It didn’t take long for Billy Zane to feel comfortable on the set of Samantha Who?. The actor, who is in the middle of a multi-episode guest arc on the ABC comedy, hinted that it might have had something to do with a “hazing” process he went through his first day on set. “There was a spanking machine,” he joked, “but I can’t get into that right now.”
On ‘Who,’ Zane plays Sam’s (Christina Applegate) former boss Winston Funk, a role he inherited following Timothy Olyphant’s departure to FX’s Damages. As for whether or not Zane based his Funk on Olyphant’s Funk, the answer is no. “I went in uninformed, and kind of just rolled into it,” he confessed in an interview Monday, adding that his experience on the show was an absolute pleasure. “I was a welcomed guest,” he said.
Given that the series is centered on an amnesiac, it only seemed fitting to find out Zane’s own favorite memories from his time on set. His responses, below.
1) The DJ who rocked the house before every episode. He played a ton of music. And Christina Applegate used to play that Christian Bale tirade all the time, the remix version. That was jamming through the system quite a bit. But we were asked to turn that down.
2) The absolutely absurd and extensive buffet. It’s like a moveable feast that rolls all day. I kept waiting to see if we were actually on a cruise ship. I was like ‘why didn’t I do TV long ago?’ There’d be Thai BBQ day, and other themes. They keep their people well fed.
3) The exquisite wardrobe department who got me suited and booted. They made me look so fine in those threads. They kept having to re-do my buttons because of point #2.
4) How long it took to get me a laminate. A laminate which allowed me to get on the lot, and not have to have my trunk checked, and get strip searched every day.
5) I was told that the lot where we filmed was also where they’d filmed a lot of old shows like ‘Gilligan’s Island.’ The pedigree of the lot was pretty impressive. Then someone told me there was an enclosed sun deck where John Wayne would sunbathe naked. That image has stayed with me; him tanning his heiney. It has scarred me.
Samantha Who airs tonight on ABC at 8:30 PM ET.