Michael Vartan was born in Paris and raised in the tiny Normandy village of Fleury, France. As a teenager he moved to Los Angeles to live with his mother, who encouraged him to take acting classes. After starring in two small foreign films, Vartan grabbed the attention of the film world with his breakthrough performance in the 1993 Italian epic Fiorile, in which he was nominated for a French Caesar Award for Best Up-and-Coming Actor. Soon after, Vartan landed a role in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar. He went on to star in such features as The Myth of Fingerprints, The Curve, Never Been Kissed and One Hour Photo. On television, Vartan starred as Sir Lancelot in the miniseries The Mists of Avalon and has guest-starred on Friends and Ally McBeal. In his spare time, Vartan enjoys playing many different types of sports and is an avid hockey and baseball fan.
Why Michael Vartan Still Heart Broken Over Jen
While Jennifer Garner's star is on the rise with a new film Elektra and a red-hot romance with Ben Affleck, her ex-beau and Alias co-star, Michael Vartan, can't get over their brutal breakup. Even worse, he's still having to film steamy love scenes with Jen -- the woman who friends say he asked to marry, but who instead dumped him in June 2004, before taking up with her Daredevil co-star Ben Affleck just weeks later!
Jen, 32, met Vartan on the set of their ABC hit series Alias in 2001. Although Garner had been married the previous year -- to her husband, Felicity star Scott Foley, 32 -- sources say she and Vartan clicked immediately. In April 2003, Jen and Foley split. A month later, she was stepping out with Vartan. And shortly after they came out as a couple. Then, just one year later, Vartan found himself in the unfortunate position Foley had been in the year before: Jen left him in June and by August was dating Affleck (reportedly she developed a crush on him when they worked together on the film Daredevil back in 2002).
Jen isn't the first woman Michael's asked to marry. The French-born Vartan was engaged to a woman named Shannon Gleason for ten years before they split five years ago. "Michael would rather be with one woman he loves than be part of the Hollywood dating scene," says a friend. In contrast to Ben, who spends his free time playing poker and partying, Michael plays guitar, paints and has a passion for hockey. "He's a sincere, quiet, very kind guy who is loved by everyone," his friend says.
STILL IN LOVE WITH JEN
While Jen's moved on, Michael can't even imagine a new romance right now, according to his pals. One insider who saw Vartan at Justin Timberlake's L.A. club Chi on Jan. 11, tells Star that Vartan had girls coming up to him all night, but he showed no interest.
"Michael and some guy friends were seated next to Timberlake and some of his friends, so there were girls all over them," says the insider. "Actresses, models and other gorgeous women, but Michael wasn't interested and didn't take any of the phone numbers they offered him." Though it's been several months since the split, Vartan's pals say he's still hurting. "He was devastated when she called it quits," the insider says. He'd asked her to marry him, so you know he was in love, claims a friend. What's worse is that Vartan and Garner still have to work together. "There are times when he's had to kiss her during a scene, and it makes the crew cringe because they know how much he still loves her," says the friend. The insider says, "Having to work alongside her on Alias is one of the hardest things he's ever done. And there isn't a day that goes by that his heart doesn't break knowing she's leaving the set to go home to Ben Affleck."
Garner Deemed Elektra Awful, Says Ex-Boyfriend Vartan
Sexy actress Jennifer Garner has declared her latest movie Elektra "awful"--according to her ex-boyfriend Michael Vartan.
Us Weekly reports that Vartan, who briefly dated his Alias costar in 2003, still maintains a friendship with Garner, who reportedly told him her Daredevil spin-off wasn't her proudest piece of work.
In an interview with the publication, Vartan is quoted as saying, "I heard (Elektra) was awful. (Jennifer) called me and told me it was awful.
"She had to do it because of Daredevil. It was in her contract."
Vartan, who claims in the interview he only dated Garner for a month and a half, also insists he has no problem with seeing pictures of his ex-girlfriend with Ben Affleck on the magazine covers--even though he still loves her "to death."
He adds, "Why would it be weird? I don't know Ben. I don't know how happy they are."
Michael Vartan is back
Alias is back. This very Wednesday. Thanks be to Godallah.
And not only is it back, the best gosh-darn (New Year's resolution: no swearing) show on TV has, for the first time ever, a proper--no, make that kick-ass--lede-in, Lost, which also happens to come from my favorite TV genius, JJ Abrams.
No saying what we fans possibly could have done to deserve such benevolence, but I've spent the past month helping little old ladies cross the street to settle the karmic debt.
That said, the pressure is on. Not only does Alias have a new fancy time slot to live up to, producers are well aware that a few of you (tsk, tsk) felt lukewarm about the series' third season. "There were flaws," says executive producer and creator Abrams, "but my gut is that at the end of the day, when you look back when we're in year--hopefully--six or seven, and you say 'Year three really went off track a little,' it'll feel more a sort of bump in this road and a necessary one...I'm thrilled we get to correct our course, and the reaction I'm getting so far is that people are all very enthusiastic about season four."
