In an exclusive in-character interview with Variety, Gritty offered some candid opinions about how he ended up in “Abbott Elementary,” as well as some kind words about creator-star Quinta Brunson and the show.
“When you’ve reached the level of fame and success that Quinta and I have, you have people for that,” Gritty explained the negotiations that led to his appearance. “Her people reached out to my people. Of course I’m a fan … It’s comedy, it’s Philly and it’s school. I love two of those things!”
As for the actual performance, the sports mascot reflected on the ease with which he was able to work in front of the camera, while throwing some carefully targeted shade at a certain Hollywood superstar. “Some, less experienced actors, have described the challenges of playing yourself on camera. I can’t relate,” Gritty described the experience. “Truly, I found it refreshing that Hollywood didn’t try to get some C-lister like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to play me at a discount. I stuck to the script but of course added some of my Gritty charm we all know and love.”
It’s unlikely that Gritty will become a permanent fixture in the Emmy-winning show — he has a pretty demanding day job, after all. Still, judging by the hug the mascot shares with Janine Teagues (Brunson) in the show, he might very well be game for another appearance or brief cameo in the future.