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Sark Attack

Discussion in 'Cast-Related News' started by Azhria Lilu, Apr 26, 2003.

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  1. Azhria Lilu

    Azhria Lilu Rocket Ranger

    Nov 18, 2002
    Derbyshire, UK
    Playing the nefarious and enigmatic Mr. Sark of ABC’s Sunday-night hit “Alias,” David Anders walks into a room in an office building in downtown Los Angeles (standing in for a German genetics company), shoots out a surveillance camera, and then shoots a man in the chest, knocking him back into a chair, dead.

    Not bad for a kid from Oregon who, before “Alias,” had never fired anything more lethal than a BB gun.

    “I like firing weapons,” he says during a break in filming. “I got to fire a sawed-off shotgun my first day on the show.”

    “It’s fun to dress up and play spy all the time. Everything about it is fun.”

    Sark is one of TV’s happy accidents, a minor short-term character that caught on with viewers and wound up a regular role.

    Of unknown origin, Sark is a freelance espionage agent and assassin who has been in the employ of Arvin Sloane (Ron Rifkin), the former head of evil spy organization SD-6, and Irina Derevko (Lena Olin), the ex-KBG agent mother of CIA operative Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) and ex-wife of Sydney’s CIA dad, Jack Bristow (Victor Garber).

    Sark is so mysterious, he has no first name.

    “Victor made up a first name for me,” Anders says, cracking up. “He calls me Steve. Steve Sark!”

    He has asked series creator J.J. Abrams about the name thing. “I felt like this one character should maybe call me by my first name,” he says, “and J.J. said, ‘No, not at all.’ And I said, ‘Can’t you maybe just tell me my first name?’ ‘No, no.’ So it better be some big revelation.”

    A good-natured, dimpled 22-year-old, Anders likely looks far more his age in his off-screen wardrobe of vintage T-shirts and jeans than his alter ego’s sharply tailored suits and ties. When he’s not working, he leaves behind Sark’s clipped British accent as well.

    “The audition was three accents,” Anders says. “It was German, Russian and Continental, kind of ambiguous. But J.J., on the first day of shooting, says, ‘You’re cool with the British accent, right?’ ‘I guess so. Why couldn’t you have me do that from the get-go?’”

    “I guess I’ve had the accent in my back pocket for some time, without any training. I do fool British people. That’s all I want, to fool the British people, and I have.”

    Born David Anders Holt in Grants Pass, Ore., Anders goes by his middle name because of another actor named David Holt. “I graduated high school,” he says, “and I got an agent, and I started working. I acted on stage as a kid, but I never worked in film. I got my SAG card with ‘Alias’.”

    Anders pursued athletics throughout high school and even considered playing small-college football, but says, “I was more happy on stage at that point than I was practicing three times a day. That was a choice that I made, and I was very strong about it. My mom supported me, and my dad was, ‘Uh ...’ It was a leap of faith. It was either here or New York, and L.A. was more comfortable.”

    There has been some fan speculation that Sark is Sloane’s son, or maybe even the son of Sloane and Irina. “Ron and I have talked about that,” Anders says, “but we have no control over it.”

    “People have predicted that, one way or another, Jennifer and I are brother and sister. But some people have said that’s a little too perfect. How is this spy world all interconnected?”

    With “Alias” in its second season (which ends with a two-hour block of episodes on May 4), Anders is beginning to be recognized. “I get a lot of, ‘You’re so great; you’re so mean.’ But I hate it when people stare and whisper, and they don’t say anything. I’m like, ‘Just say something, I’ll be accommodating.’”

    Anders recalls one night in a restaurant where, after taking his and his parents’ orders, “the waiter said, ‘Let me ask you a question. Are you on a TV show?’ My mom’s like, ‘Oh, jeez!’ and clapping. I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ He’s like, ‘You’re one of the best bad guys on TV.’ ‘Thank you, man.’ That was great for my parents to see that, for the first time.”

    When he’s not working, Anders tools around in his Jeep Cherokee (bought after his first three-episode deal on ‘Alias’) and likes to catch rock ’n’ roll bands in local clubs.

    He does sing and dance, and even auditioned for a role in ABC’s upcoming production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” which stars Garber as Tevye.

    “I’d love to be a rock star,” Anders says. “I’d love to play the guitar, but I can’t.”

    Considering the Byzantine twists and turns of the plot lines of “Alias,” there’s no telling what Mr. Sark will be up to next.

    “I was just noticing today in the script,” Anders says, “that the evil now, at least my evil, is beginning to have a background somewhat. What my character does is bad and awful on a lot of occasions, but to him, it may be something different.”

    “To him, it’s a means to something bigger. It’s obvious that he’s not a mindless killer. There’s something underlying it, but I have no idea.”

    And if anyone learns what that something is, don’t tell Anders. “Only J.J. knows,” he says. “Why don’t people like the element of surprise? Why do they want to read it in advance? It’s like ruining a movie.”

    CYBERSPATIAL ANOMALIES: Visit David Anders’ official Web site at www.davidanders.com for lots of information and pictures.

    Talk about it here.
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