Family First: Where Is the Cast of Parenthood Today?

Before we had the Pearsons (This Is Us), there were the Bravermans. The Jason Katims-led series ran for six seasons on NBC and became known for its heartfelt storyline covering everything from cancer and marriage to bullying and parenting. In 2015, the cast bid farewell in one of the best series finales, but people still miss seeing the family on TV each week.

The Cast of Parenthood / Miles Heizer, Mae Whitman / Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell / Peter Krause, Lauren Graham.

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Since the show ended, the cast has starred in major movies, TV shows, and more. The actors who played Adam, Sarah, Crosby, and Sarah’s kids are all grown up, but they haven’t forgotten where they came from. Take a look at who still talks to each other, their behind-the-scenes moments, and what everyone is doing today.

Craig T. Nelson Got Right Back to Work

After the Braverman patriarch, Zeek, passed away in the Parenthood series finale (Spoiler Alert!), Craig T. Nelson got right back to work in Hollywood. Having already built a reputation long before the series, Nelson has always been an in-demand actor. He has been in movies like The Incredibles, Blades of Glory, and The Family Stone.

Craig T. Nelson attends an event.

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Once Parenthood wrapped, Nelson started working on Incredibles 2, Get Hard, Grace and Frankie, and Book Club. At 77 years old, this man isn’t planning to take a break anytime soon. He also had a recurring role on Young Sheldon. This man has done it all, and he has even more projects coming up.

Bonnie Bedelia Moved on to New Projects

As the former Braverman matriarch Camille, Bonnie Bedelia also had a successful career long before Parenthood. She appeared in everything from Die Hard to Presumed Innocent. When it was time to say goodbye to the Bravermans, Bedelia played five episodes on Designated Survivor.

Bonnie Bedelia poses for the press.

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Bedelia also found her holiday spirit by starring in two Hallmark Christmas movies, including A Joyous Christmas and Christmas on the Coast. Most recently, she was in Violet, Justine Bateman’s directorial debut. Bedelia was also in the new series called Panic. Badelia does miss her Parenthood family, though.

Peter Krause Is Dating His Co-Star

Although he left Adam Braverman Behind, Peter Krause got right back to work with a starring role in Shonda Rhimes’s short-lived The Catch on ABC. He then landed the leading role in Ryan Murphy’s hit show 9-1-1. While Krause has a long resume before and after Parenthood, fans are more interested in his 11-year relationship.

Peter Krause and Lauren Graham on the red carpet.

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Krause has been dating his Parenthood co-star Lauren Graham since 2010. They were friends long before the show and reconnected on set. They aren’t married, but we don’t see their longtime relationship ending soon. She even gave him a guest role on the Gilmore Girls reboot.

Lauren Graham Went Back to the Show That Made Her an Icon

Most people already knew Lauren Graham as Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. After her time as Sarah Braverman throughout the six seasons of Parenthood, she went back to her roots for the Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. She also published her memoir, Talking as Fast as I Can.

Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham attend Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life Premiere.

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While she has been part of many iconic fictional couples, her real-life romance with Krause is much more interesting. While the two have been dating for 11 years, she has also been keeping busy and will soon appear in the Mighty Ducks revival, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers.

Dax Shepard Has Only Gotten More Lovable

Dax Shepard was well-known before he played Crosby Braverman, the third Braverman child. He has been in films like Baby Mama, The Comebacks, and When in Rome before landing his Parenthood role. Since Parenthood wrapped, Shepard has kept busy with CHIPs, The Ranch, and Bless This Mess.

Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell pose by the beach.

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However, what people love the most about Shepard is his relationship with Kristen Bell. The couple got married in 2013 while he was still filming Parenthood, and now they share their heartwarming, real moments on social media. If they aren’t the definition of couple goals, we don’t know who is.

Erika Christensen Is Keeping Herself Busy

After playing Julia Braverman-Graham on Parenthood, Christensen immediately started working on ABC’s short-lived Wicked City. However, the show was canceled after one season. But that didn’t slow her down. Christensen picked up projects with Hallmark, Lifetime, and HBO. She is also set to star in the remake of Cheaper by the Dozen, which is coming out in 2022.

Erika Christensen, Cole Maness, and their children attend an event.

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Besides her acting career, Christensen married cyclist Cole Maness in 2015. They have two children together, as well as busy careers. Christensen admitted that if she could take anything from the Parenthood set, she would have taken Joel and Julia’s entire house.

