'The Wonder Years' actor Dule Hill talks about musical episode

NEW YORK -- "The Wonder Years" ran for half a dozen seasons on ABC, capturing the imagination of baby boomers three decades ago. This season, the network revived the show with a Black cast.

Don Cheadle narrates the show, as we watch his 12-year-old self navigate life in the 1960s, guided by his father "Bill," played by Dule Hill.

A special musical episode airing Wednesday night features Hill's real spouse, Jazmyn Simon.

"My real life wife Jazmyn Simon comes on the show to be able to play around for us and create some havoc in my on-screen wife Saycon Sengbloh," he said. "Bill is stuck somewhere right in the middle."

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Hill has nothing but praise for his wife's talents.

"(She's) a phenomenal actress, and she always brings interesting energy to the roles she plays," he said. "So hopefully, this is just another story along the journey."

"The family that gets money together, stays together," she quipped.

On the set, a true milestone occurred in the young life of the couple's 2-year-old son, who got to see his parents working together for the first time.

"He had his little Mickey Mouse headphones on, and he was watching, as soon as he was quiet during the take," Hill said. "As soon as they said 'cut,' he'd be like, 'Mama.' Saycon and I both went, 'Awww.'"

Hill, who is originally from New Jersey, and Simon, from Georgia, both have spent years in New York City working on and off Broadway.

They put those talents to good use for this episode.

"We get to use all of those skills that we honed on the New York stage," he said. "And being able to show the on the airwaves is truly a wonderful thing."

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As always, the trick is making it look easy when it isn't.

"We're playing the piano, we're singing, we have choreography, we're on stage," Simon said. "There's a lot of things, a lot of moving parts, so I was just happy that I survived that week of filming. It was a lot."

Both stars said they are grateful they had been to be working on a TV show at a time when Broadway was still shut down. Simon said that now she's back to cheering on her friends in different shows because she firmly believes, "Broadway is back."
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