Tim Allen‘s return to a earlier character was not what he envisioned. ET’s Lauren Zima spoke with Allen and his Final Man Standing co-star, Nancy Travis, forward of the ninth and closing season premiere of their Fox sitcom.

For the duration of the chat, Allen opened up about enjoying equally his current role and a previous purpose — Dwelling Improvement‘s Tim Taylor — on an forthcoming episode of Final Male Standing, an practical experience the 67-calendar year-old actor called “odd, creepy… [and] abnormal.” 

“It was really peculiar to do equally areas, I’ll convey to you that. It was challenging for me to do each components and type of emotional,” Allen admitted, revealing that his thoughts arrived, in big component, because of Earl Hindman’s 2003 dying. Allen and Hindman co-starred on Home Improvement from 1991 to 1999, with the afterwards actor participating in Wilson, Allen’s onscreen neighbor.

“I adored the male and we sort of introduced that up in the story,” Allen mentioned. “I began considering about all the record I had with that Television set show, how I assess it to my everyday living on this present. It’s all about loss, is all I retained expressing in that episode.”

Aside from the emotion surrounding the death of his co-star, Allen discovered the expertise of enjoying the two Tim Taylor and Mike Baxter “really challenging” for other causes as nicely.

“That was the initial episode back,” he mentioned, alluding to the show’s generation pause due to COVID-19.  “So getting made use of to no group, and then acquiring people today direct me in a character I developed 20 years ago and then was kind of carried out with, it [was hard].”

Allen may have located the experience tough, but Travis saw it as just one more working day on set.

“It was exciting and strange,” she mentioned of looking at Allen perform two roles. “Honestly, it was Tim’s problem. I just stood by and mocked him, so it was, frankly, quite effortless for me.”

Allen wouldn’t spill techniques about the plot bordering Tim Taylor’s appearance, but he did tease that his Home Improvement and Last Male Standing people never exactly see eye to eye.

“Taylor missing his Television display. Instrument Time is in excess of. He experienced a neighbor that passed absent. He’s now performing on the company side of Bedford Tools. Which is what he does,” Allen stated. “Baxter’s helping Tim Taylor cope with adjust… They are not wonderful to each individual other. They are kind of antagonistic.”

Although emotional and difficult, Allen praised the episode as being “a good strategy” that brought Tim Taylor “into this century, into this 12 months.”

“It really is really intelligent what they did with it,” he mentioned of the show’s writers.

Enthusiasts of the present took to Twitter and shared their excitement for the special episode.

Whilst Allen was tight-lipped about the particulars of his dual job, he did give admirers a trace of what to count on when Very last Man Standing returns for its ninth and final time.

“By the time this airs… it will have been actually as the vaccine will take maintain. We are sort of not via it, but the mild is brilliant at the stop of the tunnel,” he explained of the pandemic’s part in the season. “We reference it. We try to remember the pandemic. It can be used, but it really is as while our masks had just come off.”

The ninth and last year of Past Man Standing airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. 

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