Interview: Kenny Ridwan talks his role as Dave Kim on The Goldbergs

Kenny Ridwan (Photo Credit: Shanna Fisher)
Kenny Ridwan (Photo Credit: Shanna Fisher) /

Kenny Ridwan gives Hidden Remote an exclusive look into his role as Dave Kim on the ABC hit comedy, The Goldbergs. He talks about what it’s like working on the series and how he originally got into acting.

The Goldbergs is currently in its sixth season, serving up fantastic episodes week-to-week. The period sitcom is based on creator Adam Goldberg’s childhood growing up in the ’80s. He has gone on to craft a hilarious series full of heartwarming family moments and interaction. The Goldbergs centers on Adam’s wacky and extremely lovable family but there is also a standout group of supporting characters. One of whom is Dave Kim, Adam’s close friend played by actor Kenny Ridwan.

Dave Kim, who is always referred to by his first and last name, is a fellow classmate of Adam Goldberg. Although they are good friends, the two often quip at each other while Adam commonly says, “shut up, Dave Kim.” He’s a regular visitor to the Goldberg household and gets involved in Adam’s schemes. The turtleneck wearing Dave Kim has become a fan favorite since his introduction in the first season. The actor who portrays Dave Kim spoke to us about his character and what it’s like working on The Goldbergs.

Hidden Remote: Since its 2013 debut, The Goldbergs has become a major hit. What has your experience been like working on the show?

Kenny Ridwan: It’s been wonderful! The entire cast is such a family, and everyone is just so nice. I remember the first time I met Sean Giambrone (for the record, I was taller than him, then he shot up) he gave me a huge hug and it was so wholesome. Now looking back, I really grew up on this show. It’s funny because the end of every episode ends with a real clip from Adam’s childhood films, but the episode itself really serves a similar purpose for me; my own formative years on tape.

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Hidden Remote: Why do you think the show resonates with so many different types of viewers?

Kenny Ridwan: Everyone likes something about the 80’s or knows someone who grew up in the 80’s. I also have to highlight Wendi, Jeff, Hayley, Sean, Troy and Sam who make the show so great. I think we have such a close cast that viewers can really see that reflected in our performance.

Hidden Remote: Your character Dave Kim has been one of Adam’s closest friends since Season 1. How would you describe their friendship?

Kenny Ridwan: Haha, I would say that we have the quintessential love/hate relationship. I give him a hard time for his dorkiness and he puts me in my place sometimes.

The Goldbergs
The Goldbergs (Kenny Ridwan) via Disney/ABC Press /

Hidden Remote: What is it like wearing those turtlenecks?

Kenny Ridwan: I used to hate them! So restricting, haha! Now, I look forward to it every time I get to set. Honestly, I think I have Stockholm Syndrome, haha.

Hidden Remote: What’s in store for Dave Kim in Season 6? Will he get a girlfriend so he and Adam can double date?

Kenny Ridwan: Sean and I have actually talked about that a lot! I honestly have no idea what they have planned in the writer’s room, but I would like to think that Dave Kim won’t stay alone forever.

Hidden Remote: Fans got a little taste of Dave Kim’s background in Season 2 (the Back to the Future hoverboard episode) when Dave’s family opened a new Chinese restaurant in town. Will the Kim family ever get back into the spotlight for an episode?

Kenny Ridwan: Yes! My mom (Suzy) showed up again for “Hersheypark” which was so fun. I would definitely like to find out more about Dave Kim’s family.

Hidden Remote: What has been your favorite episode so far?

Kenny Ridwan: I think my favorite episode was definitely our take on the Phantom of the Opera. It was my first time singing in a studio and my first time singing outside of the shower. I sang in the same studio as the Beatles which I still can’t believe.

Hidden Remote: Is there any character you wish Dave Kim had more scenes with? Or an actor on the show you wish you can work with more?

Kenny Ridwan: Troy Gentile (Barry) and I love each other, but we are almost never in scenes together. I would love to work with him more, he’s just like a big brother.

Hidden Remote: Most of the younger cast on The Goldbergs wasn’t even born in time to experience the 1980s. What have you had to do to prepare in order to portray a character from that decade?

Kenny Ridwan: Our AD, Richard will send us random clips from 80’s movies like a week before we shoot and we have to memorize some dancing or some very specific motion. We also can’t fist bump on camera because fist bumping simply didn’t exist which is wild.

Hidden Remote: What made you get into acting?

Kenny Ridwan: I actually heard this ad when I was six/seven for this acting school, and I was like “Mom, I want to be Asian Tom Cruise.” The rest is history, haha.

The Goldbergs
Kenny Ridwan (Photo Credit: Shanna Fisher) /

Hidden Remote: How does your personality compare to Dave Kim’s?

Kenny Ridwan: I would like to say Dave Kim is snarkier than me, but honestly I’m pretty snarky. I think Dave Kim is a very specific part of my personality but heightened to the max.

Hidden Remote: Do you have a dream TV show or movie franchise that you would want to work on?

Kenny Ridwan: I would love to be in a Marvel movie. That would be wild and life-changing. I really want to play a superhero someday, and I might need to write myself a role, haha.

Hidden Remote: What advice do you have for young people who want to follow your career path?

Kenny Ridwan: HARD WORK. Hard work pays off. That is the best advice I have ever received. If you know you can do something, you should pursue it with everything that you have.

Hidden Remote: I actually grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and I am very familiar with Jenkintown, the setting of The Goldbergs. Have you ever been to the area? 

Kenny Ridwan: I haven’t! I’ve been meaning to visit Jenkintown just to see all of the real places that we try to replicate.

Hidden Remote: Working on a show like The Goldbergs with that impressive cast must be a blast. Can you describe what the set is like and what kind of hijinks go on?

Kenny Ridwan: It’s just lovely. Between takes, we dance and try to make each other laugh. Haley gives me love advice sometimes, Sam/JTP and I bant. Sean and I used to play catch and just talk about life. It’s just such a family and it’s great to be able to work in such a supportive environment. Our directors Jay, Lew, Dave, Jason etc. have also taught me so much just by watching them work. I feel so lucky.

Next. The Goldbergs season 6, episode 5 recap: Mister Knifey-Hands. dark

New episodes of The Goldbergs air Wednesday nights on ABC at 8/7c.