Growing up in Canada, Brendan Fehr did not plan on being an actor. For some quick-cash he stopped by Look Talent Management for a modeling assignment when the manager suggested he try acting instead. The rest is history.
Most people probably know Fehr for his work on Roswell
as the character Michael Guerin, or perhaps from CSI: Miami
. He however, has also appeared in other series, such as Millennium
and Samurai Girl.
He has worked in film as well, landing roles in Disturbing Behavior
, Final Destination
, and The Forsaken
, to name a few.
Fehr now can be seen starring in the Syfy original movie, Ice Quake
, premiering tonight on Syfy at 9PM ET/PT.Ice Quake
, which also stars Victor Garber (Alias
), takes place on Christmas Eve, when the Alaskan permafrost thaws, creating underground rivers of liquid methane, causing earthquakes. A family is separated and must find each other and work together to stop an explosion that could wipe out the planet.
Brendan Fehr sat down with the digital media to discuss life and this upcoming role. QUESTION:
I was watching clips of the show and it looks like you guys might have a few stunts. Could you talk about those?BRENDAN FEHR:
Yeah. I guess the majority of the stunts would probably simply be the snowmobiling...We didn’t exactly know how much snow was going to be out there at that time of year they had to shut down the mountain for the sky season eventually and we picked up right when it shut off. And while we were filming we got heaps and heaps of snow which obviously added to the look of the movie and everything else.
So we were pretty straightforward. You have a lot of the guys there obviously being up in Canada and on a mountain, I mean, snowmobiling kind of comes second nature. So it wasn’t - there’s only so much damage you can do, I mean, if you fall over because we had so much snow and there’s no rock base cliffs or anything like that. But it was pretty straightforward stuff.
I think it always difficult to do but it’s nothing too dangerous so we got to ride a few of them ourselves. They wouldn’t let us take a toboggan down the mountain though during our lunch hour. That was a stunt they wouldn’t allow.QUESTION:
I found the stories kind of interesting that the liquid methane and causing earthquakes were - what did you think of the story when you got the script?BRENDAN FEHR:
Well, SyFy obviously comes up with their original movies. They come up with a whole variety of scripts. You never know kind of what you’re going to get and it’s always probably going to be a little bit of a surprise.
But this one was rather tame in the sense of how there’s no sort of shark to hunt or zombie. There’s no monster per se; it’s all based in science and natural disaster. Something I suppose could realistically happen, or at least that’s what we... I don’t exactly know the science behind it.
But I thought that was interesting in order to kind of do - it’s probably one of the few ones that they do in this original series that there is no monster per se. And, hopefully that adds to the reality of this possibly happening.
It could add to the audience being - engaging the audience in a different respect than kind of sitting down and watching a two-headed monster dog or something like that runs rampant around the city or whatever else.
And so that interested me when I saw the script is that it was kind of planted in reality a little bit which it’s not necessarily...The others are a lot of fun but as an actor I think it’s much easier to get into a head space of okay, this can happen. All right, this is all legitimate now. And it requires a little bit less work I think and it kind of works in an actor’s favor. So that was a pleasant surprise.QUESTION:
So how did you initially get involved with this film?BRENDAN FEHR:
I just through the typical channels. It came through my agents. They handed me the - they sent the script over and I read it and it was a number of things. It was obviously getting to play a guy who’s married and who’s got a family and two kids which is something I haven’t had the opportunity to do on film.
And it’s obviously with the SyFy base and all that stuff. They got a definite following which is always encouraging as an actor. It’s always a bonus when people are going to be watching these things that you do.
And then ultimately it also filmed in my home town basically about half hour outside of where I grew up as a kid. So I got to go back and spend the weekends with my mom and my sister and my family and all that stuff. So that stuff was all very, obviously, intriguing to me.QUESTION:
Yeah, it sounds nice. What would you say was the most challenging part of working on it?BRENDAN FEHR:
The most challenging part was probably just all the breaking of the ice and the trimmers and everything else. I mean obviously that stuff’s not happening and we’re on a mountain. That was stuff you just had to imagine. Obviously as an actor you’re called on to be creative and imagine certain scenarios that are not real.
But usually you can see them. Whether you got to - usually you can see. It’s a conversation across the coffee table or something like that, or you react to someone actually punching you or hitting you, or you react to someone yelling at you or crying or running away from you.
