Can you be 15 and get a tattoo?

I don’t know if that’s a good question, but I do know a few things about my childhood that I don’t feel very proud of.

I don’t think I could go back and do anything differently. But I did do one other thing [to try out for the band], and I don’t think that was a good idea.

I was only allowed to go to one gym for about 10 days, so I went to the New York City gym and I trained for a week. I never went in there [on the set] with anyone but the writers [from the show]. And I don’t think I had a whole lot of fun.

I actually met someone in the gym who had taken three years off from working out to do this, and it was so bad I’m sure they didn’t have very good arms. It was definitely bad. [Laughs.]

How did the characters from the show come about?

It was always something we were talking about. One day it was like, “Let’s do like a version of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.'” And it got pretty dark, so we weren’t sure how we would write. And then the two people who were there said to us, “It’d go like: Malcolm [Johnson or Malcolm McDowell] is a white kid that gets into a bunch of trouble at the end.

The way I look at it, there are a lot of white kids in it, so it seems like they don’t have to get into trouble, they just have to fit in.

Then we just said, “Okay, let’s just see which [race] we can do first.” It is a show about race. It’s not about being like, “Look how white everyone here is” or “They’re all the same.” It’s a show about how different people experience racism.

We did [the pilot], like five-minute scenes, like scenes that basically were nothing. It was never anything in the pilot. That is something that we kept in the back of our minds, that we had to find this thing that fit how much a character was likeable. We didn’t have to use a whole lot of that. It was just a matter of finding something that was funny and something that didn’t feel like I was being too mean or hurtful to the character.

How much fun have you had recording the show?

It’s really hard to find moments