LeadingNick Wechsler

AP: Five Questions With Nick Wechsler

Thanks to Julia and Fraz for this:

Wednesday January 31 12:03 PM ET
Five Questions With Nick Wechsler

By CHELSEA J. CARTER, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Nick Wechsler admits he’s baffled by the “Hollywood thing” – fame, fortune and having somebody bring you a bottle of water.

At 22, the actor has had an early taste of success as one of the leads on the WB’s teen alien-ation drama “Roswell” about the fabled 1947 spaceship crash. The show airs Mondays (9 p.m. EST).

“It’s kind of strange. There are people who bring you water all the time. Why can’t people get their own water? I don’t get it,” he said during an interview on the set at Paramount Pictures studio.

Wechsler left his very un-Hollywood home of Albuquerque, N.M. – where his father is a sheet-metal worker and his mother works for the U.S. Forest Service – after he graduated from high school.

He soon landed a small role as a purse-stealing punk in the 1996 TV movie “Full Circle” and a supporting role that same year in the TV series “The Lazarus Man” In 1997, he was cast as Trek, a child conceived at a “Star Trek” convention, in the short-lived series “Team Knight Rider.”

But the sporadic work wasn’t enough to support himself, so he went to work at a video store before landing the role of Kyle Valenti, the scene-stealing smart-mouthed jock who makes life difficult for the teen aliens on “Roswell.”

1. When you landed this role, how was it pitched to you?

Wechsler: It was like, `Do you want a job?’ It didn’t matter what the pitch was. I had to get something because I was doing nothing. It sounded all right to me. I initially read for the role that Colin (Hanks) got. Then they called me back for the role that I ended up getting. … I know it sounds kind of funny. OK, they’re aliens and they’re walking among us and they’re in high school. My good friends are always picking on me about it.

2. Are people starting to recognize you on the street?

Wechsler: Occasionally, one or two people. But nothing much yet. I’m not really looking forward to it becoming an issue. There are probably a lot of people who like that kind of stuff. But I don’t. I haven’t gotten anybody who is crazy enough to confuse me with my character yet. I’m a little afraid of that. I try to accommodate people as much as I can. Handshake. Hug. Whatever they ask for. A couple of times, they’ve asked for an autograph. I don’t think of myself like that. So when people ask, it’s kind of a strange feeling. I’m like, `Who me?’

3. What’s the hardest part about acting?

Wechsler: You’ll be better for it, if you can just have confidence. That’s something I’ve always known. I know I’ll be better. I know plenty of actors who are arrogant and don’t deserve to be. But because they are arrogant, they just perform better because they don’t believe they can fail. I know I’m mortal and I explore it constantly, and because of that I get down on myself.

3 1/2: So you’re saying that you are your own worst critic?

Wechsler: Yes, I guess I am.

4. Where do you go from here?

Wechsler: I don’t want to really go to school. But I probably should. If you’re asking what I’d ideally like to be doing, I’d love to be doing movies and pretty much nothing but. Who wouldn’t? Whatever I do, I want to give really good performances. Who knows how long this acting is going to last for me? I don’t want it to sound like I’m threatening to leave. I’m excited about going to work. I love acting. But I have yet to like one of my own performances.

5. What do you think about the spate of reality programming?

Wechsler: I don’t like it when there’s a wave of anything. It just seems everybody is trying to beat everyone else to the punch. … But there are things I get hooked on. Seriously, I enjoyed `Survivor.’ I didn’t get to watch all of it. But the little bit that I did, I was like, `This is pretty good.’ I like to watch people actually argue. I like to watch people actually get along. I like to watch people flirt. It’s different when you see it in a movie. It’s all the best take of the flirting or whatever. It’s really interesting to fumble and trip with the things they do in real life. I just like to watch people do it the way it’s really done.