This movie was, a lot of it, reacting the whole mountain coming down and all that stuff and that’s probably the most challenging when here’s nothing to work off of. The mountain is not going to give you anything. There’s kind of nothing there to hang your hat on it’s kind of just all up to you and then hopefully the guys in post, edit it and cut it and visual effects and all that in such a way where you don’t look like an idiot. So that’s always the most challenging, and maybe the Star Wars
things or whatever else when you’re on the full green screen. You have nothing to act off of. I think for most actors that’s a skill that we’re not quite confident in.QUESTION:
So you mentioned a little bit about SyFy and your following and Roswell
is certainly one of my favorite sci-fi shows, one of my favorite shows in general. What do you think about the current state of sci-fi though? I mean obviously, you know, some of the most popular, most financially successful movies in the past year have been sci-fi and there’s some good things on television like Fringe
. What do you think about sci-fi these days in general?BRENDAN FEHR:
I think they really - they’ve found kind of the winning formula of sorts. I think earlier on a lot of it early, early on was just B movie stuff and it was simply meant as entertainment and to scare you and something that gives something to audiences they haven’t seen before but just in terms of visually like zombies or whatever else.
And then you have something like [The] X-Files
come along where there was actually a lot of thought into it and there was the detail and everything. They paid attention to all the details and there was - you could see they were also trying to tell a story. And I think they were the first ones to kind of, in my opinion, to really bring it to another level.
And then it took - and then people tried to follow in their footsteps. Obviously we were there in terms of Roswell
and we were trying to find our way and we lasted three years. But it’s a fine line. I think people appreciate the supernatural aspects and kind of all those unexpected things happening.
But you have to marry that in some kind of cohesive manner with the characters and caring about them in the relationships. And I think the successful shows do that. I mean you look at something like Fringe
where all the characters themselves are just very interesting regardless of what they’re talking about.
Even the Twilight
series. Obviously everyone’s very engrossed in this love triangle and all that stuff. And it’s no longer - I think people are paying more attention to just the character issues and the relationships and they’re putting as much effort into that as that sci-fi aspect.
I haven’t seen it but I was always informed that Battlestar Galatica
was very much like that where you’re in this kind of sci-fi universe in reality. But it’s - there is married to a certain amount of reality in terms of the emotions and relationships of the characters.
And I think that’s what makes it so successful and we’re probably at a relatively high point in terms of what we’re doing or what television is doing on the sci-fi front.QUESTION:
With this movie Ice Quake
, a couple of things we don’t normally don’t see in SyFy movies. You’ve got the family theme, and you’ve got the Christmas elements. How are those things sort of woven into the plot line?BRENDAN FEHR:
Well, it takes place over, I guess, it’s Christmas Eve. I’m called in to work to look at these tremors and kind of, I don’t know if you’d call them earthquakes so much, but these kind of underground activities when I’m called in to work on Christmas Eve which obviously doesn’t sit well with the family and all the rest of them.
And then going up - because I have to check up on something, I just simply take the family up as well to the site, to the mountain, in order to grab a Christmas tree. We’re going to do the old fashioned way, we’re going to go down and chop down a tree and bring it home and all hell breaks loose and we’re caught up on the mountain Christmas Eve trying to look for a tree but obviously trapped by the ice quake.
So we get to have kind of a Christmas theme which is obviously exactly the right time of the year. And when you involve a family and children and kids hopefully you bring that kind of character and those relationships to it. And hopefully we’ve found a way to raise the stakes a little bit in terms of dealing with that and then the SyFy aspects; the methane and the potential catastrophic end of the world stuff.QUESTION:
I’m curious to know if you had to go through special preparation or research for the role?BRENDAN FEHR:
I probably should start doing those things but I don’t. The preparation and everything else for me at this point generally a lot of these things are fairly last minute. It’s not the big studio pictures and films where you have six months of training and you have something like Black Swan
where Natalie Portman gets to train full-time for a year for the making of this movie. We have about two weeks max and usually about a week before the whole thing gets rolling. So during that time - I use that time to kind of break down the script and my character and what I can add to it and what I can do.
I just, in terms of the research and all that stuff, I rely a little bit on the writers and everyone else having all the facts straight and all the rest of it. And I just feel that if I play the lines as they were designed and then kind of true to the nature of what I’m trying to put across, then that generally is fairly sufficient.
And I think the more time you’re given and the bigger budget and the bigger time, and the amount of time you have beforehand, you can obviously start getting into greater detail. Kind of a time management issue of sorts in terms of what you’re going to spend your time on.
