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Michael Vartan Talks About "Monster-in-Law" and "Alias"

Vartan on Working with J-Lo and Jane Fonda


Michael Vartan stars in Monster in Law

Michael Vartan stars as Dr. Kevin Fields in "Monster-in-Law"

© New Line Cinema
Michael Vartan (“Alias,” “Never Been Kissed”) stars as the doctor Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda fight over in the romantic comedy, “Monster-in-Law.” Fonda plays Vartan’s wicked mom while Lopez co-stars as the temp worker who steals his heart.

Jennifer Lopez describes her co-star as the perfect onscreen boyfriend and says he’s the real thing. Lopez added to her praise of Vartan by labeling him sweet, very genuine, and an actor without any ‘phony airs.’ In Hollywood it’s the norm to hear co-stars describing each other in such glowing terms. It’s just part of the job of selling a movie. But in the case of Michael Vartan, it’s super easy to believe Lopez is telling the truth.

One of the most unassuming, self-deprecating actors I’ve had the chance to interview, Vartan comes across as totally down-to-earth guy you can easily envision fitting in in almost any type of environment.

Check out what he had to say about working with Jane Fonda, Jennifer Lopez, the next season of “Alias,” and how he handles rumors:


What is it that casting directors see in you that makes them cast you as the perfect onscreen boyfriend?
It still is baffling to me to this day (laughing). I have no idea. I have no idea what it is, I’m just very, very lucky. There are at least 50 other actors that could have played this part just as well, if not better. And I just, for some reason, it’s the right time, the right place. And, obviously, it’s funny but clearly no one is perfect and I am so far from that that’s it does make me laugh sometimes. How the hell did I get this job? But you know, it’s nice.

Does being the perfect onscreen boyfriend set you up to be the perfect boyfriend off-screen?
No, certainly not (laughing). I think that hopefully most people have a few more flaws and character traits that make them interesting because the character that I play in this movie is one of the most boring human beings on the face of the planet so…

So that’s how you describe him? You looked at the script and you said, “God, this guy’s boring. Yeah, I’ll do that.”
That’s me! That has me written all over it.

What did you really see in the script that made you want to get involved in “Monster-in-Law?”
You know what it was? For me, ultimately, it was obviously getting a chance to work with Jane [Fonda] and Jennifer [Lopez]. That was the main draw. But reading the script I actually laughed out loud several times, which is rare for a romantic comedy because most of the time those things tend to be a little corny and they have, you know, very predictable endings. This film had a lot more comedy than romance, I thought. And meeting Robert [Luketic] the director was… We had a great meeting. He was very excited about maybe me getting it, which is always a nice feeling. And then I met Jennifer and she had cast approval, obviously, because if you’re doing a romantic comedy, you have to make sure you don’t hate the love interest. That always helps. It all worked out and I just got very lucky and now the movie’s opening and it’s actually really good so…

You sound surprised.
Well, along one’s career you sometimes have to make movies that aren’t very good to just work and pay the rent. It’s nice to be in one that you actually like.

You talk about the comedy in this but you play the straight guy. Is that tough?
It’s horrible. I don’t get to do any of the fun stuff (laughing).

Were there any scenes that didn’t make it into the movie where you were allowed to get in on the comedy?
There was actually one scene that was cut where I actually go nuts. During my mother’s fantasy when I propose to Charlie and she’s smashing her head in the cake, there was one sequence where I actually go nuts too and start throwing cake around. And apparently people didn’t understand what was happening. They got scared and so the studio said, “We can’t have that. People are scared of him now.”

The audience didn’t catch on to the idea that it was a dream sequence?
Maybe it’ll be on the DVD. A little bit of redemption there.

Page 2: Michael Vartan on Working with Strong Women and How He Really Feels About Romantic Comedies

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