Age is really just a number, especially in Peri Gilpin‘s latest series Old Guy, that is now an Emmy contender this season. The short series on YouTube was inspired by true events lead’s life, who decided to take up acting in his later years. Harry — played by the late Roger Burton — decided to come out retirement from his life of being a psychology professor and fulfill his dream of becoming an actor. However, ageism is certainly a problem in Hollywood, and Harry is stuck filling the roles of stereotypical “old people,” like playing a cadaver or starring in an adult diaper commercial.
In the web series, Peri, known best for her role as Roz in Frasier, plays Harry’s agent, who is more interested in her commission than the roles she can get for her client. “It’s very good natured, and it’s very big hearted, but it’s also super funny. They really capture this crazy industry and the ageism,” Peri said on the HollywoodLife podcast. The show, which consists of six episodes, each 4 to 6 minutes, was written by Roger Burton’s five daughters, which make up the production company 5 Sisters Productions.
When it comes Peri’s role as the agent, she described her as someone who “doesn’t mince her words,” but she believes in her client. “I think she sees that he can make a lot of money and I think she sees that he can do a lot of jobs. And she always says, ‘I love the way you look. I love everything about you. I love your story. I won’t hear it, though,'” Peri laughed.
Interestingly, the series was filmed in 2013, before both Roger and his wife Gabrielle, who also plays his wife in the show, passed away. “The message of the work is everything that elderly people, or people of a certain age are misrepresented and underrepresented. There’s so much life and there’s so much more to them than a hospital gown, like Harry says and that was his point,” Peri explained. “And that’s such a beautiful thing to say and It’s a great message to leave behind.”