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After years of wheeling and, uh, dealing on Showtime’s acclaimed series Weeds, Justin Kirk, 43, heads to the veterinary clinic on NBC’s new show, Animal Practice, a knee-slapping collision of House and Dr. Dolittle. Between his work on Weeds and Animal Practice, Kirk has broken all three of the Hollywood rules for staying safe and sane while filming: no kids, no special effects and no animals. He explains the occupational hazards and how he’s survived.

“There are more children than ever on Weeds now. They’re popping up like, well, like weeds. Working with kids is like working with a rain machine: You’d better nail your emotions and your lines every time, because they’re using the take where the rain works.”

“My character on Weeds, he only has three toes on his left foot. Believe it or not, that’s not Method acting. I have all my toes. My character’s foot is a special effect, man.”

“I will be killed or maimed sometime in the first season [of Animal Practice], I’m sure. I’m hoping the only animal I have to work with is Crystal the Monkey; she’s punctual, always hits her mark and she’s not too dangerous. Having said that, I’m sure they’ll have me wrestling a centaur soon. Every day’s a new adventure.”