TV Times – Alien Adventures – Brendan Fehr

By • Oct 22nd, 2000 • Category: Brendan Fehr, Leading

Thanks to Kat for this. It appeared in the Canadian TV Times this week.

Alien Adventures
By Alexandra Heilbron

Roswell has been a big career boost for Vancouver’s Brendan Fehr.

Canadians are known for their politeness, right? If you need proof, just
ask Brendan Fehr’s co-stars on the set of Roswell.

They might complain about the heavy-metal music he plays loud enough to
penetrate the walls of his dressing room. Or the faces and rude noises he
makes off-camera to distract them,. Or maybe even the jokes he tells –
which are, in his own words, “really sick”.

But co-stars be warned: “I’m looking forward to pulling a big [practical
joke] this season coming up,” the actor says.

It’s been quite a year for Fehr. The Vancouver native starts in the
critically acclaimed Roswell, now in its second season. He also appeared
(with his Roswell co-stars) on the cover of Life magazine. And he had a
role in the feature film Final Destination.

That’s quite a leap for a guy who got his start by taking modelling jobs in
order to save money for university.

Fehr, 22, had planned to become a math professor, but his agent sensed he
had acting talent and sent him to audition for a TV series called Breaker
High. He landed a guest role and, from there, went on to film Disturbing
Behaviour. “I was basically an extra,” fehr explains. “I had, like, four
scenes, and two of my scenes got cut.”

Nevertheless, the film’s director, David Nutter, took notice,. Nutter went
on to become executive producer/director of Roswell, and invited Fehr to
audition for the series. The actor ended up winning the role of teen alien
Michael Guerin.

“My character’s impulsive, spontaneous – ‘let’s do it now and deal with the
consequences later,'” says Fehr. “It’s fun being an actor because you get
to play people that you never were. I was always the type to think things
out first.”

Despite his penchant for heavy-metal music and the joy he gets from
tormenting his co-stars, Fehr is actually a devout Mennonite who says his
favourite pastime is playing Monopoly with friends. He enjoys living in Los
Angeles, but when asked if he misses Canada, he replies, “Oh yeah.
Everything. Family and friends,” but also “ketchup chips, sweetened ice tea
and cheesy chili fries.”

A cross-promotion with Levi’s – Roswell’s clothing sponsor – gave Fehr the
opportunity to make public appearances in New York and L.A. Thousands
turned out, bringing gifts of alien paraphenalia, Spiderman memoribilia
(Fehr is a huge fan) and Fruity Pebbles cereal (his favourite). Fehr has
also been to two Roswell conventions in L.A. – most recently in August,
where, unlike his co-stars, Fehr wandered into the crowd of screaming fans
without a bodyguard.

“It’s kinda amazing that the fans like you and they appreciate you,” says
Fehr. “If they’re willing to throw these parties and if me showing up
happens to be synonymous with it being a good night, then you know, that’s
worth it.”

Roswell’s start was a rocky one – the ratings were lacklustre, despite the
fact that critics had nothing but praise for this unique show. The premise:
in 1947, the year of the alleged real-life spaceship crash in Roswell, N.M.,
several pods were hidden and in the 1980s, alien children hatched and were
found wandering in the desert. Two of them – Max (Jason Behr) and Isabel
(Katherine Heigl) – were adopted by a nice family, while Michael (Fehr) went
to live with an abusice foster father. The teens keep their alien status a
secret until one day, classmate Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) was shot in a
cafe. Against Michael’s wishes, Max used his alien powers to heal her,
running the risk of exposing himself and the other aliens.

Rumours of cancellation his Roswell fans so hard that they took action with
The Roswell Renewal Campaign. They created a website
(http://wo.to/save_roswell) and began an agressive letter-writing campaign,
barraging The WB Network with more than 3000 bottles of Tobasco sauce (the
aliens douse Tobasco on everything they eat, including cake and ice cream).
The WB decided to rework Roswell, but is focusing on its sci-fi aspects
rather than the angst of teenage relationships.

Whether or not Roswell survives remains to be seen. In any event, the
future looks good for Fehr’s career. His eventual goal is to cross over
into feature films full time. During the hiatus from Roswell, Fehr filmed
two features for release in 2001: The Forsaken and Take My Life.

Fehr would most like to make movies like “Braveheart of Once Flew Over the
Cuckoo’s Nest,” he says. “Something that will inspire someone – a movie
that people will want to watch over and over again and it never gets old for
them.”

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