And, when you’re not giving it too much I think it’s just getting familiar with the characters and the story and knowing where you are and just kind of being very comfortable with your lines and what you have to do.
So unfortunately I haven’t had a project, both good and bad. It doesn’t give me enough time to think about it which can be a good thing when you over analyze it and I haven’t had the luxury of having a tremendous time and resources to do a lot of research on a lot of roles I have.
And so I kind of work with what I’m given and it’s, I think, works with me so far. But, I’m always trying to get better and all that stuff. You’re always looking for new ways to kind of go about your business so.QUESTION:
Oh, of course. So can you take us through, you know, even into next year for you? Do you have any special plans for the holiday season? Are there any other upcoming projects that you’re working on?BRENDAN FEHR:
There’s nothing I’m working on now. I just finished, I think it was in about October, maybe September/October, I did a movie of the week for Lifetime called Never Tell a Lie
and immediately after that I went to Richmond, Virginia and I shot another Christmas movie for next Christmas. Kind of a romantic comedy, but it’s tentatively called The Nutcracker
. And I finished that but that’s for next year and then the day after I finished shooting that I shot up to Toronto and I shot an episode of Nikita
. So those will all be airing in the New Year, but as far as any current work I don’t have any. Well I’ve been gone for a number of months now from home depending on that from all those projects so I’m just spending the holidays with my family and we’re expecting our second child in January so I’m sure that will keep me very busy.QUESTION:
Do you plan on doing any more work with anyone from the Roswell
I mean, I’d always be open to you it. At this stage in our careers, I think probably Katherine Heigl, I think Katie is the only one with a certain amount of say as to who she would like to work with. And you’re always open to it but at this point in most of our careers I think we’re all kind of...
We get some offers here and there but we’re still kind of doing the grind and we’re going out to auditions and we’re trying to hopefully impress people and earn a job and kind of win it over in the whole audition process.
So, at this point that kind of luxury is definitely out of our hands. But if we ever had the opportunity, absolutely.QUESTION:
A few years ago you did a movie called Sugar
. What was it like for you to play such a different role like that?BRENDAN FEHR:
That was interesting. That was one where actually I did probably the most research given I played a gay-for-pay prostitute and hooked on drugs. And that was a lifestyle that I wasn’t terribly, obviously, familiar with.
So - and all the people, a lot of the people, involved in the film had to kind of experience that or had lived that life earlier on or what not. And so they introduced me to a lot of people and that was one where I’m not sure I could - I mean, I could do it but it was funny. I was single at the time and you can kind of - it’s much easier to throw yourself into your work and I wasn’t obviously not a method guy at all but I could spend a lot of late nights out and I could hang out on the street corners with these guys and kind of see the whole scenario.
And it was much easier to do and put all that kind of work and time into it when you’re single. When you’ve got a family and all that stuff you have that responsibility. So that came around at the right time and it showed me that I can put the time and effort into it and all that stuff.
But that was a surprisingly very dark time doing that film which I think was necessary. But that was definitely very interesting. I haven’t had an experience like that since, before or since.QUESTION:
What are your big holiday plans and [what] traditions do you plan on doing this year?BRENDAN FEHR:
Well, this is - in terms of traditions, I’m not too sure. This is the first year we’ll actually - I will not see my family at Christmas. Like I said, my wife is due in January so she’s on the no fly list. So we will be staying home and everyone will come in January upon the arrival of the baby. So this is the first year that me and my wife and my daughter will have Christmas on our own in California.
So we have the family traditions and stuff that we do with our family but I guess we’ll just - this is the year we’ll create some of our own. So it’s very interesting. We actually just bought a Christmas tree yesterday and we let my daughter pick it out and my wife wasn’t too happy with it.
But my daughter ended up picking out a three foot tree. So it’s not very grandiose, it’s not very spectacular but I said, "Christmas is for the kids and that’s the tree she wants so that’s the one we’re buying." So we have a - it’s not exactly a Charlie Brown tree. It’s fairly full but it’s definitely just kind of hidden away in the corner. But that’s the one she wanted so we bought that home yesterday.
So I don’t know. I don’t think my wife’s going to honor that tradition of just having a three foot tree every year. But we’ll have to come up with some other ones.QUESTION:
We actually were wondering if you could tell us about working with Victor Garber?BRENDAN FEHR:
Me and Victor, we only - we worked the last three days together, I think, was the only time. Most of the time was spent on the mountain. And then the last three days of the shoot they took us in - what plays as the base in the movie.
