Brendan FehrLeading

Brendan – “Markets are alien to Roswell star”

Thanks to smallred for posting this on the Brendan board

From: Globe & Mail


Wednesday, June 19, 2002 – Print Edition, Page N1

When asked about his financial goals, Brendan Fehr pauses for a few seconds, then smiles. “Don’t go broke,” he says.

Although he lacked for nothing growing up in a middle-class family, the 24-year-old Canadian actor learned to be conservative with his cash, always setting some aside for that rainy day.

“I’m okay with my money,” he says while having lunch in a Toronto restaurant. “If you always had enough money — you’ve never been poor but you’ve never been rich — you just kind of keep it yourself. It’s a very middle-class way of doing things.”

Mr. Fehr was in Toronto recently shooting a psychological thriller Paper, Scissors, Stone with Carly Pope of the U.S. TV series Popular. He plays the role of “The Skateboarder.”

Of course, the hunky star, who now lives in Los Angeles, is best known for his gig on the science-fiction, teen-oriented series Roswell. After three seasons, the cast bid farewell to its small but fiercely loyal viewers in May. Mr. Fehr, who admits to not being a sci-fi fan, played Michael, a descendant of aliens who legend says crashed in Roswell, N.M., in 1947.

He jokes that his “fine acting skills” landed him the part. In truth, the Winnipeg native never dreamed of acting. “It was fun to go to the movies. But on the whole, I don’t have a whole lot in common with a lot of people who wanted to be actors their whole lives. It wasn’t my cup of tea.”

Nevertheless, his good looks and talent landed him consistent gigs, and more cash than he expected.

Unlike many actors who naturally blow their first pay cheques on partying and buying sprees, Mr. Fehr is far from giddy with his cash.

Indeed, he saved and saved, averaging a job every month and making $2,000 to $8,000 a gig, before his agent and managers took their cuts.

After 18 months of saving, Mr. Fehr took a walk over to a car dealership in Vancouver and plunked down $30,000 in cash for something he’d always wanted — a brand new 1999 Dodge Dakota pickup truck.

“I saved up for it,” he says. “I laid it all on the table, and said give me the black one, please. Put on bigger tires and raise it.”

Besides his 1968 Camaro, for which he paid about $13,000, Mr. Fehr ranks the Dakota as the biggest purchase he’s made. “They’re about the silliest things I’ve bought,” he says. But after thinking about it, he says, “Two cars — that’s not that silly.

Most of his money is tucked away in a savings account, while some of it is out on loans to family members, like his father. He jokes that he undercuts the bank on interest rates.

At the same time, Mr. Fehr wants to invest his money more wisely. “I am making it, whether I thought I was going to be making this kind of money or not,” he says. “It’s there and it’s in my hands, and I think it would be foolish not to eventually invest it.”

He doesn’t own any stocks or mutual funds at present, finding the markets quite alien. “I don’t know enough about them,” he admits, adding that “there are certain things in life, you don’t realize what you’re missing out on.”

Mr. Fehr says he is looking into investing his money soon, and believes he’ll be more comfortable in real estate than stocks. He hasn’t decided whether to buy property in Canada or California.

He doesn’t mind the prospect of dabbling in the stock markets at some point, but would have a problem paying someone to manage his money. “I would only hire somebody to invest my money and inform me on what stocks to buy, not to handle my money,” he says.

Now that the Roswell series has drawn to a close, Mr. Fehr knows he must use money to his advantage, not just survive on it.

When asked about how much he made per episode at Roswell,he hesitates. “Why do you need so much information?” he asks, with a smile. “I got a good chunk of change off the Roswell gig.”

After some pressing, he gives in slightly, saying that each cast member made between $10,000 (U.S.) and $30,000 per episode, with part of his money going to his agent and managers. Each of the first two seasons had 22 episodes, and there were 18 in the last.

At the rate he’s spending — the bulk going toward household bills — the money he’s made should last him another three years. If he pinches pennies, however, he can make it last up to six years.

“Without investing my money, I’m doing a good job at making it last,” says Mr. Fehr, who once aspired to be a math teacher.

After graduating in 1995 from Winnipeg’s Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, a private school, Mr. Fehr took a couple of years off to earn some money, planning to attend the University of Manitoba. He worked at carpet cleaning and landscaping.

During this time, while vacationing in Vancouver, he called on Jim Sheasgreen of Look Management Corp., to check out modelling.

Mr. Sheasgreen recalls: “I was impressed by his cool looks and attitude and asked him if he wanted to try acting.”

In short order, Mr. Fehr dropped plans for the University of Manitoba and moved to Vancouver to pursue acting. Soon, he landed a guest-starring role on the teen series, Breaker High. Big and small parts flowed in, including roles in the movies Disturbing Behaviour and Every Mother’s Worst Fear.

“I have more money,” he says, “than a kid my age should have in the bank.”