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‘The Cool Kids’ Star Leslie Jordan Says He Can Finally Just ‘Play Me’

Leslie Jordan says his role in Fox‘s new comedy “The Cool Kids” is the first time in his career he’s been allowed to really play himself.

“I grew up in a very religious, sort of homophobic environment and all of the sudden I’m getting to play this openly gay character who’s perfectly, perfectly content with who he is and what he is,” Jordan said at Thursday’s Paley Fall TV Preview event for the show. “That’s me right now.”

Jordan is one of four of the show’s central characters, which also includes David Alan Grier, Vicki Lawrence and Martin Mull. Together, the four become entangled in a myriad of comedic situations as they navigate the retirement home in which they all live.

However, none of the characters actually act like they live in a retirement home, something creator Charlie Day said was important to him when he was writing the show.

“I didn’t want the characters to feel old or sad,” Day said. “I wanted to write the same kind of stories I’m writing for ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ but I just wanted to give an older cast an opportunity to perform.”

Often times roles for older actors all fall under the same category. For Mull, some of his more recent roles include a dead ghost, a man on his death bed and a man suffering from Alzheimer’s, but on “The Cool Kids,” he said he gets to act the way he thinks: like a 35 year old.

And the four of them do just that. In the pilot episode, they steal a car, commit credit fraud and throw a wild party, all within the confines of their seemingly boring retirement lives.

At the same time, however, sometimes the actors’ age can become a bit of an obstacle. During promo shoots for the show, the cast posed on the floor, trying to recreate a shot from “The Breakfast Club,” but it proved to be more of a challenge than they thought.

“We’ll set off metal detectors anywhere,” Mull said, referencing his titanium hip. “And we’re down there, and they took the shot… and then the next 20 minutes was us trying to get up off the floor. We needed to get young people to come get us.”

“The Cool Kids” premieres Sept. 28 on Fox.

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