And, I didn’t know what to expect from Victor. I’d never met him before. My wife knew of him because my wife used to be a publicist and she said she had worked with Jennifer Garner a little bit and she kind of knew the Alias
crowd and she had run into him and said he was a very nice guy.
And we - it was like...As far as - we worked together. We had the same exact personality. It was almost - we almost had too much fun. I felt - it was amazing how comfortable I felt with him having not met him.
We could actually kind of throw barbs at each other that are usually reserved for people who have certain familiarity. And we just - we got along so well and we were just kind of on the same wavelength or level in terms of what we were doing and how we like to do it and what this whole acting thing is and having kind of - what your attitude should be towards working and all the rest of it.
And I had - for the three days it was an absolute joy. So I have nothing but great things to say about him and I wish I had the opportunity to work with him more on it. So maybe in the future sometime. But it was hysterical. It was just laughing and a really great time. So I was very happy about that and I was honored to work with him.QUESTION:
We hear this question asked a lot to female stars in these interviews that we do but not often to male stars. We’re interested to know how you, especially with a second baby on the way, juggle the stress of having such a full career that kind of takes you all over the world and a family?BRENDAN FEHR:
Well, I try not to think of it as stress. I mean obviously there’s obstacles and hurdles that you’ve got to deal with and time management. But I was brought up in a great family and I love my family and I love the time and the relationships that we had and have. And so family’s always been number one for me and obviously you got to juggle that with working.
And I enjoy my work and I like to go away and work and that provides for my family. So it’s a little bit one in the same. When you are working I feel that I am doing something for my family obviously. So I try not to separate them. There is family time and work time and you’ve got to make sure that your family gets enough time.
But there is - we have the luxury of my wife having the opportunity to stay home and not have to work and spend time with the kids and raise them herself without having a nanny or something like that and raising them the way we want. And I spend - I mean, I spent the first year of my first child’s life pretty much there every day in terms of I didn’t have too much work and the work that I did have didn’t take me outside of LA.
So that was great. And, it’s one of those things where to me I’d rather be a better man and a better husband and a better father than a better actor. That’s always kind of priority number one and so it just teaches a lot of things and you’ve just got to find that right balance and it consists of loving them obviously and spending time with them and teaching them and learning from them. And, it’s also providing for them and you’ve just got to have a healthy balance of that and my wife will let me know when that balance is out of whack.QUESTION:
How did you get started in acting?BRENDAN FEHR:
I was living in Winnipeg and was in Vancouver for a friend’s wedding. Kind of long story short of sorts, I was basically just approached and some guy asked if I wanted to be on TV and do a role, and I said, "Not particularly and I never had and, thanks, but no thanks."
And he kind of explained the situation to me how he had just opened up an agency and I was right for this particular role and I thought it was crazy and stupid and all the rest of it and I said, "All right, fine, I’ll go in. I don’t know exactly what it consists of." But I went in for an audition the next day. I know it was probably memorizing the lines but I just didn’t know what to expect.
It was for a TV show called Breaker High
which was like a Saved by the Bell
type after school show about these kids on a boat, they go to school on a boat, and they travel around the world.
Ryan Gosling was on it actually, and I did a guess star for that, and I auditioned for it and totally blew it. But they ended up hiring me anyways for - in spite of myself. I had no idea why, but that’s - I never stopped working after that and I just kind of fell into it and I learned...At first I thought it was silly and stupid and I was going to keep doing it until they found out I was no good at it. And then slowly as I kept working, I found out that I wasn’t too shabby at it and I learned to love it along the way and now it’s something I really, really enjoy.
And I’m very upset I’m not as good as I want to be at it. So that keeps me motivated and keep going and I’ve learned to love it. So I’ve just been blessed with the - kind of fell into and it’s not something that I thought I’d be doing so I don’t quite take anything for granted anymore. And I just really, really appreciate every opportunity I’m given to act.QUESTION:
Can you talk about working on Bones
I can. What do you want to know?QUESTION:
I don’t know, just talk about the experience.BRENDAN FEHR:
It’s one of my favorite sets I’ve worked on for sure. It is the perfect blend of efficiency and professionalism with we should enjoy what we’re doing and we should have fun doing it.
They allow you to goof off and laugh and break character and all the rest of it because they have a certain amount of faith and trust in the people that they hired and the people in front of the camera and behind the camera to simply get the job done at the end of the day.
And most all sets are - they’re top down in terms of kind of who influences the atmosphere on the set. The producers and lead actors who are enjoying themselves and are loose and relaxed and that’s what you get with the set.
