Brendan FehrLeading

Earth to WB

I really feel like there is absolutely nothing Roswell related that will appear anywhere without one of you finding it and sending it in! I love that! Angela (oku), Janet, and Dawnee all sent this article in tonight! You 3 need Crashdown Reporter badges!!!

Earth to WB
Wednesday, May 10, 2000

Staff Writer

It’s T-minus-144-hours until the WB announces its fall schedule — along with the fate of its freshman aliens-among-us drama “Roswell.”

But things are looking bright for the well-reviewed series, which devoted fans are determined to save.

On an unseasonably warm afternoon last week in Manhattan, Brendan Fehr, who plays the extraterrestrial Michael Guerin on “Roswell,” was doing a WB-related promotional tour in Manhattan — a good sign, to be sure.

And Fehr was confident about the prospects for renewal.

“I find out on May 14 — that’s two days before they announce, because I’ve been designated to fly out for the [advertiser upfront] show, so, I’ll know two days in advance,” Fehr says. “But all signs are pointing to ‘Yeah, it will [come back].'”

He’s also heartened by the “Roswell is Hot” campaign launched by supporters of the show, who have been writing in droves to WB executives. Along with providing the execs’ names and addresses, the impressively thorough fan Web site,, gives an etiquette for writing, and suggests that, in keeping with the “hot” theme, fans send along bottles of Tabasco sauce, which the show’s aliens love so much they put it on everything.

“You always know a couple of people are going to send some letters, but what they’ve done is extremely well organized. They’ve raised money. They’ve taken out ads in Variety. It’s not just letters. They’re kind of really going all out about it,” Fehr says. “It makes you feel good that you’ve produced a show that obviously a lot of people are very attached to. And, with all the fan support I’ve been getting personally, someone out there likes me, which is always nice.”

In the restaurant of a swanky West Side hotel, Fehr, sipping fruit juice as he speaks, is engaging and disarmingly un-Hollywoody. He’s also dressed a bit unusually, given the extreme heat. Although he’s wearing a T-shirt, seam side out, his hair is covered by a navy blue ski cap. (It’s not because he’s from Canada. He didn’t want to have to do his hair, he says, and no, he’s not hot.)

This guy is clearly an original — and so cute you can see why minions of young teenage girls were, at that very moment, lining up in the hope of getting his autograph at Macy’s Herald Square. That event had to do with a cross-promotion “Roswell” is doing with Levis’ Lot 53 clothing line.

“Apparently, people want to come and meet me,” says Fehr. “But the girls that come today a year from now will probably think I’m old and washed up. You realize how fleeting it is, but it’s fun.”

While the series appeals to all ages, 85 percent of his fan mail comes from young girls.

“A lot of them like the way he’s a bad boy, and you saw a little bit of him changing throughout the season. He’s kind of a little bit more vulnerable, a little bit more compassionate, and I get commended on the job I did with that, which is nice. …”

“Roswell,” for those who haven’t had the pleasure of an introduction, is set in the famed southwestern town of Roswell, N.M., where, according to popular legend, an alien spacecraft plummeted to the desert in 1947.

Fehr’s Michael is one of three surviving descendants of the aliens who died in that fiery crash. The others are Max Evans (Jason Behr) and his sister, Isabel (Katherine Heigl). Since emerging from incubation, the three, now teenagers (at least in body) had grown up quietly among the Roswell residents, wary of human interaction.

That all changed when the soulful Max used his superhuman powers to save the life of Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby), who, in the pilot, got shot, apparently fatally, while waiting tables at her father’s Crashdown Cafe.

In saving the life of Liz — who afterward shares an otherworldly connection to Max — Max exposed the alien trio to the risk of having their identities discovered. Initially, Michael was especially displeased about all that.

But over the season, Fehr says, “He’s matured. He shows a certain amount of emotion. It’s still not a lot, but when he needs to, he can open the garage door and let someone in for a little while.”

Part of the softening is due to Liz’s friend, Maria DeLuca (Majandra Delfino), whom Michael’s been dating.

“He’s seen that humans aren’t all that bad,” Fehr says. “He’s not good at the social thing, and now he’s realized that not only is Maria pretty cool, but there are a lot of people out there that would lay their life on the line for him.”

Fehr, 22, got into acting on a fluke a few years ago. Then living in Winnipeg, and registered for the University of Manitoba, he went to Vancouver for a wedding and ran into the man who became his manager.

“I happened to be in his office building just wandering around, and he came up to me and asked if I wanted to be on television,” says Fehr, who’s slated to begin filming the movie “The Forsaken,” in which he’ll play a young vampire hunter, later this month. “A long story short … I said, ‘Buzz off. You’re creepy.’ And he’s like, ‘No, seriously.’ He made the appointments and I landed the jobs.”

Putting college on hold, Fehr did guest roles on “Breaker High,” and “Millennium,” which filmed in Vancouver.

When he landed “Roswell” — which is from producers Jason Katims (“Relativity”) and David Nutter (“The X-Files”), he did not bring his own life experience to this sci-fi/alienated youth drama.

“A lot of people talk about how the teenage years are so tough, but my teenage years were the easiest years in my entire life” Fehr says. “But I never viewed this show as a high school show, and even if it was, I just denied it, because I did not want to do a teen show. I knew we were more than that.”

With the approach of the “Roswell” season finale (9 p.m. Monday) and word about its future, Fehr was candid in assessing the show’s freshman season.

“I look back at the earlier episodes, and they are boring,” he says. “But I think the shows have gotten better. And I’ve just gotten better recently, too.”


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