Fan Talk      

TV Zone Issue #146

"Resident Evil"
Michael Bailey Smith plays the nasty side of Cole...
Byline ~ Joe Nazzaro

When Michael Bailey Smith accompanied a friend to an audition for Nightmare on Elm Street 5, he had no idea that he'd spend the next several years playing an assortment of creeps and crazies. "As we were leaving," Smith recalls, "I was asked to come in and meet the director, Stephen Hopkins. He asked me if I could laugh like Freddie Krueger, and I said, 'I'll give it a shot.' and let out this big hideous laugh, and he said, 'Guess what? Come back next week and you're hired!' That one-day job turned into a
week, and then it went on from there!"

The six foot four, 260-pound former Paratrooper and college football player soon discovered that there was plenty of work available for actors of his stature, so to speak. Over the next several years, he appeared in TV shows The X-Files, Babylon 5, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Voyager. His feature credits include My Favorite Martian, Final Voyage, Town & Country and the unreleased Fantastic Four movie, in which he played Ben Grim. His most recent genre project is Men in Black 2 where he plays a creepy guy
who gets eaten by Lara Flynn Boyle's character.

Smith's long-running gig with Charmed began after he played a Grimlock in the episode All Hallows Eve. The producers were so pleased with his work that when they decided to replace the actor playing Belthazor, the role was offered to Smith. "It was only supposed to be a couple of episodes, and the next thing you know, I did 11 episodes last season. You can't beat that!"

Despite the uncomfortable hours of make-up that Smith has to undergo when he plays Belthazor, there are a few fringe benefits to the job. "Alyssa always greets me with a big hug and a kiss on the cheek," he explains, "and even as scary as I look, she says, 'You're still handsome!' but I keep saying, 'Be quiet, don't tell anybody!'

Smith has also played a number of other demon characters in Charmed in recent months, but looking to the future, he hopes to expand his acting repertoire to include some bigger action-adventure roles and maybe a hero or two. "But right now, I'm playing bad guys, and I love it," he claims. "In real life, I'm this kick-back easy-going guy, so it's always fun to step out of your skin and play these crazy roles."

Thanx to Barbara for typing :)

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