Grammer says it’s very tough to narrow down a single, favourite appearance as Sideshow Bob. “The absurdity of the one with all the rakes was tremendous, the dialogue was precise and caustic. And then there’s the episode where they go to Italy, The Italian Bob, which I won an Emmy for. The baby is called Vendetta, which is utter genius. I always sit down to watch that when it comes on.”
Grammer has seven children from four marriages, ranging in ages from just a few months to 33 years old. He says the difference in his own abilities as a parent is “like night and day” now he has the time to devote to being a father.
“I’m far more available now as a parent then I was to the older ones. Do I regret that? At the time, I didn’t have a choice, I had to devote most of my time to my career which was starting out in the initial stages. Cheers and Frasier were a large part of my life.”
There’s a sense though that despite the success of Frasier, Grammer wonders what his path his life and career might have taken without the towering presence of the Seattle psychiatrist in it. He calls the character “a gift” and says he’s “eternally grateful” for the career and opportunities it gave him, as well as earning “a lot of money” as a result.
“There’s a double-edged sword with playing the same character for so long. My movie career didn’t take off maybe as I’d have liked, I’d have appreciated a little more diversity. But Frasier has been over for 12 years now and I’ve had the freedom to explore that terrain and it’s been extremely fulfilling.
“Now, it’s entirely different altogether, my work isn’t my main focus anymore, I’ve carved that out and can now enjoy the liberty to pick and choose where and when I work.”
I’m far more available as a parent now - I had to devote my time to my career
Recent years have seen him branching out further, with roles in big budget Hollywood action fare like the X-Men, Transformer and Expendables franchises, alongside theatre work such as Finding Neverland and his 2016 Tony Award-winning revival of The Color Purple.
Grammer says that taking such varied roles, in contrast to Frasier, is “not part of an intentioned plan… Why play a character like him again that no one will ever match? I don’t want a poor imitation and I don’t think anyone would want to see me in that light. So best to leave aside.
“I love those big budget, big money movies because you can have a lot of fun. Getting the chance to do these movies when I’m old, it’s not too shabby. I’m not complaining.”
That said, there must always be the temptation to revisit Frasier, all these years later?
“There’s a part of me that would love to go back there and see where he is now and what he’s up to. But then I just think of those Sex and the City movies,” he laughs. “And I concede that like them, it’s probably not a good idea.”
It seems that at last, Frasier has left the building.
Retiresavvy is brought to you by Skipton Building Society. The interview in this article was supplied by InterviewHub. This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.