If Topher Grace seems a natural fit in Take Me Home Tonight, an ’80s-themed coming-of-age comedy in which he plays an underachieving M.I.T. grad stuck in a dead-end job at the mall, the reasons could be twofold.
For one, Grace, 32 – who chose the nickname “Topher” over his birth name, Christopher – starred for eight years in That ’70s Show, the TV comedy in which he played Eric Forman, a bright but directionless teen hanging out with his hapless friends and struggling to find his way in the world. Matt Franklin, his character in Tonight, could be Eric a decade removed.
At 48, George Lopez has starred in his own hit sitcom, amassed a loyal following over 27 years as a stand-up comic, and, most recently, joined the suddenly contentious ranks of nighttime talk-show hosts with Lopez Tonight on TBS. Why not add a surefire blockbuster to his résumé?
That’s what Lopez was thinking when he joined the A-list cast of Valentine’s Day, in which he co-stars as a florist’s assistant with Ashton Kutcher, Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Alba, among many others. That, and he wanted to work with director Garry Marshall.