If you missed part 1, read it here!
One of the best parts about talking with Atticus was hearing him share about his family. The Middle is all about family dynamics, and I loved hearing just how important family is to Atticus in real life.
You might be surprised to learn that Atticus didn’t grow up on the streets of Hollywood, but on a farm! From an early age, Atticus worked with his parents and older brother to take care of their land and farm animals.
“I come from a very hardworking, blue-collar family,” Atticus said. “Nothing has ever been handed to us, ever.”
His mom wanted her children to understand where food came from–whether from livestock or from the ground. “You have to work to get your food,” Atticus recalls his mother saying. “This is what the pioneers had to do when they first came here.”
So how does Atticus balance living on a farm and working in the film industry? He says that he avoids getting caught up in the glitz and glam of Hollywood through what he calls a “bologna-dar.”
“As I’m growing older… I’m very good at seeing ‘bologna,’” Atticus said with a laugh. “Typically, I have a ‘bologna-dar,’ like a radar for bologna. And as soon as that thing starts pinging, I’m walking away!”
My favorite part of the interview was when Atticus shared about his faith in God. Atticus is open about being a Christian, and he said that he’s increasingly aware of how the Lord is working in his life.
“My faith has definitely kept my head above water, and it has kept me down to earth,” Atticus said. “I know I could not do this without the Lord, without these perfectly guided steps that led me from one thing to another to another.”
Atticus recalled a recent conversation he had with one of the crew members of The Middle who is also a Christian. They talked about how trials and hardships can ultimately draw believers closer to God.
“It’s amazing how there are opportunities to trust in God,” he said. “You may not understand it, you wish that it didn’t have to happen, whatever the case may be. But you have the opportunity to trust him.”
Atticus is thankful that he can use his experience to point others to God. “This is a blessing, this is amazing work I have with amazing benefits. I get to be a role model [and] meet all of these different people. This is kind of a form of ministry, and here we are.”
Before Atticus had to go, I wanted to ask him a question that I’ve been wondering for years: Where did Brick get his name?
“When Brick was born, Frankie and Mike were trying to think of a name,” Atticus said. “They read somewhere that if your child has an interesting name, they will inherently be interesting. So they came up with the name of Brick, and it’s from the name of a character in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”
Atticus said this background information was explained in the series’s original pilot, in which every character was recast except for Brick. Atticus was thankful to return for the second pilot, which is the pilot that aired on ABC.
Lastly, I asked Atticus if he could give us any sneak peaks from season 8.
“I can bring up this,” Atticus said after careful consideration. “Brick, because he’s older now, is going to be turning 15 this season. He is going into high school, and that’s bringing up a whole slew of new problems for him to handle… I’m really excited to have people see how he handles his newfound high school issues and how well he actually handles them.”