Alien High- Teens from Another World…

Thanks to MyrnaLynne for submitting this!

Alien High – Teens from Another World invade the Classrooms of Roswell�

by Joe Nazarro,
from Starlog #268, Nov 1999

…Because Roswell director David Nutter was able to cast Roswell before Hollywood’s plot season began, he had a much larger pool of talent from which to draw. He also auditioned a number of young actors he had worked with on other projects, from “Millennium” to “Disturbing Behavior”. “It was important for me to cast not only young people who were good,” he admits, “but also adults who were good and not two-dimensional stick figures, which often happens in these kind of teen dramas. When we started casting the show, everyone kept saying, ‘OK, we’ll cast in Los Angeles and then go to New York,” and I said, “Wait a second. We’ve got to stop in Vancouver, that’s where the hub of the talent it. So we went up to Vancouver, and brought Brendan Fehr down to test in LA.”

The biggest challenge was casting the right talent to play the three alien teens. The roles ultimately went to Jason Behr, who plays Max Evans, Katherine Heigl as his sister Isabel and Brendan Fehr as Michael. “First, let me say that Jason is one of the most naturally gifted actors I’ve ever worked with,” Nutter remarks. “We talked a lot about this character during the show’s early stages. Even in the audition process we talked about him, and he totally got the guy. He understood Max’s humility, he understood that that was Max’s strength. There’s also a wonderful calmness, maturity, and wisdom about the guy that I thought was very important. All three of the aliens needed to {convey a sense of} wisdom that was something other than what you would expect in a young person, and he was perfect at that.”

“Brendan Fehr has such charisma and such natural ability. He hasn’t been doing this for a very long time at all, but he has wonderful instincts. He’s from Vancouver, and looks a little like David Duchovny, so that can’t hurt, especially when you’re talking about aliens.”

…”Katie Heigl’s character really needed someone with a lot of beauty and stature,” Nutter adds, “as well as someone with depth, heart, and soul beneath the hair and body. She had to be someone much more there than you would expect, and Katie will be able to show that more and more as the series goes on.”

The role of Liz, a Roswell High student whose life changes dramatically after she’s saved by Max, proved to be more difficult to cast. A.J. Buckley, who had worked with Nutter on “Disturbing Behavior”, came in to “Roswell” to audition for the role of the sheriff’s son Kyle, and suggested they look at Shiri Appelby. “A.J. had worked with her on a low-budget feature and said, ‘Why don’t you see this girl? She’s quite good!� We were at the stage where we were trying to find the right Liz, so I said sure, and band, that was it.”

Heading up the show’s adult cast is veteran character actor William Sadler as Sheriff Valenti. Sadler is familiar to Starlog readers for such diverse roles as Death in “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey,” Newbery in “Disturbing Behavior,” the villain of “Die Hard 2” and Section 31’s Sloan on “DS9.” … “Jason Katims and I both felt his character couldn’t be a black hat, because that gEts very old,” he notes….”You get a sense of his passion. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just a guy who wants to find out the truth and what’s happening.�

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