In case you were wondering, no, F. Murray Abraham is not a gamer.
Nor does he play one on TV.
However, the veteran theater, television and film actor — his accolades include the best-actor Academy Award for the 1984 drama “Amadeus” — is about to be seen for a second season playing a key character in Apple TV+ comedy series “Mythic Quest,” which is set at a company that makes video games.
Abraham portrays C.W. Longbottom, a washed-up science-fiction author who finds a second professional life as the writer of storylines for the show’s namesake sprawling online role-playing fantasy game.
“No, I’m not,” he says when given the “gamer” question in a recent video interview. “What I am is a pinball guy. But the introduction to this world of video games is astonishing. I had no idea this was as vast as it is. It worries me — I begin to think, ’How ignorant am I about so many other things?’ I just think, ‘How many people play video games?’ I mean, millions of people, right?”
“Well, then I should know more about it,” he continues. “But every time (cast members) try to teach me how to play one, they do nothing but laugh at me … because I’m so inept. I’ll play pinball machine against anyone!”
One of his cast mates, Cleveland native Imani Hakim, allows that she has at least some game.
“I don’t want to carry, like, the title of being ‘a gamer’ because there are some badass gamers out there, but I did enjoy gaming,” she says in a separate interview. “I have all brothers, so it was sort of my way of relating to them.”
Hakim, who was homeschooled, grew up across from Cleveland’s Karamu House and performed in a few plays produced by the acclaimed institution that celebrates through an African-American lens.
“My dad put my brothers and I in theater just to kind of keep us busy and out of trouble, and I fell in love with it,” she says. “That introduced me to writing — I started writing my own scripts at 7 years old, and I would cast all my cousins in (the plays), and I would direct them.
Her father saw her fire for creation, she says, and years later took a “leap of faith” by bringing her out to Los Angeles for auditions.
“I was one of the lucky few (who was) able to book something pretty soon after my arrival,” says Hakim, who, after playing Tonya on late-2000s sitcom “Everybody Hates Chris,” racked up a number of credits — including 2016’s “Sharknado: The 4th Awakens.”
On “Mythic Quest,” Hakim portrays game tester Dana and says when the opportunity to go for the role came her way, it seemed serendipitous.
“I was writing a pilot about a female gamer, and, I mean, it felt so aligned with where i was in my life,” she says. “Even when I was trying to do research and find out more about that (world) online, it was very hard for me to find a black woman in that space. I was like, ‘Of course I want to be a part of this project. I want to be part of that representation.’ Because they exist.”
“Mythic Quest” was co-created by “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” stars Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, along with Megan Ganz — who, like the actors, also serves as a producer on that long-running FX/FXX series.
McElhenney sits at the head of the “MQ” ensemble cast, as conceited, alpha-male creative director Ian Grimm. Charlotte Nicdao (“A gURLs wURLd”) portrays Ian’s brainy if not always confident foil, lead engineer Poppy Li, with the cast also boasting “Sunny” vet David Hornsby and Danny Pudi of “Community” fame.
While Hakim’s Dana is a smart and kind millennial, Abraham’s C.W. is something very different.
“The thing that is amazing to me is how he gets away with being so outrageous,” Abraham says. “People forgive him for so much.
“The fact is that I think people care about him. I think he’s a good soul. I hope that comes across.”
“Mythic Quest” launched its debut season of nine…