Ray Romano, Scott Bakula Gear Up For ‘Men Of A Certain Age’ Return; Admit Calorie Concerns For Those Diner Scenes

“Men of a Certain Age” returns with the continuation of its second season on Wednesday night on TNT and from the start, trouble is already afoot for the three best friends.

In addition to the drama of an ex-wife (played by Penelope Ann Miller), Ray Romano’s character, Joe Tranelli, has some demons to deal with in the form of gambling.

“He’s fooling himself,” Ray explained to AccessHollywood.com, of the gambling issues reemerging in a new way for Joe. “This thing kind of fell into his lap, his bookie is sick and he can’t do it and he’s taking the bets for him, kind of on the sneak. He’s in denial. He thinks that that’s not really gambling.”

Ray, who participates at times in celebrity poker tournaments, said he was able to bolster his performance by some of the things he saw back before achieving success.

“Back in the day, I don’t know when that is, the day before the day, back in the day and the day before that, I used to kind of hang in that circle, where I didn’t have money, but I probably gambled too much than I should have,” Ray explained. “Luckily, I kind of got a handle on it before I actually made real money, so I’ve been around that world. I know the bookies and I know the gamblers and I know the race track and I know the lingo.”

For Scott Bakula, who plays lady-magnet and struggling actor Terry Elliott, he has trouble of another kind – with women. As the season opens, he’s struggling with having fallen in love.

“There’s nobody more surprised about it than Terry,” Scotty laughed. “As it has its twists and turns in upcoming episodes, it affects him more grandly than it would most people because he’s never really traveled this route before and it confuses him, this idea of making a commitment and focusing all of those attentions, just to one person.”

Scott’s character also has some trouble as he works for Andre Braugher’s character, Owen Thoreau Jr., at the car dealership.

“He gets better [at selling cars] and he creates some problems at work that the only way to get out of them is to become a better worker so he makes some strides there,” Scott said. “But then he sees some other opportunities, some greener grass, if you will ,and he confounds everybody again, by the end of the season. Terry’s a tricky guy.”

The show, about three friends hitting mid-life, regularly features the characters sharing their worries and concerns over a meal at a diner, and yes, the stars do worry about their intake while filming.

“The first scene we did ever [did] in the pilot episode, Andre Braugher, I think he had about nine turkey burgers. Since then he’s become a vegetarian and he does little tricks where he kind of fudges with the food and he doesn’t really eat it,” Ray explained. “I like the business of eating. I like being busy there during the scene, but after a while if I know I have a diner scene, I won’t eat breakfast or lunch, and I try to make it something not as bad, I try to make it like a salad or something.”

Scott said he tries to make healthy requests for his on-camera food.

“They always come and say, ‘What do you want to eat?’… I’ll have some salad and some chunks of sliced turkey, or cottage cheese or fruit or this,” Scott explained. “Ray’s gotten into this chicken salad thing, and Andre (laughs), he still has to look like he’s eating, but he’s found a way to eat much less.”

“Men of A Certain Age” airs at 10/9 C on TNT.

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