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David Anders Reveals Return To “Once Upon A Time” In This Exclusive Interview

David Anders Once Upon a Time

If you have watched any major televison show in the past decade, odds are you know who David Anders is. Anders is an American actor best known for his roles as Julian Stark on Alias and as Adam Monroe on Heroes. Most recently, Anders has done work as Dr. Frankenstein/Dr.Whale on Once Upon a Time and as John Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries. Anders sat down to discuss his possible return on Once and his latest project, an appearance on Criminal Minds.

Q: You have done so many television shows, how did you originally get started in acting?

Anders: I did acting camps when I was younger and I always enjoyed it, but I was always preoccupied with sports. Then I stopped getting better at the game of basketball and I don’t like doing things that I am not good at. So, I quit basketball my sophmore year of highschool and I did a play and I was bitten by the perverbal acting bug.

Q: Is there something specific about the television platform that you like?

Anders: There are the ones that give me jobs [laughs]. I am not television specific, of course I would love to do movies but they just haven’t come calling like I would like so far. But, I am 32 and I have been steadily working since I was 21.

Q: You have done Heroes, 24 — but I am going to jump forward in your career to The Vampire Diaries. What was that set like?

Anders: It was great. I did that show, never thinking that The CW Network would come calling. When they did, it was surprising because I never thought I would do a teenage vampire drama on the CW, but I weighed my options and I am buddies with Ian Somerholder and I thought it would be fun to go out to Atlanta and hang with my buddy Ian. It ended up being a great choice because I have friends to life…it was a great experience.

Q: What is it like as an actor to go on an established show and have so many fans accept you (whether they like your character or not)?

Anders: I think I have always specialized in characters that people love to hate. So, it was nothing new for me. People really serious about TVD and they hated me up until I killed myself and then they loved me. It was so sweet. [laughs]. Isn’t that how it always works?

Q: Well you go from TVD to Once Upon a Time, not a bad gig, how do you portray that character living in a supernatural world as so real?

Anders: I guess you just buy in. Once you get into the costumes and you put on the makeup and all of that stuff it kind of just falls into place. It’s tough working on green screens, which you do a lot of on Once, but you just buy in and just pretend its all real.

Q: Anything that drew you into the character of playing Dr. Whale and/or Frankinstein?

Anders: Yeah, the fact that he was going to be Dr. Frankenstein. It took a year to get into that and we did get into it. I am pretty proud of those Franken-centric episodes we did last year. Hopefully there will be more of it.

Q: I was just going to ask that, are we going to see him this season?

Anders: I do know some about it. I can’t reveal it, but yeah I will be back. I don’t know when, but its a real treat to be apart of it. As long as it works out with my schedule I would love to go back on.

Q: How have you responded to your huge fan base?

Anders: It’s great. Every actor wants a fan base. It’s good to have it. With all of the things I have done that are a super-genre, the genre auidences are far more rabbid. I go all across the world at conventions and I get a kick out of them as much as they do me.

Q: Most recently you have done Necessary Roughness…

Anders: Yeah for me and my team it was a no-brainer. It was an opportunity to play a regular guy. I don’t have a special ring, I am not Dr. Frankenstein, and I don’t have a superpower. It was an opportunity to play a sports agent. But yet again, I am playing a guy that people kind of love to hate. I am always twisting my mustache.

Q: You are a very busy man, what are you working on now?

Anders: I am working on Criminal Minds. A part was written for me by my friend Erica Messer who is the show runner on it…I play the unsub, the unknown subject. I am the criminal perpetrating all of these terrible things. I am lobotomizing my sister and her boyfriend and putting cameras — it’s pretty crazy. I am playing a German too so I have an accent. It’s been fun. It’s a one-off episode. I don’t know when it’s going to air.

Q: Where can fans stay updated on your projects?

Anders: My Twitter is the best way to do it. I love me some Twitter. It’s @QuestionAnders — thats me.

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Monica Gleberman began writing in 2000. She has been published on CNN and in the Suffolk Times, Examiner, The Daily Collegian, Demand Studios, Patch, and The Tattoo.

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