SNMag: Apart from the obvious plot point of RJ's, um, anatomical gift, what else can you tell us about him?
Paul Iacono: Richard James Burger or RJ is a budding hipster, intellectual, 15-year-old kid stuck in the middle of Pinkteron, Ohio. And like most other 15-year-old boys, he wants nothing more than to get laid, hopefully by the most beautiful girl in town, Jenny Swanson. Although it's gonna take a lot more than being naturally well-endowed for that happen.
SNMag: What was your first reaction when you read the pilot script?
PI: Wow, MTV is doing a scripted show? Was surprised to see them branching out from reality. And excited to read such a great script.
SNMag: The show is being compared to The Wonder Years, Superbad, Teenwolf and so on. Do you agree with those comparisons or see any others?
PI: Well, it's a coming-of-age tale like The Wonder Years, with the raunchy vernacular and awkward short-comings of Superbad. And I have a pretty fierce six-pack like Teenwolf, so yeah, I see a few sparse comparisons.
SNMag: What was your own high school experience like?
PI: I attended the Professional Performing Arts School of Manhattan, which sounds fancy schmancy but was actually a public high school with a lot of normalcy to it... Minus the spontaneous musical out breaks at lunch (see Fame (2009) - I swear it's a fun movie!). And, much like RJ, I gradually got cooler as the years went on. It's all about finding yourself and being honest.
SNMag: How much does the show get away with in terms of sex, drugs and swearing? Do you wish it could push the limits even further?
PI: After recently meeting the very lovely and very excited Standards and Practice Lady at MTV's New York Upfronts, I can confidently say that we push those limits to the very edge. She particularly liked an episode dealing with a "Rainbow Party."
SNMag: The show seems to have a very male-centric perspective. What selling points does the show have for girls?
PI: RJ's surrounded with strong and beautiful women in his life like his mother Suzanne and Jenny Swanson... And then there's Lily, his stalker. There's really something in it for everyone.
SNMag: What are some of your favorite TV shows, past or present?
PI: Past: I Love Lucy, Arrested Development and anything Aaron Sorkin. Present: 30 Rock, Nurse Jackie, Breaking Bad. And I'm a total Gleek, obviously.
SNMag: You already have some great experience in TV, movies, theater and playwriting. Do you have a preference? What are your career goals for the future?
PI: I'll always have bias for live theatre, especially in New York. There's nothing else like it. As for the future, only time will tell.
SNMag: Which actors or directors would you like to work with in the future?
PI: I'd really love the chance to act with Mary Louise Parker and Jack Nicholson and be directed by Woody Allen and Wes Anderson.
By Carla Thorpe