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Reunions and reboots may be a current growing TV trend, but one of the stars of Alias isn’t holding his breath for the possibility of returning to his career-defining role.
“I’m asked sometimes, ‘Would you be down to do an Alias movie or a reboot?'” Michael Vartan, who played Michael Vaughn on the ABC spy drama, told a small group of reporters on the set of his new E! series The Arrangement. “And I’m like, ‘Well, they better hurry up.’ I’m 47. The sounds I make when I tie my shoes in the morning, I’m not sure I could run down those hallways anymore. In terms of the physicality of [this new] role, simply I’m thrilled that I can just sit in my high chair and play puppet master at times.”
In The Arrangement, Vaughn plays Terrance Anderson, mentor to Hollywood’s biggest movie star Kyle West (Josh Henderson). Terrance runs a self-help organization called the Institute of The Higher Mind, and attempts to steer Kyle’s life back on track after a nasty breakup since his own livelihood is tied to Kyle’s success. When an audition between Kyle and an aspiring actress leads to a first date, Terrance gets the idea to present the young girl with an arranged marriage contract that would launch her career but change her life for good. It’s definitely a departure from the more physically demanding roles Vartan has played in the past.
“I’d like to think that I’m not really typecast,” Vartan said. “I think Alias is definitely the thing I’m most known for in TV and certainly, fans of that show, when they see me, they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s Vaughn. What’s he doing in a nicer suit?’ But it’s been a while. Alias wrapped like 10 years ago. Jeez. So they’ve had time to digest that.”
Vartan starred on Alias for the first four seasons — and recurred in season five — before ABC pulled the plug on the series in 2006. Although the show never drew large ratings for ABC, the heavily serialized series amassed a loyal following. To that end, the show’s 10-year absence hasn’t stopped fans or Vartan’s former co-workers from discussing a potential Alias reunion movie with him.
“I’ve heard rumors,” Vartan said. “A couple years ago. But apparently not from people who mattered, who had influence and the ability to make the movie. So I think maybe it was just fans wishing out loud.”
And Vartan pointed out that since Alias creator J.J. Abrams has had a full plate in recent years, directing and producing big-budget blockbusters like Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, that only further diminishes the chance that he’ll have time to get the cast and crew back together. “If you’re reading this, I look pretty good with a light saber,” Vartan said with a laugh.
While Vartan would be open to participating, he isn’t so sure that an Alias reunion movie should even happen.
“I do think it would be a challenge because we’re all a bit older,” Vartan said. “I think that entire show and Jennifer [Garner]’s character was a breakthrough role for women. There wasn’t really anything like it at the time. I’m not sure if there would be an audience for it, to be honest with you, for just a movie, because five seasons, by the time it ended, I didn’t know what was going on. The Rambaldi thing, you really had to concentrate to follow so I’m not sure if a movie could actually work. But I would certainly be open to it because work is work.”
The big draw for Vartan to return to the world of Alias is the chance to work with his former castmembers, like Garner and Victor Garber, even though Garber’s character Jack Bristow technically died in the series finale.
“No one’s ever dead on Alias,” Vartan said with a laugh. “I died, remember? So I would definitely do it just to hang out with them for a couple months of work.”
The Arrangement is set to premiere on E! sometime in early 2017.
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