Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ellen's Best Friend Settles in on Comedy

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ellen's Best Friend Settles in on Comedy

Article excerpt

DO BEARDS make the man? Not always.

"Ellen" producers thought actor Arye Gross' goatee made his character, Adam, "smarmy." So, off it came.

"I don't know that facial hair can make a big impact on a person's personality," Gross says wryly, from an ABC publicist's office in New York.

Gross' beard was one of several changes producers made in the show this season. For starters, last year the series was called "These Friends of Mine."

When first-season co-stars Holly Fulger and Maggie Wheeler were written out of the script, Gross worried that he might be a casualty as well. "I just had a feeling that was the way they were going," he says. "I didn't know what they were going to do with (Adam)."

He's glad to still be on board and pleased that the effort to develop a credible friendship between Adam and Ellen has been successful.

"I like the new additions, but I miss Holly and Maggie. They were tremendous actors," he says.

The Los Angeles native says he shares one thing with Adam: "Strangely enough, he looks exactly like me. And I think that's about it."

Gross, 34, says he's got "a couple of years of perspective" on Adam, who recently celebrated his 32nd birthday on the show. After living "all over Los Angeles from Carthay Circle to Silver Lake," Gross recently purchased a home in the Westwood section of the city.

This season, Adam moved out of Ellen's place and still struggles across the hallway. Gross is considerably more settled. The acting bug bit him early on: "I knew as a kid. I thought it was as likely as becoming an astronaut. Even though I grew up in LA, we didn't know anyone in this business. In LA, you were in show business or aerospace, which my father was."

Gross' Adam, whose friendship with Ellen never strays from the platonic, is someone the actor thinks viewers can relate to. "A lot of people have been where he is. …

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