Mae Whitman Has Been the Biggest Success Story

Mae Whitman’s breakout role on Parenthood as Amber Holt helped her rise to superstardom. After the series ended in 2015, Whitman starred in the teen rom-com, The Duff. She also reunited with her Parenthood co-star, Dax Shepard, for the movie CHiPs in 2017. But her biggest role didn’t come till 2018.

Mae Whitman attends an event.

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Once she became a well-known name in Hollywood, Whitman began starring on the hit series Good Girls alongside Christina Hendricks. The show recently released its 4th season on Netflix, and people have called it binge-worthy since the premiere. Whitman has genuinely transformed since her Parenthood days.

Miles Heizer Looks Completely Different

When you see Miles Heizer on Parenthood, you would never guess that he is the same person who starred in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why. After playing Drew Holt, Sarah’s son, Miles grew up and made a name for himself. Once 13 Reasons Why ended in 2020, Heizer continued to work on other projects.

Miles Heizer walks the street.

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When Heizer was 19, he came out as part of the LGBTQ community. His Parenthood family was overwhelmingly supportive of him. In 2021, he was photographed with his dogs for a Coach Pride campaign. You can also catch him in Love, Simon and Nerve.

Joy Bryant Is Keeping Her Schedule Full

Before she had a role in Parenthood, Joy Bryant was a model who appeared in advertisements for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret. After playing Jasmine Trussell, Crosby’s wife, she starred in the Netflix series Trinkets in 2019. These two roles helped her gain more attention.

Joy Bryant attends an event.

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Since 2020, Bryant has played Marie Wallace on ABC’s series For Life. The show is currently in its second season. Bryant looks back fondly at her time on Parenthood because she said she shared some important messages about racism and bigotry.

Sam Jaeger Is Going to the Big Screen

Sam Jaeger played Joel Graham, Sarah’s husband in Parenthood, but since the show ended, Jaeger has been busy working on other shows and movies. He was a series regular on shows like Why Women Kill, Tell Me a Story, and he appeared in Season 2 of Netflix’s The Politician.

Sam Jaeger and his wife attend an event.

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Jaeger married his wife, Amber Marie Mellott, in 2007, and they have three children together. He will take his acting talents to the big screen for the movie The Eyes of Tammy in the upcoming months. Jaeger was a series regular for The Handmaid’s Tale 4th season.

Sarah Ramos Got Busy During Quarantine

Although she went from a prominent role to a recurring guest in Season 4, Sarah Ramos was a big part of the Parenthood cast. She returned for the series finale to reunite Haddie with the Braverman family one last time. Ramos appeared in films like How to Be Single, We Don’t Belong Here, and Ask for Jane.

Sarah Ramos attends an event.

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In 2020, Ramos began producing her Quarantscene Instagram videos, where she reenacts scenes from movies like The Social Network, Legally Blonde, and Mean Girls. Ramos also created the podcast The Renner Files. She and Matt Spicer also got married last year.

Max Burkholder Is All Grown Up

When Max Burkholder played Max Braverman, he was just 13 years old. Despite his young age, the successful actor has been in films like Babysitter, Almost Home, Imaginary Order, and Benjamin. Besides his work in film and TV, Burkholder is more than just an adorable actor.

Max Burkholder walks the street.

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Burkholder attended Harvard University and graduated with the class of 2021. While he was at school, he began his theatrical career, appearing in the premiere production of Columbinus at Harvard. He will do even bigger things in the future, and at just 23, he has already accomplished so much.

Monica Potter Closed Her Business

Monica Potter is known for portraying Kristina Braverman, Adam’s wife, on Parenthood. After moving on from the series, Potter appeared on Wisdom of the Crowd and Goliath. However, her true passion is Monica Potter Home, which sells skincare and essential oils.

Monica Potter attends an event.

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While keeping up with her acting career, her business began to struggle in 2017. She and her family tried to breathe new life into the company, but Potter backed out of a deal that gave away 50 percent of her company. Instead, she kept her business small and focused on her acting career instead.

Savannah Paige Rae Isn’t a Brat Anymore

Since starring as Joel and Julia’s bratty daughter Sydney, Savannah Rae has grown up quite a bit. After Parenthood, she had a memorable guest role in the 2015 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, where Patrick Dempsey’s character died. However, she hasn’t done much since then.

Savannah Paige Rae poses for the press.

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Rae was in the short film The Firefly Girls in 2016, and that was her last credited acting job. She was very young when she got into the business and had guest roles in Date Night and Dexter. Rae has taken a step back from the spotlight to be a typical teenager with a regular life.

