Actor Michael Weston, known to TV audiences for his roles on House, Scrubs and an amazing guest star turn as "Jake" in Six Feet Under, co-stars with Robert Foxworth, Jeannie Berlin, JoBeth Williams and Robin Weigert in Jon Robin Baitz' Other Desert Cities now previewing and opening at the Mark Taper Forum December 9. Weston, who replaced initially cast Justin Long, recently took a break from rehearsals to sit down and talk about the play and his theatrical interests. Weston is the son of Tony winner John Rubinstein.
You live and grew up in New York, right?
I'm a little bit bi-coastal. We sort of followed my dad (John Rubinstein) around. I lived mostly in New York, but I was out here for early kindergarten and 7th grade. I went back and forth. But I definitely grew up in the wings of theatre most of my life. I remember when he was doing Children of a Lesser God, which came out here to the Taper... I loved it, it was magical to me.
Did you ever perform with him on stage?
No. To be honest, I was never really interested in theatre as a kid. I loved baseball, (he laughs) so I would play like in the Broadway Show League. I always loved all his pals in there, a bunch of guys and gals from Broadway shows, and they'd come and play softball in Central Park. My interest in theatre started in high school, mostly because my dean forced me to do it. I was creating trouble in the hallways, so he demanded that I do something with my spare time.
That accounts for you being cast in a lot of bad boy roles.
I play trouble makers. It's natural. (we laugh)
The first thing I saw you do was Six Feet Under, and you were such a little fiend, I hated you, but you nailed it so completely.
Oh, I was evil.
But I could tell underneath it all, that you have a tremendous sense of humor and were really enjoying what you were doing.
It was very dark, but I did really enjoy that. And it was such beautiful writing, as in this play. The way that they could churn that out as often as they did, it was an amazing show! That set the precedent. There was humor in it and there was the darkness of it and that allows you to play those kind of characters.
So, honestly, it wasn't that hard to play that drugged-out character?
No, it wasn't, and that may say terrible things, but the truth is, you're working with so many wonderful people...and, it's very dark material, but when you're actually shooting it, you don't think of it as that. When you play a character like that...I mean, he wasn't aware of the consequences of his actions as much, so, for me, I made a purposeful effort to really enjoy it. (he laughs)
The moment to moment - what is he going to do next? - element kept you on the edge of your seat. And you had a great rapport with Michael C. Hall!
He's such a lovely actor and a lovely man. We had a great time doing it.
I unfortunately did not see you in Scrubs or House, but I did catch a movie on late night cable called Wishcraft (2002). Talk about 360 degrees away from viciousness! You were this meek kid that I really felt sympathy for. And I studied many years ago with Austin Pendleton, who also had a role in that as a teacher.
Oh, I love Austin. We had fun doing that. He's one of those guys of the theatre that I've always admired. And yes, my character was a much sweeter, innocent dude. (he laughs)