Chris Perfetti is on his character arc in season 3 of Abbott Elementary

Abbott Elementary School still distributes its wealth among the seven main cast members, but it’s been a particularly robust year for Chris Perfetti, who plays the lovable, awkward and overenthusiastic history professor Jacob Hill. In the third season, Jacob broke up with his longtime boyfriend, Zach (Larry Owens), saw his best friend, Janine (Quinta Brunson), leave Abbott for a new job, accidentally became roommates with his fiery colleague Melissa (Lisa). Ann Walter), hosted a podcast by Ira Glassian called This life of Abbottand I was able to catch an unexpected performance by Questlove (who also DJed the cast’s closing party in West Hollywood) during the school’s second annual Ava Fest.

Recent strikes in Hollywood have diminished AbbottEpisodes range from 22 to 14, but the four-time Emmy-winning ABC mockumentary remains the sharpest comedy on network television. Like his colleagues, Perfetti speaks with admiration of the company created by executive producer Brunson. The scripts, he says, tend to have about five jokes per page, and yet there’s still room for Jacob’s charming contradictions to mingle. Case in point: Jacob’s overly considerate disposition causes him to manipulate Zach into breaking up with him. “I appreciated that it didn’t exactly absolve him of his bad behavior,” Perfetti says. “Larry’s character really has to take him to task for this. I found it very interesting and very real.

From Abbott Elementary School Created with immediate success in late 2021, Perfetti has seen his life change in real time. He swears he’s still “choosing” [his] own apples,” but he can take the summer off without worrying about where his next paycheck will come from. (He has decided to make a movie in July, although he won’t reveal what it is.) Perfetti has since paid off his drama school loans and will take his best friend on a trip to Japan before to return to work for the fourth season. .

Now that the show’s production is a well-oiled machine — he calls it an “intricate ballet” — what’s most exciting for Perfetti is seeing Jacob achieve some victories, including Janine’s return to Abbott after her stint to the school board. And a pretty paramedic (Miracle workers‘ Karan Soni) is now her budding love interest. “It’s inherent to this character that he’s constantly putting his foot in his mouth – and tripping over his own feet – and Quinta and our writers completely understand that if you’re going to do 60 episodes of this story, we have to subvert people’s expectations “, says Perfetti. “It’s been really nice to see Jacob get a little bit of what he wants this year.”

This story first appeared in a June standalone issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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