Tyree Brown Is a Teenager Now

After playing Crosby and Jasmine’s son Jabbar for six seasons, Tyree Brown appeared on Criminal Minds and Black-Ish. He also lent his voice for the film Ice Age: The Great Egg-Escapade and starred in the 2017 film Camp Cool Kids.

Tyree Brown attends an event.

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He started modeling as a child and booked his first job just two weeks after meeting with an agent. Brown did several print ads before landing the role on Parenthood when he was just five years old. Today he is all grown up, and not the little boy people used to know.

Ray Romano’s Part Was Specially Created for Him

Although Ray Romano was just a guest star on the show, Jason Katims created the role of Hank, a photographer who becomes Sarah’s love interest and Max’s mentor, especially for Romano. He is known for Everybody Loves Raymond and told Katims he was a fan of Parenthood.

Ray Romano on the set of “Untitled Ray Romano Project.”

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Although Romano had a busy schedule, Katims continued to invite him back whenever he was available to be on the show. He was honored, and the cast was excited to work with Romano. He is so famous he just has to ask to be on a show, and his wish is granted.

The Show Is Loosely Based on a Movie

Parenthood, the TV series, is loosely based on the 1989 film of the same name starring Steve Martin and Joaquin Phoenix. The series is the second adaptation of the movie to air on television. It was preceded by the 1990-91 TV series, which also aired on NBC.

Steve Martin talks to a kid in a scene from the film.

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Following the success of Friday Night Lights, Katims approached Ron Howard and Brian Glazer with the idea to create an updated, modern adaptation of the 1989 film and bring it to television. The series ran for six seasons, and it received lots of positive feedback.

Mae Whitman and Miles Heizer Live Together

Shortly after meeting on the set of the first season of Parenthood, Whitman and Heizer began living together. The actors became best friends and decided to become roommates too. They share their roomie adventures on social media, and Whitman has nothing but nice things to say about him.

A picture of Miles Heizer and Mae Whitman.

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Whitman said, “He’s lived with me for two years. He’s pretty special. I’ll kill him before I let him leave.” She also said she could imagine living in a house next to him for the rest of her life because they are such close friends and want to grow old together.

People Compliment Katims for This Is Us

Although Jason Katims had nothing to do with creating This Is Us, the shows are often compared because they share the same tone and style. Katims created Parenthood, and many people believe This Is Us is his show. However, he has nothing to do with it and doesn’t take credit for the series.

A screengrab of Katims speaking after receiving an award.

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This Is Us was created by Dan Fogelman, who wrote the screenplay for Crazy, Stupid, Love. Maybe he saw the success of Parenthood and wanted to capture the essence of it. The two shows share many similarities, so this is no surprise.

A Different Actress Almost Played Sarah Braverman

Initially, ER actress Maura Tierney was cast as the eldest Braverman daughter Sarah, but she pulled out because of production. She was battling breast cancer at the time, and the production schedule interfered with her treatments. However, she wasn’t the only one asked to take the role.

Lauren Graham, Miles Heizer, and Mae Whitman in a still from the show.

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Oscar-winner Helen Hunt was also approached to take the role of Sarah, but she turned it down. Therefore, it went to their third choice, Lauren Graham. However, she took on the part and made it iconic like everything else she does.

The Show Is Praised for Bringing Awareness to Autism

Parenthood is a complex show covering many issues almost every family goes through, including having a child with autism. The character Max has Asperger’s syndrome, and to prepare for his scenes, Burkholder would have regular meetings with a doctor who specializes in Asperger’s.

Parenthood cast pose at the 100th episode cake-cutting ceremony.

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The aspect of raising awareness about autism was essential to show creator Jason Katims. His son has autism, and he wanted to make it a topic everyone could learn and talk about to be more educated. It was a moving part of the already tear-jerking show.

Craig T. Nelson Almost Didn’t Take the Role

Before signing on to play the role of Zeek Braverman on Parenthood, Nelson turned down the role of Jay Pritchett in Modern Family. The role went to Ed O’Neill, who was perfect for the part. However, if Nelson had taken the role, both Parenthood and Modern Family would have been much different shows.

Craig T. Nelson and Miles Heizer in a scene from the show.

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Nelson said he turned down the role of Jay in favor of playing Zeek because they offered him more money to do Parenthood. No one can blame him for going to the show that pays more. But Parenthood was only six seasons while Modern Family ran for eleven.

