Landing a role in a hit sitcom is tough, especially these days, so when Dan Byrd found out that his "Cougar Town" character, Travis, would be going off to college, he got a little nervous.
"For the first few episodes of this season, I was still second-guessing it," he says, laughing. "I mean, they had me literally riding off into the sunset, and they were all waving at me. I remember thinking in my head, 'Uh, I am going to be in the next episode, right? Let's keep this a little more open-ended.' Thank God, I think I'm one of the only characters on TV that went away to college and stayed on the show."
In fact, Travis is a focal point of the ABC Wednesday night comedy's May 25 season finale.
"Travis makes this big life decision that ends up blowing up in his face, and he starts to spiral a bit as far as filling his dad's shoes," Byrd explains. "As Bobby is getting his life together, Travis' life is starting to unravel, so as part of his grieving process, he thinks it would be therapeutic to run away to Hawaii and just live a completely different life for a little bit."
As an adolescent in Georgia, Byrd saw a touring production of "Phantom of the Opera" that left him eager to try acting himself. Encouraged by his parents, he started out in community theater productions, then branched out to other Atlanta stages before landing a series of TV commercials that led in turn to being cast in the Annie Potts drama "Any Day Now," the series that brought him to Los Angeles. He's worked steadily ever since.
"I'm going to ride this thing until the wheels come off," he says of his busy career.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times