From USA Weekend: As "Alias"' sexy secret agent, Michael Vartan gets to thwart bad guys and make out with Jennifer Garner. And that suits him just fine. By Michele Hatty With his piercing hazel eyes, chiseled jaw and shy smile, Michael Vartan may be the sexiest suit on television. As CIA agent Michael Vaughn on ABC's spy drama "Alias" (Sundays, 9 p.m. ET), Vartan has caused many of the show's female fans to consider what it might be like to be in co-star Jennifer Garner's stilettos. Consider, for example, "The Kiss." "It's amazing how much more handsome I've gotten since I've been on 'Alias'." When Vartan and Garner finally locked lips on Super Bowl Sunday at the climax of a mind-boggling, series-altering episode, it ended a year-and-a-half's worth of "will-they-or-won't-they?" speculation about their characters' chemistry. For Vartan, it wasn't a moment too soon. "It was like, 'Dude, kiss her already!' " Vartan, 34, laughs about the long- awaited clinch with Garner's alter ego, fellow CIA agent Sydney Bristow. Although "It" girl Garner has been the more celebrated of the two outside of the show, Vartan has been gaining his own increasingly ardent fan base. "I find it the most bizarre thing and the most uncomfortable thing ever," the currently single actor says of the newfound attention. "It's amazing how much more handsome I've gotten since I've been on "Alias". Where were all these girls when I couldn't get a job?" That sort of reaction is typical of the French-American actor, who, by all accounts, doesn't believe his own publicity. Instead, he maintains a more continental -- and more relaxed -- attitude toward life. "Michael is a very funny guy," explains "Alias" creator J.J. Abrams. "He's a terrific musician. He's a great athlete. He's an artist. He's one of these guys who you might not know much about when you first see him, but you like him. And I think it's because he's a thoughtful person. He's a smart guy, and he's kind of fallen into this job that happens to be acting, and into the spotlight." Vartan "fell" into acting a little more than a decade ago. The son of an American mother and a French father, he spent his life shuttling back and forth every few years from his native France to the United States, before settling in Los Angeles in the early '90s. He took acting classes as a way to meet people, but the hobby soon turned into a more serious pursuit. After winning roles in a handful of French and American movies, including an emotionally distant son in Bart Freundlich's 1997 indie "The Myth of the Fingerprints", Vartan won notice in the 1999 romantic comedy "Never Been Kissed" as the guy who plants a big (and memorable) smooch on Drew Barrymore's chaste character. From there, Vartan moved on to edgier fare, such as last year's dark "One Hour Photo", in which he portrayed a philandering husband who's ultimately caught (and subsequently emotionally denigrated) by a disturbed Robin Williams. Still, it has been Vartan's small-screen work on "Alias" that has sealed his leading-man status. Offscreen, in a very large sense, he's a guy's guy. He goes to the gym on a regular basis, sneaks off during his lunch break to play hockey with pals, hits the bar on the weekends with friends, and loves to kick back at his Los Angeles apartment and watch ESPN. He hates to read ("It bores me to tears"). His taste in music ranges from Sinatra to Guns N' Roses to Jimi Hendrix to the Police. And like most Gen-X males, he thinks "Star Wars" is one of the greatest films ever made. At the same time, he's quite the Renaissance man. The European in Vartan would choose wine over beer any day. He has been known to pick up a paintbrush in his spare time, selecting as his medium "anything that will stick to a canvas." He's looking to buy a house solely so he can get a few dogs. He even has a favorite hair product -- a Japanese styling gel called Magic Move -- but as soon as he cops to that, he becomes completely embarrassed, worried he's revealing a little too much information. "I put my foot in my mouth quite a lot. My censor button isn't very well developed, or it's not in an easy-access place," he explains with a rueful laugh. One thing he is able to censor is any hint of a French accent. Although he's spoken the language of love on "Alias", Vartan is not a fan of using his native tongue to woo women offscreen. "It's a disgusting tool. When I hear guys saying [affecting a mock accent], 'Hell-ooo, ma name eez Jean-Claude' ... it's so smarmy. But women fall for it all the time." So take note, ladies: As Vartan contemplates the sort of woman who ultimately will win his heart, those who are attracted to smarminess -- or the trappings of fame -- need not apply. "The No. 1 thing I look for in a woman is sweetness," he says. "I'm not looking for a hard-core kind of girl. She's got to be sweet, sweet, sweet."