Kevin Weisman has his priorities in order.
His wife calls on the other line at the beginning of his phone interview. Rather than ignore her and proceed to talk about his acting career, he takes her call first.
Wise man, Weisman.
The actor just finished a successful stage run. He will appear in the Rob Reiner film "Flipped," which hits theaters in August. But what most people want to know about is a television show which featured him and aired its series finale -- or so it seemed -- more than four years ago.
"Alias" starred Jennifer Garner as secret agent Sydney Bristow and introduced many viewers to Weisman as gadget guru Marshall Flinkman. The show ran on ABC from 2001 to 2006, went into syndication on TNT and developed a cult following along the way.
In an exclusive interview for The Mashed Report, Weisman discusses the possibilities of an "Alias" series reboot and movie, as well as why he didn't talk to Brad Pitt when he had the chance.
THE MAIER OF HOLLYWOOD: So what have you heard about "Alias" returning?
KEVIN WEISMAN: I haven't heard much. People have been sending me a lot of messages on Twitter and Facebook. That was the first I heard about it.
TMOH: What do you think about the possibility?
WEISMAN: I think it would have to be done right. First of all, I don't think you can really -- it's a very difficult show to recreate. I've never worked with a cast that was so phenomenal. ... J.J. (creator J.J. Abrams) was such a master. ... It was a very special group. I don't even really know what (potential interested studios) are thinking or how they would approach it. I spoke to (former fellow "Alias" cast member) Greg Grunberg. He hadn't heard anything either. I think it's probably a little stronger than a rumor. They might be working on something, but I have not been approached.
TMOH: Would you be interested in participating, and if so, under what conditions?
WEISMAN: Yeah, if it were done in a way that honored the way "Alias" was. I loved the character, I loved the show. I doubt it would work with someone who isn't Jennifer's talent. I think J.J. found an incredible combination of strength, beauty and vulnerability (in Garner). It would be hard to imagine someone else as Sydney Bristow. I think the fans became attached to the people and the relationships. That's what made the show really work -- not just the spy stuff, the action and the cliffhangers. ... There are a lot of spy-action shows, but it was because of the writing, the directing, the acting and the vulnerability of these characters that we were on the air for five seasons. We were never a top-five show in the ratings, but it was because of the fans and the rabid following that it lasted. ... The story could continue on if done in the right way. The fans are really intelligent. They demand a good story with quality, rich characters. You need a talented team.
TMOH: What do you think about the idea of doing an "Alias" movie?
WEISMAN: I think a movie is a great idea, actually, in terms of people's careers. People could carve out some time for it. But I wouldn't want to do anything to take away from what we did in five years.
TMOH: What is your fondest memory of "Alias"?
WEISMAN: J.J. always said we'd see Marshall's backstory and do more with him. He definitely delivered on that promise. I got to go on some wonderful missions. ... In season 4, Marshall got to go down to South America to save Sydney from being buried alive. And I had to convince people I was Jack Bristow (Sydney's father). So being Marshall pretending to be (actor) Victor Garber was a lot of fun. ... I have a theater background, and Victor, Ron (Rifkin) and Carl (Lumbly) come from theater, too. They are some terrific actors. It's rare that you get that kind of group in terms of talent. I learned a lot from them.
TMOH: Who from the cast are you still in touch with?
WEISMAN: It's hard. I've got two kids. Jen's got kids. Victor's in New York doing a play, and I wanna go up and see him. Greg and David Anders and I keep in touch. And I've talked to Bradley (Cooper). I see Michael (Vartan) at poker events. It's hard. It's the nature of the business. Everybody moves on to their next job. I care deeply for everybody. I have a lot of love and fondness for all of them.
TMOH: Are you most recognized as Marshall Flinkman from "Alias," Hobbit Lover from "Clerks II" or That Guy from "I Love the New Millennium"?
WEISMAN: (Laughing) I get a mix. For Marshall, I'm recognized all over the world. To this day, "Alias" fans all over the world approach me. In France, a lot of people were telling me in French how much they love me. I don't know French -- I know Spanish -- so my wife was translating. ... I have Twitter followers all over the world -- Sweden, Norway, Australia, South America. ("Clerks II" director) Kevin Smith has a big following. There are a lot of "Chuck" fans out there. I played the villain of the week in "Chuck." It just depends.
TMOH: Have any funny or embarrassing fan moments?
WEISMAN: Not too long ago, I was in the restroom at Staples Center in Los Angeles for a Lakers game. I was at the urinal, and there was a guy in the next urinal over, and he put his hand up to shake my hand. And I'm like, "We're taking a piss here. Let's finish our business and wash our hands, and then I'll shake your hand." I gotta draw the line somewhere.
TMOH: Have you had any funny or embarrassing celebrity moments?
WEISMAN: I had a similar experience (several years ago) at the Golden Globes. The show ("Alias") was nominated. And I was urinating next to Brad Pitt. I was gonna say hello -- we had met before, and he was nice to me -- but there's a man code. I nodded, he nodded, and that was it. I was proud of myself for not doing anything embarrassing. Because -- let the man pee in peace. That's what I hope people would do for me. When I'm in the bathroom, let me do my thing.
TMOH: Who are directors you would like to work with and why?
WEISMAN: Woody Allen. I'm a huge fan of his. I feel my acting style would work well with him. I'm improv-based. ... I did a movie with Steven Spielberg, but my role was cut out for "The Terminal." He said unfortunately it didn't make it, but he loved working with me. So I'd like to work with him again.
TMOH: What was it like working with Rob Reiner in "Flipped"?
WEISMAN: That was a great experience. He was a really super guy. He loved to tell stories on the set. He would just stop everything just to tell a story. ("Flipped" is) a coming-of-age story, a "Stand By Me"-type of story. We shot it in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The role was very challenging. (In "Flipped," Kevin plays a mentally-challenged adult.)
TMOH: What else are you working on?
WEISMAN: I'm about to do an independent movie, "Unicorn City." And I'm just finishing up "Undocumented," an independent horror movie with Peter Stormare from "Fargo."
TMOH: What do you still want to accomplish in your acting career?
WEISMAN: Make a living, support my family, keep doing good work, keep entertaining people. ... I am blessed. I have two beautiful kids and a beautiful wife. And trying to give back as much as I can to charity, because I am so blessed.
Through it all, Weisman maintains his priorities.
Why does the interview end?
He apologizes. He needs to go. He has to pick up his daughter from school.