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David Walton’s big on ‘Boy’

PASADENA, Calif. — David Walton has bounced around the TV landscape for the last several years, popping up on “New Girl” here and starring in short-lived series there, including the lamentably canceled “Bent.” But the Boston native hopes he’s found a permanent home in the new NBC sitcom “About a Boy.”

“Boy” executive producer Jason Katims certainly thinks so. “I knew David was great,” he says. “Everybody knows that. But he feels like an actor who is going to, at some point, connect with a role and it’s just going to send him into the stratosphere. When we did the first read-through I was thinking, ‘This could be it.’ He just came to life. He is so winning in this thing.”

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We recently sat down with Walton at the Television Critics Association press tour.

Q. It was disappointing that “Bent” was canceled so quickly, but obviously the brass at NBC were still fans since you’re back with “About a Boy.”

A. Yes, I honestly think [NBC entertainment chairman] Bob Greenblatt felt guilty about “Bent” so he just gave me “About a Boy.” (Laughs) Seriously, I’m not lying, that’s exactly what happened.

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Q. You often get cast in these “man-child with a heart of gold” roles. Is that starting to give you a complex?

A. That’s me. (Laughs) No, that’s why I just fired out two kids: “I’m not a man-child! I’m an adult!” Meanwhile, my kid probably has a screw in his mouth and his finger on a live wire.

Q. So you’re basically saying that you are making serious life choices based on what you’re worried your image is?

A. Yes. Exactly! (Laughs)

Q. Were you a fan of the book and film?

A. I hadn’t read the book actually, but the movie I knew and really loved but I hadn’t seen it since 2002. But it was really the pilot that Jason Katims wrote that I fell in love with. Then I actively avoided the movie so I could try to have an original take. But I read the book a couple of times. It’s such a good book and I was trying to get inside the character. This was inspired by the book and movie but it’s definitely not beholden to it.

Q. It’s not beholden at all; you tell the whole movie story in the pilot!

A. Yeah, so what do we do in episode two? (Laughs) You realize the pilot was so good the movie only had to be 20 minutes. (Laughs)

Interview has been edited and condensed.
Sarah Rodman can be reached at srodman@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeRodman.
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