It only took 20 years, but Jason Biggs has advanced from playing an awkward teenager to playing the parent of awkward teenagers.
“That’s really kind of weird and crazy and mind-blowing,” Biggs says, thinking of the time between his breakout role as a horny teen in 1999’s American Pie to his new role as a working-class dad on FOX’s Outmatched (premieres Jan. 23 at 8:30pm ET/PT). “I’ve been sort of tripping since we shot the pilot about the fact that I’m now old enough to play a dad who can have teenage kids.”
Is there a manual for raising three genius kids? 📕
— Outmatched (@OutmatchedFOX) December 27, 2019
In Outmatched, Biggs plays Mike Bennett, a blue-collar handyman who married his high school bully, Cay (Maggie Lawson, Psych), an Atlantic City casino pit boss. Together, they’re raising four kids, three of whom happen to have off-the-charts smarts: pretentious STEM whiz Brian (Connor Kalopsis), manipulative polyglot Nicole (Ashley Boettcher) and 10-year-old maestro Marc (Jack Stanton). Mike and Cay are still hoping that 8-year-old Leila (Oakley Bull) will hold onto her career aspirations of becoming a waffle.
Fortunately for Leila, kids don’t have to be geniuses to outwit their parents, as Biggs can attest. “I’m constantly being out-manipulated by my 6-year-old, and now my 2-year-old has gotten into the game,” he says. “I’m constantly amazed that everyday I’m like, ‘OK, I am not as smart as I thought I was, I guess.’ They have an amazing ability to find your weaknesses and then manipulate the heck out of you to get what they want.”
Mike and Cay find refuge from their precocious progeny by fleeing to the basement — their “monument to simpler, dumber times” — and its full bar, foosball table, dartboard with Albert Einstein’s photo on it, electronic singing plastic fish, and Mike’s tools and workbench.
“I like the idea of people out in the world thinking that I, Jason, am good with tools and pretty handy with those types of things,” Biggs says. In reality, his DIY skills are few but focused. “I like hanging pictures,” he says. “I have serious OCD when it comes to things being straight, and I can spend an hour measuring and marking the walls and doing the whole thing to hang one photo. If I can get it on the first try, one hole, and it’s lined up perfectly, that’s huge. That’s joy.”