Chris O'Dowd on His New TV Show, a 'Bridesmaids' Sequel, and His Unapologetic Love for 'Selling Sunset'

The star of the new, feel-good Apple TV+ show The Big Door Prize reveals his own comfort viewing and why he finds Selling Sunset so compelling: "I like my reality TV overproduced"

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 11: Chris O'Dowd visits the IMDb Portrait Studio at SXSW 2023 on March 11, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Corey Nickols/Getty Images for IMDb)
Chris O'Dowd. Photo: Corey Nickols/Getty

As Officer Rhodes in the 2011 hit Bridesmaids, Chris O'Dowd played Kristen Wiig's love interest and became one-half of a celebrated movie couple.

The Irish actor, 43, knows he's beloved for that film, and understands why.

"It's such a great film, I still feel so lucky to be a small part of it," he tells PEOPLE, noting that he sees Wiig, 49, quite a bit. "When it's Maya [Rudolph] and Kristen just talking in the cafe, you just know instantly that you're going to like the film because they're just talking normal people, but really, really funny friends. There's a lot of that [type of dialogue] now, but it was unusual at the time."

Today, O'Dowd is part of a new, somewhat unusual project. The Big Door Prize is a new series which starts when a mysterious machine appears in a small town and promises to reveal everyone's true potential — and perhaps change their destiny.

"It completely upends everybody in a way that you wouldn't anticipate," says O'Dowd, who plays Dusty in the series. "But explores the idea of positive affirmation as being something that can very easily lead people to do anything. This machine really offers a way out from what the life you have. And that seems to be on the menu for a lot of people."

Below, O'Dowd tells PEOPLE more about The Big Door Prize, what he's binge-watching on television these days, why he can't get enough of Selling Sunset and where he thinks his Bridesmaids character ultimately ended up.

Chris O’Dowd in "The Big Door Prize," now streaming on Apple TV+.
Chris O’Dowd in "The Big Door Prize," now streaming on Apple TV+. Apple TV+

PEOPLE: People are allowed to literally press the reset button. When have you pressed a reset of your own?

CO: Well, I've immigrated twice. That's always a huge kind of a change. At 20, I moved to London and at 30, I moved to America. And those were big kind of refits in terms of your original culture versus your new culture is. And trying to fit in as an immigrant.

In the show, people suddenly believe they can take a different path. Any unmet dreams of your own?

I would like to be a Gaelic football coach and being outdoors a bit. I'm not sure I'm suited studio life.

What's Gaelic football?

It's kind of somewhere between rugby and soccer and we just played in Ireland, so I can imagine getting back there and trying to teach my kids how they football would be fun.

AUSTIN, TEXAS - MARCH 11: Chris O'Dowd attends the premiere for "The Big Door Prize" during 2023 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Stateside Theater on March 11, 2023 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW)
Chris O'Dowd. Michael Loccisano/Getty

The Big Door Prize is a feel-good show. What's your go-to comfort viewing?

My comfort watching is that it's a lot of The Office, the American version of The Office is almost, it's like a Pavlovian thing when I turn it on. And my guilty pleasure: Selling Sunset. It's something that takes me entirely out of any real world issues and into a sphere of being somehow wealthy.

Okay, so who's your favorite on Selling Sunset?

Who's the really arch one? With the hair. Christine Quinn. Is that right? Yeah, she's like Cruella de Vil meets Barbie. I dig it. I think that's what I enjoy about it. I almost like my reality TV show overproduced. Let's not pretend that this is any f---ing element of the real world in it. Let's go full on. My wife's hairdresser is along that street. So yeah, there's been some selfies taken outside Oppenheimer Group.

BRIDESMAIDS, from left: Kristen Wiig, Chris O'Dowd, 2011. ph: Suzanne Hanover/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection
Kristen Wiig and Chris O'Dowd in Bridesmaids. Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures/Everett

In Bridesmaids, your character falls for Kristen, who plays a pastry chef. She's been clear there's no sequel. But if there were to be, what do you think they'd be doing now?

It probably involves beer. F---ing. Maybe they stopped for food. [Laughs] I often wonder what they're doing. I'd like to think that they're still together and that they're raising their kids to be traffic cops and bakers.

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The Big Door Prize is streaming now on Apple TV+.

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