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Podcast Talk: Allison Tolman & Lucas Neff of ABC-TV’s ‘Downward Dog’

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CHICAGO – From “Mr. Ed” to “Dog with a Blog,” talking animals have had their place on TV. The latest has origins as a web series, with the clever title “Downward Dog.” The show premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 (9:30pEST/8:30pCST), on ABC TV, and features Ned the Dog as Martin, and human companions portrayed by Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff.

Ned the Dog, Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff of ‘Downward Dog’
Photo credit: ABC-TV

Allison is Nan, a Pittsburgh marketing guru for a retail company, who has just broke up with her on-again/off-again boyfriend Jason (Lucas Neff). Through it all, her loyal dog Martin (Ned, voice of Samm Hodges) narrates her twenty-something adventures, which includes workplace pals Jenn (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and boss man Kevin (Barry Rothbart). Between her personal life and work life, Nan tries to balance her emotions and romance, all while Martin just wants more attention and love.

Audiences will recognize both Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff. Tolman won Golden Globe and Emmy nominations for her break-out role as Molly Solverson in the first edition of the FX Network series, “Fargo.” Before that, according to Tolman, she portrayed a veterinary receptionists, personal assistant and dog walker – never on film, but in her actual life to pay the rent. After running a theater group in Texas, the actress moved to Chicago and did some conservatory training at The Second City, before relocating to Los Angeles in 2014.

Allison Tolman & Lucas Neff of ‘Downward Dog’
Photo credit: Patrick McDonald for HollywoodChicago.com

Lucas Neff also has Chicago connections, having received a BFA in theater from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and completed a residency at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company there. He also produced his own play in Chicago, “The Last Duck,” through the Jackalope Theatre Company, garnering a local Jefferson Award nomination for Best New Work. He broke out national in the FOX Network’s “Raising Hope,” where he played Jimmy Chance, the hapless biological father of the title character.

The following podcast of Allison Tolman and Lucas Neff, interviewed by Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com, took place at the Loews Chicago Hotel on May 11th, 2017, during their promotional tour for “Downward Dog.” They talk about the series, their experiences in live theater and Chicago. There is some “R” rated language, but not from the interviewer (for once).

The ABC-TV series ”Downward Dog” premieres on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017, at 9:30pEST/8:30pCST. Featuring Allison Tolman, Lucas Neff, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Barry Rothbart and Ned as Martin (voice of Samm Hodges). Created by Samm Hodges and Michael Killen.

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2017 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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