Timothy Omundson has segued from “This Is Us” to “This is Gus.”
The veteran actor, 52, who continues to recover from a 2017 stroke — and just launched a new podcast — returns as police chief Carlton Lassiter in “Psych 3: This Is Gus,” the third movie continuing USA’s detective-comedy series (2006-2014) with stars James Roday Rodriguez and Dule Hill as “psychic” consultant Shawn Spencer and his partner/best friend, Burton “Gus” Guster. It premieres Thursday (Nov. 18) on Peacock.
“Gus” follows on the heels of Omundson’s recurring role as Gregory, the gruff neighbor of Kate and Toby (Chrissy Metz and Chris Sullivan) on “This Is Us,” and he guest-starred on a recent episode of NBC hospital drama “New Amsterdam.” He played a stroke survivor on both series.
“The work I’ve gotten [since 2017] has been from friends I’ve worked with in the past, and they always incorporate the stroke into the script,” he said. “I’m walking with a stick now, but I still don’t have a lot of strength in my left arm and hand, so that limits the types of roles I can play.
“I’m so lucky to be blessed with supportive and creative people in my life to let me figure it out as we all figure it out together,” he said. “It may be that as I continue to work it will be all ‘stroke survivor’ [roles], and if that’s the case, great. I’m really happy to represent this world and have gotten a lot of feedback from stroke survivors on how encouraging it’s been to see someone like them on TV.
“I’m certainly not back to where I was — hopping on a horse and riding around Morocco like I was in ‘Galavant’ or chasing a bad guy down the street on ‘Psych’ — but on [‘This Is Gus’] it was the first time I felt like I wasn’t walking around in a suit of armor.”
Omundson appears in the movie’s opening scene and near the end in a porch sequence with co-star Corbin Bernsen, who play’s Shawn’s father, Henry.
“It’s mostly about how long the days are,” he said, mentioning series creator Steve Franks, who created the series and co-wrote/directed “This Is Gus,” and the producers (including Roday Rodriguez and Hill). “They’ve been really great about trying to keep my schedule truncated so I’m not having super-long days where I’m getting exhausted. On the second movie [‘Lassie Come Home’] I was so fresh from my incident that I actually fell asleep on camera — so they’re very cognizant of that.”
He called the porch scene with Bernsen — where Lassiter questions his future as the chief of police — “the greatest gift” that Franks could have given him.
“I’m pretty sure he’s done with it,” he said of Lassiter. “It totally mirrors my existential crisis. I’m not sure what I can do, yet. Slowly there have been little glimmers of hope as I recover a little more each day and I’m trying to come to terms with the fact it may not be what it was — and that’s OK. I’m been talking to friends a lot about not looking back and trying to discover what my new reality is.
“It’s a great mystery, and the fans of ‘Psych’ who’ve been watching these movies get to see it all in real time — just as I’m trying to figure it out. The future is wide-open at this point.”
Omundson recently kicked off a podcast with “Psych” co-star Maggie Lawson called “The Psychologists Are In,” which revisits past episodes.
“It’s mostly about ‘Psych’ but our real lives are in there,” he said. “We had James [Roday Rodriguez] on the show and Corbin was on, and we’re talking as a group about the memories we have of reliving that life in Vancouver [shooting the series], which was sort of an actors’ sleepaway camp.
“It’s a treat for us to get together and relive an incredibly special time in our lives where we all became a family.”
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