Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt Open Up About Returning to Mad About You 20 Years Later
"It was kind of pinch ourselves kind of joy," Paul Reiser told PEOPLE of filming the reboot
The costars spoke to PEOPLE at The Paley Center For Media’s 2019 PaleyFest Fall TV Previews in Beverly Hills, recalling the excitement they felt on their first day back on set.
“It was kind of pinch ourselves kind of joy,” Reiser told PEOPLE on Saturday. “It was just like a really warm, wonderful feeling that here we are and we’re all aware of like how lucky we are to all be alive, healthy, doing this — playing in a show that we love, that we all had seven great years on.”
The 62-year-old comedian then joked that returning to the show was like returning for your second year of college.
“Like I already had good roommates, I like everything and I can’t wait to go back,” Reiser said. “We were also all just getting a kick out of each other. Like hearing Richard Kind deliver his lines that, you know, he’s going to hit out of the park … so it was great.”
“I keep telling people, it’s like getting together with old friends that you haven’t seen. There’s no awkwardness,” he added. “You hit the ground running, and that’s how it felt with this show.”
In March, Spectrum Originals announced that it has picked up a Mad About You limited series with original stars Hunt and Reiser, who return as married couple Jamie Stemple Buchman and Paul Buchman.
On Saturday, Hunt shared a photo of her and Reiser from the first script reading, captioning it “first day of school.” She told PEOPLE that her nerves were high leading up to their first shoot on the reboot.
“I was excited because we’ve been working for a long time to get this little 27 minutes of TV together,” she said. “I feel so grateful to have Paul as a partner because we have a very strange, like-minded way of looking at making this. So I was excited.”
“Last night, we shot the first one. And right before, I’d say starting about an hour and a half before we started, I was good nervous,” she admitted. “But that’s what rehearsals are for, to sort of see you through when you’re nervous.”
When it comes to working with Reiser, Hunt — who directed the first episode of the reboot — says the key to their successful partnership isn’t just on-screen chemistry, but also their similar personalities and a deep appreciation.
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“We used to make fun of that word, ‘chemistry’,” Hunt said. “We have must have similar tastes. We must have a similar wish to be kind to each other and say ‘I’m sorry,’ when we aren’t. And we must have a similar interest in a show about love and have a similar wish to be funny, make people laugh.”
The original romantic comedy series — co-created by Reiser and Danny Jacobson (who will serve as an executive consultant) — aired for seven seasons, from 1992-99, and picked up numerous Emmy and Golden Globe Awards.
The Mad About You revival will premiere its first six episodes on Nov. 20, and the remaining six on Dec. 18, according to The Wrap.