Carters Get Rich. Image shows from L to R: Tony Carter (Rhashan Stone), Ellie Carter (Rhianna Merralls), Harry Carter (Rio Chambers), Liz Carter (Kerry Godliman). Copyright: Roughcut Television.

Carters Get Rich

Sky One sitcom about a family who become rich. 6 episodes (1 series) in 2017. Stars Rio Chambers, Rhashan Stone, Kerry Godliman, Rhianna Merralls and others.

Carters Get Rich. Image shows from L to R: Liz Carter (Kerry Godliman), Harry Carter (Rio Chambers), Tony Carter (Rhashan Stone), Trent Zebrisky (James Van Der Beek), Ellie Carter (Rhianna Merralls).

James Van Der Beek interview

British viewers will probably remember James Van Der Beek best from Dawson's Creek. He's now back on UK screens in Sky 1's new family sitcom Carters Get Rich...

Can you sum up the series?

It's about an 11-year-old kid who invents an app. It's bought by a borderline insane American tech billionaire and is about how his family deal with both him and a huge influx of money.

Tell us about your character, Trent. Who is he and who inspired him?

Through this crazy life that I have led, I have gotten to know a number of these billionaire tech entrepreneurs and Trent is an amalgamation of a few of them. Some are genius businessmen while some are more lucky than smart.

Trent is smart but he is not quite as smart as he thinks he is or wants to be. He's a great salesman, he's ambitious and he is 100% shameless and that makes him a lot of fun. The poor Carter family have to deal with his every whim when he swoops down into their lives.

Why did you want to do the show?

I had wanted to play this kind of tech billionaire for a while and the pedigree of the project was pretty phenomenal. I had wanted to work in the UK since I was 19 and backpacked through and I had romanticised about the idea of coming over and playing an American with a bunch of British actors. Until this, I just never had the opportunity or the time to do it. My wife was a rock star and let me go and shoot it, even with a brand new baby.

What was it like on set?

They [the cast] are all so good and so funny - there was a lot of laughter on set. When I wasn't on, I would go back behind the monitor and watch what they were doing. It was like being in a British comedy masterclass, it was fun.

Carters Get Rich. Trent Zebrisky (James Van Der Beek). Copyright: Roughcut Television.

Are you a fan of British comedy?

Yes, most American comedy came from British comedy so, for me, it was fun to go to the source. There are cultural differences, though, obviously.

Every time I step on to British soil I realise how hopelessly American I am. I think of myself as a pretty worldly guy until I travel abroad and then I think, "wow man, I am so friggin' American". It's so embarrassing.

What reminds you of this?

It's turns of phrases. Even this morning I have used three or four phrases that are baseball references. I think that's why I wanted to make fun of the brashness and the chestbeating pride - it's real on a lot of levels.

Did you have a favourite line in the series?

I got endless joy out of doing a bad British accent. Every American thinks they do a flawless British accent and I think maybe 0.001% of us do.

In the series, Ellie tries to create an app that turns her phone invisible. If you could create any app, what would you make?

One that could get me a couple of hours of extra sleep at night. I would pay way more than 99 cents for that.

What have you been watching on TV recently?

The Night Of. It was really well done. And I really liked The People v. O.J. Simpson. That could have gone wrong on so many levels and instead it was great.

Are you still in contact with the rest of the Dawson's Creek cast?

I run into them from time to time, usually by coincidence, it's very nice to.

Published: Monday 27th March 2017