And, if you have uptight producers and uptight actors who are quiet and go away then that’s kind of the end result of what you’re going to experience.
And between Hart Hanson kind of leading the charge there, he enjoys as much - his job a lot and just the rest of the producers and cast. It’s a set I just love showing up for work for.QUESTION:
Would you ever be interested in writing or directing?BRENDAN FEHR:
Directing. I would be interested in writing, but I have no talent for it. I’ve tried to sit down and it just doesn’t work. But directing for sure. It’s kind of a - every job I go on, even as early as Roswell
, my cast mates were asking me if I was ever going to direct an episode and I had had the least experience in the business as all of them.
And I did a guest star at CSI: New York
where I worked with this great actor, Graham Beckel, whose been around forever and done a ton of stuff. And I had probably worked with him for a couple of hours and he didn’t know - we got along and all of that but clearly from having known someone for only a couple of hours, you don’t know them that well. And he just looked at me and he goes, "So when are you going to direct?"
I go, "What do you mean?" And he goes, "You’ve got to direct." And I was like, "Am I being too nosy? Am I kind of -" and he was like, "No." He goes, "You just know - you can just tell that you know exactly what the hell’s going on."
And it’s true. I’m the guy that I love - when I’m not in front of the camera, I’m sitting behind the monitors watching how everything’s going on and it’s definitely something that I would love to do and it’s something I’m kind of working towards.
I just don’t quite know how to get my foot in the door. I’m trying to figure that out now because I don’t write. That’s the other difficult part is a lot of directors kind of write their own first little short script or something like that and grab a bunch of buddies and go shoot it.
I got all the friends and I got all the crew members that I think I need to make a film. It’s just I don’t have the material And so we’re going to try and find a way but that’s something that I would absolutely, I’d definitely, (cuff at) that position of directing something soon.QUESTION:
What can you tell me about your work on Nikita
I play a team leader of obviously someone who works under Percy and he sends me out, me and my team, to assassinate a prince, and Nikita, obviously, doing what she does, spoils the whole thing. And it kinds of - it turns into kind of a me versus her scenario and we all know who ends up winning that battle. But it was great. I got to lead a team and shoot guns and infiltrate a place and take hostages and all the rest of it.
So I thoroughly enjoyed myself on that. I knew Shane a little bit. We knew of each other. Kind of grew up, are the same age and going out for a lot of the same stuff early on. So we got along. We didn’t have any scenes together but we got along really well.
And, Maggie Q. was great. And then Lyndsy - Lyndsy I had worked with on a movie called Fort McCoy
a couple of years ago. And so I was very comfortable on set.
And the Director, Nathan Hope, I got on famously with and I really enjoyed him and I’ve spent a lot of time talking to him behind the cameras and stuff like that. So it was a great experience. My character doesn’t die so I was you always think you have the opportunity to go back and I’d definitely jump at that chance.QUESTION:
Will you be back in Bones
later this season? And also can you tell me a little bit about Europeans
I can’t. I don’t know if I’ll be - as far as I know I will not be on Bones
. So I don’t know what plans they have. I know that my agents and managers are always in contact with them and I know Hart would, given the opportunity. He’s expressed the fact that he’d like to see me back there at some point. But it’s just got to serve the story.
I mean, obviously you have a lot of characters on that show and they’re developing a lot of story lines. And those are priorities. But if Jared could every serve the story or some characters in a kind of particular way I would, again, love to go back to that set. Like I said earlier, it’s one of the my favorite sets that I’ve ever worked on.
And ten years I’ve been in the business or what not so...QUESTION:
Could tell us a little bit about working with Paul Ziller as the Director of Ice Quake
and what that was like for you guys?BRENDAN FEHR:
Yeah, another Ziller thriller as we call it.
He directed a number of these and so he knows the deal. It’s obviously - SyFy’s got a - the network has this business plan of sorts where it’s this much money and this many days and this is the script and this is what we shoot.
And it’s a hall, it’s fast-paced. Everyone’s got to be on their game and you just have to be really confident in what you do and Paul does, obviously having been in a number of these things beforehand, he knew the drill.
And for the fist couple of days you wish you had a little more time just too kind of get to know the guy and all that stuff, this guy giving you direction and you’ve got to build a certain amount of trust. But it was - I mean, it’s just a run and gun show.
