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Jason Behr Copes With Teenage Alienation
WB, Wednesdays, 9 to 10 p.m. ET
By Len P. Feldman
Most aliens in sci-fi dramas come from outer space. But one alien on WB’s new series, Roswell, came from Dawson’s Creek: Jason Behr, who Creek fans know from his recurring role as rich brat Chris Wolfe. “I’m pretty much out of the Creek,” says Behr.
The 25-year-old actor has a new home on Roswell playing the ultimate alienated teenager, Max Evans, a descendant of the extraterrestrials who supposedly crash-landed at Area 51 in Roswell, NM, in 1947. With his otherworldly heritage, Max has more trouble adjusting to high school than most kids his age. Behr can relate: “I think going through high school was the most confused I was in life. That’s when I felt most like I was on the outside looking in.”
Though he’s definitely human, Behr had his own high-school handicap to overcome. “I was like Mini-Me,” he jokes. “I was, like, 4-foot-11 in the eighth grade. I was 5-foot-2 in the ninth grade. I came up to the shoulders of all my friends. It was really hard playing basketball with them.”
Now, at just a bit under 6 feet, the Minneapolis native seems pretty confident playing the out-of-this-world boyfriend of very pretty human Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby). Unlike some actors who insist they can play a convincing love scene with someone they hate, Behr, who claims to have a natural rapport with Appleby, feels a friendly chemistry is essential. “I mean, there’s only so far that the acting can take you if you’re looking into someone’s eyes and you don’t want to be in their presence,” he says.
In addition to playing opposite hottie Appleby, Behr has to drink some pretty hot stuff for the role: Apparently Tabasco sauce aids in the aliens’ digestion of human food.
Behr and the other Roswell aliens, Katherine Heigl (who plays Max’s sister Isabel) and Brendan Fehr (who portrays their friend Michael) ingest a water-tomato paste mixture onscreen instead of Tabasco. But Behr says at first he and Fehr “tried to do the manly thing and use straight Tabasco sauce.” The experiment was an explosive failure. “We must have pumped about a half a cup of Tabasco into our Diet Cokes, and we both wanted to rush to the bathroom and throw up.”
Aside from exciting alien intrigue and interspecies relationships, Roswell also features the aliens making pretty cool use of their otherworldly powers, like listening to CDs by holding them up to their ears. What would Behr do if he had such powers? “I would make myself 6-foot-6 or 7 feet tall and go out and play some real basketball with the NBA stars,” he says. Hmmm… maybe Behr’s not quite over that height thing yet.