In Almost Every Episode, Someone Makes Pancakes

For some unknown reason, in almost every episode of Parenthood, someone makes pancakes. Maybe this is the family’s favorite food, or it’s their way of bonding, but it is truly bizarre. How many times can one group of people eat pancakes?

Bonnie Bedelia is standing in the kitchen during a scene.

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In the Season 2 finale, Max wants pancakes more than he cares about Amber Holt. He went as far as saying he didn’t care about her. He must have learned that pancakes come before everyone else. There are plenty of other pancake mentions throughout the series.

Sam Jaeger Didn’t Like Joel Being in the Background

Jaeger’s fans have often commented how frequently his character gets sidelined. Jaeger admitted that he had a tough time with that and started to feel like he didn’t know his role other than supporting Julia. However, he finally got a chance to stand out after speaking up.

Sam Jaeger in a still from the show.

Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC

During the fifth season, Jaeger’s character, Joel, got a more active role, and fans got to see a side of him that stood up for what he felt was right. It made his character more dynamic and likable because he wasn’t in the background as much.

The Bravermans Are Still Close

Although the show went off the air in 2015, the Bravermans are still as close as ever. They share pictures of themselves hanging out, and fans beg for a reunion. Luckily for fans, the cast and crew of Parenthood had something planned for their ten-year anniversary.

A photo of the cast during a celebration.

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Unfortunately, the reunion never took place due to the pandemic as it was scheduled for June 2020. The cast was supposed to do a table read, and there were many surprises for fans, but they haven’t rescheduled it. Even though there wasn’t a reunion, people are happy to know they are still a family.

Peter Krause Loved Surfing in Maui

Krause reflected on his favorite memories from the show, and he said filming the surfing scenes with Burkholder in Maui was a spectacular moment. He also said when they found out Kristina was cancer-free, it was a heartwarming episode. He said he couldn’t imagine acting with a different cast.

A picture of Peter Krause behind the scenes.

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Krause also said if he could take anything from the set, he would take Zeek and Camille’s house or a buffalo head at the Luncheonette. It must have been hard for everyone to say goodbye to the set they spent five years working on every day. Krause said it felt like home.

Jason Katims Has Plans to Bring It Back

Although it has been a while since Parenthood aired, Katims has plans to revive the show in the years to come. He thinks it would be nice to bring it back when all the children are old enough to have their own families.

A scene from the Braverman’s family dinner.

Photo by Colleen Hayes/NBC

Many of the children were played by fairly young actors, so they have some time before they are only enough to pretend they could have children of their own. We are sure fans would be delighted to see the Braverman family story continue into the next generation.

Lauren Graham Was Sure the Cast Would Remain Close

When reflecting on her time on the show, Graham said that in their profession, most people move on in different directions and rarely talk after filming. However, she was always sure that the cast of Parenthood would remain a family. She said it is rare for a cast to become like a real family.

A picture of Lauren Graham behind the scenes.

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Graham said the cast became a part of her life and family, and that wasn’t hard considering she married her co-star. They continue to meet up and hang out whenever they get the chance because the cast feels connected and wouldn’t want to go long without being together.

Ray Romano Had a Blast Filming the Show

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter what his favorite memory from the show was, Romano talked about a specific scene. He said that Hank (his character) was frustrated because of his ex-wife and goes to blow off steam because he doesn’t know how to handle it. His character went to Max’s house and walked in during the middle of a tantrum.

Ray Romano and Lauren Graham are behind the scenes.

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The scene was essential to Romano because his character later revealed that Max might have Asperger’s. He felt like he was part of a pivotal point in the series and brought awareness to Asperger’s syndrome.

Max Burkholder Does Not Have Asperger’s

While his character is someone who has Asperger’s, Burkholder does not. In an interview, he said, “I love being able to play something that not everyone gets to play. I love being able to really get into that mindset and just doing something different.”

Max Burkholder attends an event.

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Burkholder added that it was much more challenging to play the character initially because he had to think about every little thing he was doing. As he progressed, he understood his character better, and it became easier to play him.

The Opening Photos Are Really the Actors

In the opening credits of Parenthood, there are childhood photos, and Heizer revealed that those are everyone’s actual family photos. He said he didn’t know where they came from, but they asked for family photos from everyone to make it feel more authentic.

A still from the opening photos in the show.

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There are also videos of the actors from when they were children. One part of the opening shows a video of Sarah Ramos walking around in heels when she was a baby. Heizer also said he gave them a lot of photos, and one had him smiling with teeth, which he never does.