And as an actor you have to realize that, that you’re not going to get - there’s no time to coddle anyone or anything like that. Obviously if I wanted another take or I thought something was amiss, I could always have that conversation with him. And he was open to it and he definitely was there when we needed to talk about certain things.
But I had done, not something quite like that, but I knew it was going to be, just given the parameters of the whole thing and my experience, I knew it was going to be almost like kind of the thrill of filmmaking and they were great. Paul put the camera on his shoulder and started shooting. We were on a big mountain so you didn’t need to light to much. We shot in the middle of the day so it was just let’s get as much as we can in this day. And Paul he was great. Like I said, his experience on this stuff really served it. He was calm and you can tell he enjoys making these things and he was one of those guys, because you could tell he was happy and loose and enjoyed it even on the days that we were really kind of behind the eight ball or cutting it close.
The set was always very, very loose. There was no stress on the set and so that was an enjoyable experience working with those guys. And you feel like you’re family in a sense that you just felt you’re stuck on this mountain. I mean, there’s no trailers to go to. There’s no nothing. I mean, you’re like - you better like the people you’re working with and if you don’t you better find a way to at least bear it.
And we were all lucky enough to like each other and get along great. So that was interesting. He was - it took me a little while because of the pace that we were working at to kind of get to know him but after a couple of days it was a very comfortable working relationship. An we got along quite well.QUESTION:
Ff you don’t mind, just a follow-up question to the couple of questions you’ve been asked about Bones
. Again, could you maybe tell us a little bit about how you became involved in that show? And perhaps not only what you enjoy about playing that character but any particular acting challenges as well you found with him?BRENDAN FEHR:
Well, what’s funny is I’m actually on the golf lanes right now. And I got - however last year or whenever the first episode I did, I was on the very same golf range and I got a call from my agent and he said, "Hey, you’ve got to quickly go down to Fox. They’re looking for this character and they haven’t found him yet and you’ve got to get down there in an hour." And I was like, it was one of those situations where you have no idea what you’re reading and this and that. And I was like, "Ah..." And I love golf a lot and I was on the range and I was trying to figure something out.
And I was like, "Ah, I don’t know if I can make it." He was like, "Come on, you’ve got to." And I was like, "All right." So I begrudgingly get in the car and I go down there and I memorize the lines on the way and I didn’t realize it was for his brother and it could possibly be recurring.
And I got in the room and Hart was there and he kind of took me through some things and the casting director also was there. He was a big instrument and he worked with me before I went in the room. He really wanted me to get it and so that was a huge deal for me. And I remember being in the room and Hart was like, "Well, do you know David?"
And I said, "Yeah, I know David." And he goes, "Well, how do you know him?" And I was like, "We played hockey together a few times." And he goes, “Well, what do you think of him?" And I was like, "I don’t like him too much."
He was like, "Oh, really?" And I was like, "We didn’t really get along on the ice rink. We’ve had a few choice words and we’ve always come to blows." And he was like, "Really?" And I was like, "Yeah, that was a number of years ago so obviously things change, and it’s not that I don’t like him, but my experience with him has been less than favorable so far."
And actually, I know David’s a producer on the show and I don’t know how much power he wields or whatever else but I’m not entirely sure - I wasn’t sure at the time whether or not he even would have approved me of playing his brother given what we had - some of the things that we had said to each other.
And I think that actually - I think that worked out in my favor because playing brothers who obviously don’t get along and having a certain familiarity, even though it wasn’t necessarily a positive one, I think they took a chance with that and I think they were going to kind of exploit that in a good way. Not a bad way.
I remember when I got the job and I walked on set and the first time I was walking up to David, I was like, 'all right. I don’t know how this is going to go over. We’ll see what happens,' and I’m walking up the set and he turns around and he sees me, and he just breaks into a big smile and he holds out his hands and we give each other a huge and he’s like, "Hey." He’s like, "How are you? What’s going on?" And all the rest of it.
And, from there it was just great. We got along great. We talked sports and kids and family and all that stuff so it was - that was an interesting experience. You never - you’re going to get one thing and then obviously we had grown up and it was a number of years ago when I was on Roswell
and he was doing Buffy
And so, yeah, we got along great. We had that saying where even on my first day there, even though I’m the new guy, I could look over at David and I could be like, "You’re so full of crap."
I had that ease about it and he could - he’d just give it right back to me. And I think they really liked that for the brothers. And so I think that served me well in terms of the character and all of that stuff. And the fact that we know that we can get under each others nerves but the fact that were also just two guys making a living in the real world and we’ve got families and we understand that. And you’ve got to be able to work together.
