Written By Amanda Rudolph
It happens every television season: Little-known sidekicks steal the show from overhyped leads. Last year, it was Jack on Will & Grace. Before that, it was Pacey on Dawson’s Creek. And this year, the honor goes to Brendan Fehr, who plays Michael, the brooding alien bad boy of the WB’s Roswell.
“I like that Michael’s got a certain mystery to him,” the 22-year-old explains. “He only says what he has to. So, when he does have something to say, it generally means a lot to the story.” In fact, Fehr always had his eye on the role of Michael, even when producers had him audition for the lead of Max. “I wanted Michael from the beginning. I just liked his character better for myself. I thought it was more appropriate,” he says.
It’s not that the young Canadian is authority-challenged in real life. Quite the contrary. “I’m a mama’s boy, the type of guy that would rather go to a diner than a bar. I’m more mischievous than troublesome. I follow the rules,” he says.
Maybe, but he’s breaking Hollywood rules left and right. Fehr has one of those too-good-to-be-true discovery tales that just so happens to be nonfiction. “I walked into an agency in Vancouver hoping to get some modeling gigs, and they basically just asked me to be on television. I was never supposed to be doing this. I was supposed to be a teacher,” he insists.
But with his undeniable James Dean vibe, it’s hard to believe Fehr isn’t supposed to be acting. (“I think it’s disrespectful to James to put me in the same category,” he says of frequent comparisons to the ’50s movie star.) In addition to Roswell, Fehr has what he calls his “first cameo” in the thriller Flight 180, due out in early 2000. And he’s awaiting distribution on Christina’s House, a small, independent “Hitchcockian thriller done on a shoestring budget.”
As for his hiatus plans, Fehr isn’t sure. “If I don’t find a movie to do, I’ll be content going home to Winnipeg and spending time with friends and family.”
Ah, a rebel with a cause.