There are a lot of big mysteries on A Million Little Things, but there’s one small one fans still want to get to the bottom of ‚ÄĒ what is Gary’s job on A Million Little Things? He is seemingly free at all times of the day to run around to solve various problems in his friend group, but he also lives in a large, seemingly expensive apartment. And that’s all supposed to add up? As Gary actor James Roday’s character in Psych would say, “Come on, son.”
Viewers have gotten a couple of hints about what Gary does throughout the show. They saw him at a desk making calls once (like, literally, once) and he also mentioned something about working in insurance after Katherine had her car accident. “Well, if you want someone to get tough with the other guy’s insurance, that’s me, OK?” Gary told her. “That’s what I do. This is the one time where my boring job becomes exciting.”
Ah, ok! So the job is boring. That’s something to work with. But if you’re waiting for the show to delve out details, you’ll probably be left wanting. The first season set up backstories for most of the characters, but Gary has been left somewhat of a mystery. In fact, Roday recently told Us Weekly that Gary is definitely hiding things from viewers. “Like everyone else, Gary has a secret of his own,” the actor said. “There will be a revelation that sheds some light on the weight Gary has been carrying around. But ultimately, I think he just feels like he owes Jon his life and really wishes he could have repaid the favor.”
Does his secret have something to do with what he does for a living? The show may never have explained it (or maybe it did, but since it’s a “boring” job we all just forgot?), but DJ Nash, the creator of the show, has revealed Gary’s occupation in interviews. Answers, at last. Nash told IndieWire that Gary does, indeed, work in insurance. In fact…
“He is an actuary. His whole life is in valuing someone‚Äôs life with an insurance company, where you put a monetary value on someone‚Äôs life. That was a deliberate choice in career for him. He probably goes through life with a chart of, ‘This is what someone‚Äôs worth, this is what this is worth, this is what this is worth.’ That whole definition of what life is worth has been challenged by the loss of his friend.”
An actuary is someone who uses analytics to manage risk. According to The Balance, for an insurance company, actuaries will help decide which candidates are “good risks,” aka ones that the insurance company likely won’t have to pay a claim to. Jon was probably considered a good risk considering he had a healthy family and a profitable business. Of course, people are much more than they portray on the surface ‚ÄĒ¬†and Gary is likely struggling with Jon’s death because he didn’t see it coming. He manages risks for a living, evaluates life for a living, but he never thought Jon would die the way he did.
And now, Gary’s let another “risk” into his life in Maggie. Nash talked to TVLine about how Gary’s investment in Maggie’s survival shows his character growth. “Each of [the characters] have a journey that we map out at the beginning of the year … For Gary, his journey was going from playing the odds as an actuary to trying to beat the odds with Maggie.
But those are a lot of leaps for viewers to make when most of them still don’t even know or remember what Gary does for a living. Hopefully that will be further elaborated on in the show, because it does actually shed light on Gary’s motivations with Maggie and also his grief over Jon. Who knew one “boring” job could say so much about a man?