So it was just a real kind of pleasant surprise in that sense.QUESTION:
What would be your ultimate dream role, or is there maybe somebody specific you’d want to work with?BRENDAN FEHR:
I think it’s more important like [who] to work with. And there’s obviously so many roles and even genres of film that I haven’t been in or that I’d like to improve upon. But as long as anything’s good.
I’m not entirely too picky about whether it’s a comedy or a drama or I play a good guy or a bad guy or a cop or a teacher or a bum. I think it’s more about the people.
Obviously - and it would be directors at this point too not so much other actors but I’ve never...There’s a bunch of actors out there that I would really enjoy working with but there was never one I really had to...
Obviously like a Daniel Day-Lewis, or just anyone talented obviously would be a dream come true. But for me I just love the relationship with the director on the film when they’re really good. And I think it would be the usual suspects right now. Chris Nolan, [Darren] Aronofsky, (Betty Boyle) but for the most part I’m just very content with a director who cares about the acting, who cares about the process, the project and who cares about getting the best performance out of me however he or she sees fit.
So, right now I think Michael Mann would be another one.
So even David O. Russell, who had some interesting situations with some actors. I think he makes really good films and that’s kind of - and he gets really great performances out of them.
So, that’s kind of - that’s...However you get there I would be willing to take that road for sure.QUESTION:
If you weren’t acting what do you think you’d be doing now?BRENDAN FEHR:
I’d probably be a teacher. Probably a math teacher of some sort. I guess with my acting experience maybe I could double as a drama teacher as well. But I’m not sure if I would (unintelligible) with anything really.
But I think math teacher, Grade 11, 12, math.QUESTION:
Can you talk a bit about working on Roswell
Yeah. That came - Roswell
was something that came really quick in my career. I had only been acting about a year when I was on a fairly major or legitimate television show at the very least. Doing billboards and covers of magazines and famous kind of over night.
And it probably got to my head a little bit but not too much. I mean, I never did anything totally out of control but I didn’t realize how hard it was because it came so quick and when it comes quick it seems relatively easy.
That’s about as bad as, for lack of a better word just about as big or as famous as I’ve been. I’ve been doing this now for about ten years and in my second year it had kind of been the peak, or so to speak.
And after that, after the show ended, I kind of - I didn’t go out for pilot season for a long time and I was kind of just really focused on trying to make a film career. And for whatever reason it didn’t quite pan out. And so it was a little discouraging at first but now I just - I’m really enjoying where I’m at. I’m enjoying the fact that my perspective has changed and I get to - I’ve definitely been humbled.
And I think that’s served me both in life and in my acting career. And I’ve got a wonderful family and I get the chance to kind of work my way back up to something. And I hope through stuff like Ice Quake
and everything else that I’ve done that I just keep getting better and people notice and people start wanting to work with you and get a chance to get there again.
And when I say get there it’s not the fame that you’re after its choices, it’s options. It’s having people calling you to work with you and having scripts sent to you and being offered. It’s not because I want to be famous. Inevitably when you’re famous the choices are presented to you and that’s the appealing thing to be able to pick and choose and not having to be able to scrap it out.
But, that being said, I don’t mind scrapping it out right now. I think it’s something I’ve just learned to enjoy the process and its character building and you’re satisfied at the end of the day when you do grind it out. So I really, I enjoyed Roswell
and it’s funny to look back. And I might have taken a little bit for granted but I just had a really great time on it and that’s the way life went and so I’m just very happy where I am now.QUESTION:
How did you feel about the conclusion that was brought to your character on Roswell
after three years?BRENDAN FEHR:
I don’t even remember what it was really. We had to go on the spaceship up there, that’s what planet or something like that. I know I was - ultimately I think we were all a little bit dissatisfied with the end and the writers included I think. Only in the sense that we just didn’t know if we were coming back.
Every year we never knew if we were coming back or not and you want to give the fans something that’s worth watching. And you know that you’re going to go away you want to be given the time to present the story and create an arch where you get to really give them a season finale or a series finale that’s kind of big and grandiose and just wrap everything up.
And we had to give them one where on the off chance we were brought back for a fourth season we could turn everything back around again and go back.
And so just because of the nature of the business and everything else we couldn’t go too far one way or another and I thought we were stuck a little bit in the middle ground which was a little bit unfortunate.