Reddit Thought Crosby Was Going to Die

Many rumors circulated before the final season that the series finale would wrap on a sad note. While we now know it was Zeek who passed away, many Reddit users thought Crosby would be the one to flash a final smile.

Dax Shepard as Crosby in a scene from the show.

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One Reddit user wrote that Crosby would be the one to die because he didn’t go to the doctor and his condition after the accident got worse, or he would have another accident. People were so sad to think Crosby would be the one passing away. Even though he didn’t die, the finale was still a tear-jerker.

The Series Changed Filming Locations

Initially, the series was supposed to be filmed in Philadelphia and take place there, but there was an error with logistics, so they had to change the location. Instead of being set in Pennsylvania, the show took place in Berkeley, California.

A view inside the Braverman House.

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Instead of filming on location, the series was filmed at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. They make it look so realistic that no one would ever know the difference. It’s amazing what people can do on a closed studio set.

Dax Shepard Had Fun with the Food Fight Scene

Shepard said his favorite memory of the show was when they shot a scene where he had an entire bowl of salsa thrown at him. He said it was actually fun to wrestle in a gallon of salsa, even though that sounds disgusting.

Dax Shepard laughs on set.

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He also said if he could keep one thing from the show, it would be Zeek and Camille’s backyard. Shepard noted that it was where he had his fondest memories from the series because there were nights when everyone was out there, and they all got to work together.

Bonnie Bedelia Loved Working with Craig T. Nelson

Parenthood was the third time Bedelia and Nelson had been married on screen throughout their careers, so they were already comfortable working together as a couple. In 1985, they did Alex: The Life of a Child, and then they did a miniseries about ten years later called The Fire Next Time.

Bonnie Bedelia and Craig T. Nelson in a still from the show.

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When Parenthood was ending, Bedelia said she was sad because she doubts they would be cast opposite each other again, so the finale was probably the end of their on-screen marriages. If she could keep anything from the set, Bedelia said she would have taken Zeek and Camille’s house because it was the heart of the show.

Identical Twins Played Nora Braverman

From Seasons 4-6, Nora Braverman was played by identical twins Ella and Mia Allan. The young actresses split their screen time, and no one could tell the difference. However, they are mirror twins, meaning Ella is right-handed and Mia is left-handed. But that didn’t affect their performance.

A current photo of the twins attending an event.

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After playing on Parenthood, the girls went on to have roles in Jane the Virgin as Petra and Rafael’s daughters and on the ABC series Single Parents. The twins were just six months old when they booked their first job on Sons of Anarchy. Are they the next Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen?

The Theme Song Was Almost Different

Andrew McMahon of Jack’s Mannequin was asked to submit a possible theme song for the series. He wrote the song “Casting Lines,” but by the time he sent it to the producers, they had already decided to use Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young” instead.

A close-up on the opening photos.

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While the song might not have made it onto the show, McMahon put it on Jack’s Mannequin’s third album “People and Things.” The theme song is also different internationally. When people in other countries watched Parenthood, they heard Lucy Schwartz’s “When We Were Young” during the opening credits.

Monica Potter’s Daughter Wouldn’t Let Her Shave Her Head

During the series, Potter’s character battles cancer. When it came time for Potter to shave her head for the role, her seven-year-old daughter wouldn’t let her go through with it. Instead of shaving her head, she wore a bald cap and wigs throughout the season.

Monica Potter and her daughter attend an event.

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Potter knew her daughter would have been freaked out if she shaved her head, and the producers were on board with her choice. However, she cut her hair for Season 5 to mirror what a woman would look like as her hair grows back after chemotherapy.

Mae Whitman Was Embarrassed About This

During Season 2, Whitman had reached out to the country singer and actor Trace Atkins on Twitter about appearing on the series as a guest. However, this never came to fruition, and Whitman looked back on it with embarrassment for reaching out in the first place.

A portrait of Trace Atkins.

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Whitman was more embarrassed when looking back on it because she is no longer a fan of theirs because of their personal beliefs. Although they didn’t make an appearance, actors like Michale B. Jordan, Matt Lauria, and Minka Kelly had recurring guest roles.

Max Burkholder Shares More Similarities With His Character

While Burkholder’s character is also named Max, that is not where the similarities end. Burkholder said he grew along with his character throughout the six seasons. While he doesn’t have Asperger’s like his character, he can relate because he also hates bugs in real life.

Max Burkholder as Max in a still from the show.

Source: NBC

Another similarity is that he is also very nerdy, like his character. Burkholder wears this as a badge of honor because he loves discovering new things and learning. That might be where the similarities end, but he gave the character so many different layers.