Count me as one of them. I've had the extreme pleasure of seeing the first 30 minutes of the premiere episode (which sources tell me cost a whopping $3.6 million to produce) and can say this: Alias has never been better. Honestly. Three minutes into the two-hour season premiere, the hairs on the back of my neck were standing up.
Don't believe me? Believe Michael Vartan. "We're cranking out a really good year," he says. "Because we're airing in January, the writers have had that much more time to get ready, and the scripts have been fantastic, with a lot of action. I think it's going to be our best season ever. I mean, you never know until people watch or don't watch, but we have high hopes."
I know the wait has been causing many of you a slow death, so, I am here to help, fellow Alias-aholics. Despite a horrifyingly humiliating run-in with Victor Garber, which yielded absolutely no scoop (we'll get to that), I did track down a few castmembers and can give you the lowdown on what to expect this season. Here's what you can expect...
Vaughn Will Be Hot and Sweaty: Within the first 10 minutes of the premiere, we'll be seeing Michael Vartan's rippling muscles, as Vaughn beats the living crapola out of a punching bag. Sadly, though, he will not be shirtless--a situation buddy Greg Grunberg (Weiss) says was Michael's own doing.
"During that scene they literally were like, 'Take off your shirt!' " Greg says. "And he said to them, 'No!' And I said, 'Dude, come on. If I looked like you, I'd take my shirt off in every scene. I'd be walking around that set naked! My god, I'd be holding all those important faxes between the cheeks of my ass.' "
So, why wouldn't M.V. take it off? "He's modest," Greg explains. "The problem is that he's the greatest guy in the world, trapped in that body, with that face. He's funny and sweet and just the greatest. It's not fair. I wish he were an a--hole. Give me an excuse to hate you, man!"
'Alias' star Michael Vartan gets dramatic
We caught up with Michael Vartan (he was finger-painting. Yes, really. More on that later ...) and got a special peek inside "Alias," returning Jan. 5.
Q: What can we expect this season?
A: A lot more drama. All of the characters are definitely all going through something that's a lot more traumatic -- and a lot of action. We've been shooting a lot of great action scenes and fight scenes.
Q: Are you having fun doing the fight scenes?
A: Yeah. But it gets to the point where it's kind of like, "All right guys," because fighting, as fun as it is to do for the first hour, when you're on your 14th hour and it's 6 a.m. on a Saturday, you just want to go home. But it's fun. It's kind of like when you're a kid (and) you dream of being James Bond.
Q: What are you doing to prep for the fight scenes? Are you working with trainers?
A: No, not really. I play a lot of sports so I'm kind of always in relatively good shape. Our fight coordinators are so good and they make fights on camera that look so elaborate that they are actually pretty easy to do. And we have great stunt doubles when things get a little too complicated. Like, on Monday, I'm fighting this guy who's 6'6", 240 lbs. and, in real life, he could crush me with his hand. But I'm going to take him out and throw him across the room and it's going to look real -- well, relatively real.
Q: Has this made you feel like you could take someone on in real life if you had to?
A: No. The one thing, if I ever get into a fight, is I run very fast. You know, I'm 36. My testosterone levels are lowering. Fighting's just a waste of time. Best case scenario, you don't get hurt and you don't get arrested, right?"
... So, back to the finger-painting. Vartan, along with Jennifer Garner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Kline, Fred Durst, Sean Hayes and Donald Trump, painted 40 donated Gibson electric guitars, which the Pediatric Epilepsy Project will auction off to benefit UCLA's Pediatric Neurology Department.
No real war between Michael Vartan and his ex-girlfriend Jennifer Garner
The real-life espionage goin' down on the Alias set in Burbank is far more interesting than anything those wig-obsessed writers could come up with for next season, don't you think? No exactly open warfare between Michael Vartan and ex-with-the-most-moxie Jennifer Garner (yet). There have been no Ben Affleck sightings that I'm aware of (yet), but there is the mystery of the chairs...
I'm told by Alias sources that the chair setup has always been pretty much the same. Everybody has one of those fab director's chairs with their name on it (hooray for modern-day Hollywood!), and they're all together in a row--standard stuff
This, I'm told, is no longer the case. Last week, Mr. Vartan's seat was moved far, far away--like 25-30 yards--and around the corner. He's in a hallway, all by himself. Oh, okay, they tossed in a minion to accompany him to Siberia, too kind. Jen, natch, stayed put. Whether this seating switcheroo was at Vartan's request (or hers), I do not know.
A helpful Alias exec-type informed me no changes in seating have occurred. Oh, really?
A rep for Vartan had this to say: "I'm not aware of any chairs being moved."
So, gosh, shall we guess who'll get killed off at the end in a grisly fashion? Now, I should tell you that certain Alias vets are starting to wonder if everyone's getting killed off sooner than later.
Still, many sources are agreed on this: "Vartan's head is definitely on the block," pooped a single, solitary insider who regularly inhales Vartan's secondhand smoke.
Oops! I did it again--gave away something I wasn't supposed to! That's right. Mr. V. has been hittin' the death sticks again. I can hardly find fault, as I used to smoke three packs a day. Hopefully, he'll see what a damn hunk he is and stop killin' himself--soon. But I ain't his ma.