And so in that sense I wish, like I said, it’s just the nature of the business. You don’t always have that luxury but it would have been...It would have served the show a lot better had we known a little earlier we weren’t coming back for a fourth season.QUESTION:
It was quite disappointing you never got a fourth season. It was definitely a show that stuck with me when I was younger.BRENDAN FEHR:
I appreciate that. Looking back on it I’m definitely fonder of it now than I was then. I think that’s just life in general. When you’re in it you don’t quite see it for what it is and I get a lot of people saying that and my nieces and nephews are starting to watch it now and they’re getting a kick out of it.
So I kind of appreciate the fact that I was a part of something that for some people it meant a lot to and they watched it and it was part of their childhood or their teenage years or all the rest of it. And that always - it will definitely bring a smile to your face.QUESTION:
Do you have any advice for others who want to act?BRENDAN FEHR:
Yeah. The first thing that my instinct is to always say have a Plan B. You don’t want to squash anyone’s dreams and you don’t want to be the person to kind of stamp it out. But it’s a difficult thing. You’re - it’s a very interesting business and it’s not...
Auditions aren’t like interviews. They’re not like a job interview. It’s a completely different beast and you have to - you cannot get the job for so many different reasons that are beyond your control.
Generally in the real world if you’re nine to five or a manager or whatever else you’re past work. You just simply have or you are, and your personalities going to kind of determine that but here it’s what they’re looking for. Are your eyes too close together? Are you too tall? Are you too short? Are you too fat? Are you too...
I mean, you could be given - you could give them everything they need but if the guy making the decision thought that a blond guy should be playing it and not a brown-haired guy then he’s not interested in dying his hair, you’re done. You did kind of the...
It’s some very kind of fair-weathered business in that sense. And it’s discouraging. You get - for every audition I get I go out on 20, 15. I mean, that’s not a good percentage at all. And that’s pretty much standard. So you definitely have to have...If you want to get into it you need a foundation. You kind of need to know who you are and what you want and what you believe.
And I think when most people get into it when they’re younger you don’t know that yet when you’re 12 and 13 and all the rest of it. I mean, I got into it when I was 20 so I was a little older and I had my head screwed on the right way because of my family.
But when you’re younger you just - the sooner you can start the better because you’re going to get more experience and you’re going to learn a lot more and all of the rest of it but at the same time everything that...I mean, just the rejection and then the nature of the business can really tear you up and screw you up for the rest of your life.
So, I mean my advice would be to go for it. Go for it with everything you’ve got and don’t leave anything in the bag. But we’re not promised anything on this planet and on this earth and I don’t think we deserve anything and we’re not entitled to anything.
I don’t care how much work or effort you put into something that still doesn’t entitle you to it. I think we’re given what we need and it’s exactly that. I think we’re given everything. We do have to put in the time and the work for some stuff but ultimately I think God gives us everything we need.
So if he doesn’t want you to be an actor then you’re not going to be an actor. I feel bad for the people who put so much time and effort into making it and they never do. And I was asked on the street and said, "No, no, no,” and then fell into it. And I got the opportunity to do it for a living.
But that’s why I don’t take it for granted and I put in my best but go for it. But, yeah, you could ultimately...I mean if this thing dried up for me right now I don’t have a college education. I’d be in big trouble. I don’t know what I’d do for a living.
I don’t know how to make one. I’m sure I’d be all right but I’m not entirely sure exactly what the plan would be so it would always be good to have a backup plan or pursue it at the same time you’re pursuing a degree of some sort.
Most people it would be easy to do. So that would be my recommendation. But it’s the same thing with everything. If you really want something then put everything you have into it and once you’ve done that just be realistic about whether it’s going to happen or not.
I mean, I don’t think we can do - I don’t fall under that thing. I would never tell my kid they can do anything that they put their mind to. I don’t really believe that because I think we each have a purpose and I think when you ask the right questions and then you have the right...You just ask the right question an kind of got your head screwed on right I think God will guide you there.
But I don’t know there’s just certain things that...I think you could try to do everything you want to do but understand that failures and option and that’s okay. But put everything into it and then once you’ve one that sometimes you’ll just have to accept the fact that that’s not what you’re supposed to be doing.QUESTION:
Okay. Okay, one last quick question. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?BRENDAN FEHR:
Any super power? That’s a tough one because you could go very selfish. If I had a very selfish super power it would be to...I don’t know. I think it would be to be really good at golf. Is that a super power?
I think it would be being able to hit my driver straight every time. That’s the only super power I want...And why? Because I don’t get it straight every time.