. This was a fun interview!

“Hey! How’s everything in India?” asks Jonathan Kite, in the most jovial tone. It’s a bit of a shocker, considering his character Oleg, on the show 2 Broke Girls, speaks with such a thick Ukrainian accent. Speaking in July, before the shooting for season six of the show began, he talks about how he got into the show, his new-found love for stand-up comedy and working with Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs.

Excerpts from a phone interview:

Are you shooting for 2 Broke Girls now?

We are not shooting right now, but we are going to start shooting season six in two weeks. So, we have a little bit more time off.

What have you been doing in the meanwhile?

I do stand-up comedy; impressions, mimicry, that sort of thing. And I’m actually trying to come to India, because I have so many Indian friends who tell me that this is really big in India.

You should come for a tour.

I want to! I think it will be fun.

What drew you into acting?

Acting is my first love; I just started stand-up a couple of years ago. I’ve loved stories my whole life; it’s something that I have a passion for. I love great stories and I think that it is a really important indicator of who we are as people and our culture.

How did you become part of the 2 Broke Girls story?

The part of Oleg was written for somebody who was 20 years older than me. Everybody else who auditioned was in their late 40s and early 50s. And, I was a young man, and I went in there just to meet people. You know how Oleg dresses on the show, with the hair net and the shirts and the pants? I wore that to the audition! So, it was really funny, because I don’t think they were expecting a young person. I grew my hair out and grew a beard, and I was just trying to have fun with it and that’s how I got in.

How do you approach Oleg’s character, knowing that it was written for someone older?

I play him older, because it’s what they intended. I try to make it work. I think that in the story, he works better if he is older.

What did you base him on, and how did you prepare to play a Ukrainian character?

I’ve worked in restaurants my whole life; I was the cook, I had that job when I was in university.

I’ve also been to Europe many times, and noticed that there was a lot of sexuality in European men. And so, I met some people and tried to put that into it, to try and see if it worked, and I think it came out okay.

How is it to work on set with Kat Dennings, Beth Behrs and Jennifer Coolidge? Do you have a lot of fun?

Honestly, it’s the best job I’ve ever had, because we all get along so well. We are friends in real life as well.

And we didn’t know each other before the show; that’s what is so unbelievable. I love working with them because I respect them and we believe in each other.

So, what do you think will happen in season 6?

Sophie’s expecting the baby, so it’s going to be a lot of fun!

What kind of dad do you think Oleg is going to be?

I think that he’s a very passionate person, because he has such a deep love for Sophie. I would love to see him cook with the baby in the kitchen.

What are the other projects you’re involved with?

I’ve shot a stand-up show, but I don’t know when it’s coming out. I was over at Warner Brothers, looking at some of the footage, and we’re actually editing it right now. And I’m going to be focussing on 2 Broke Girls now, so it’s great to be going back to work.

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