Michael Vartan came to international acclaim with his starring role as agent "Michael Vaughn" for five seasons on the worldwide hit ABC series, "Alias" (2001).This fall, Vartan stars in the new ABC/Warner Bros. Television series, "Big Shots" (2007). He plays James "Walker", the moral center of the drama, which revolves around four high-powered CEOs who socialize at the same exclusive golf club.For the big screen, Vartan has wrapped production on a starring role in... more
Michael Vartan came to international acclaim with his starring role as agent "Michael Vaughn" for five seasons on the worldwide hit ABC series, "Alias" (2001).This fall, Vartan stars in the new ABC/Warner Bros. Television series, "Big Shots" (2007). He plays James "Walker", the moral center of the drama, which revolves around four high-powered CEOs who socialize at the same exclusive golf club.For the big screen, Vartan has wrapped production on a starring role in his first action/thriller, Rogue (2007) for the Weinstein Company. He plays a cynical American travel writer who embarks on a river cruise in the Australian outback, where the group finds themselves stranded in a treacherous lagoon. The role offered a departure from his recent romantic male leads in such romantic comedies as the Summer '05 blockbuster Monster-in-Law (2005) and Fox 2000's Never Been Kissed (1999). Rogue (2007) is written and directed by Aussie Greg McLean (whose debut film Wolf Creek (2005) has received rave reviews). With a reported $25 million budget, it is one of the most expensive, locally produced movies made in Australia. Also in the can is a lead role in the independent feature "Jolene (2008): My Life" for director Dan Ireland (The Whole Wide World (1996)). Based on a story from critically acclaimed author E.L. Doctorow (Ragtime (1981), Billy Bathgate (1991)), the film revolves around a woman who at the age of 15, escapes an oppressive foster care system only to jump into three disastrous marriages, each of which forces her to rely on her survival instincts and determination to make something of her life. Vartan plays "Brad Benton", the only son and heir to an oil drilling fortune who uses his charms to pursue an uninterested Jolene. Most recently, Vartan starred opposite Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in New Line Cinema's summer blockbuster Monster-in-Law (2005). He portrayed Kevin, a man whose overprotective mother (Fonda) tries to derail his engagement to his fiancée (Jennifer Lopez). He also previously starred opposite Robin Williams in the psychological thriller One Hour Photo (2002). He played "Will Yorkin", a husband and father whose family becomes the obsession of Williams' character, an employee at the local "One-Hour Photo".Vartan appeared in the two-part TNT mini-series The Mists of Avalon (2001) (TV), a retelling of the legendary story of Camelot which was shot on location in Prague. He portrayed "Sir Lancelot", opposite Anjelica Huston, Julianna Margulies and Joan Allen.Born in Paris to a French father and an American mother, Vartan grew up in the tiny Normandy village of Fleury until the age of 16 when he moved to Los Angeles to live with his mother, who encouraged him to take acting classes.After starring in two small French films, Vartan grabbed the attention of the film world with his breakthrough performance in the 1993 Italian epic Fiorile (1993), directed by Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani. Vartan, who was nominated for a French Caesar Award for Best Up-and-Coming Actor, played two characters in this fable of a curse that haunts a family through centuries. Of his performance, New York Post movie critic Mike Medved heralded the actor, saying, "[Vartan] is so hugely effective that it's hard to understand how he could have (so far) avoided discovery by Hollywood".Soon after, Vartan signed with an agent and landed a role in To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995) playing the bigoted small-town thug who harasses three drag queens (Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze and John Leguizamo). He went on to star opposite David Schwimmer as one of his best friends in The Pallbearer (1996), a comedy of escapades surrounding three old high school pals coping with bachelorhood, marriage and a case of mistaken identity. He also starred in Sony Pictures Classics' The Myth of Fingerprints (1997) with Julianne Moore. In his limited free time, Vartan feeds his obsession with sports, particularly ice hockey. "If it weren't for acting, I'd give anything to play a professional sport", he says, still holding onto his life-long dream.