William Fichtner, <EM>Prison Break</EM> William Fichtner, Prison Break
William Fichtner is that rare sort of actor who can move effortlessly between the television and film worlds without missing a beat. His current TV gig is playing conflicted FBI agent Alexander Mahone on Fox's Prison Break (Mondays at 8 pm/ET), and come March 23 he can be seen in the feature thriller

First Snow, starring Guy Pearce. TVGuide.com spoke with the Long Island native as he prepared to shoot the second-season finale of Prison Break.

TVGuide.com: You play Guy Pearce's buddy and business partner in First Snow.
William Fichtner: Yeah, I'm the buddy. Everybody's got to have a buddy. Really, that's what he is. The first time I read the script I thought, "What a great little story." It's interesting and engaging. [Director] Mark Fergus and his writing partner, Hawk Ostby, wrote such an interesting piece. So yeah, I play a buddy to this guy, but it's such an interesting journey, and the truth is that I'm such a fan of Guy [Pearce] as an actor that I thought it would be great to work with him.

TVGuide.com: It's a smaller film, but it's getting noticed thanks to some positive critical response from festivals. What do you think people are seeing in it?
Fichtner: Well, like I said, Guy's an amazing actor. It's a performance like his that can make a story like this really come to life. With little indie films like this, you need an actor with that sort of depth. Guy just does that. When you link that up with Hawk and Mark’s script, you're going to get something engaging.

TVGuide.com: The movie is about how a soothsayer's premonition affects a man's life. Do you believe in psychics and the paranormal?
Fichtner: Absolutely! For sure. To think that there's not energy and fields and wisdom and knowledge that we don't understand.... What's the old expression? We use eight to 15 percent of our brain in our lifetime? Can you imagine if we could use 30 percent? I'm pretty sure you could fly.

TVGuide.com: [Laughs] You're kidding, right?
Fichtner: No. I believe that. I believe in the power of the mind. So do I think people have glimpses into the future or the past? Absolutely.

TVGuide.com: All right, all right. So on the Prison Break front, your Agent Mahone is getting more and more interesting as the season goes on. What's it been like developing such a cerebral yet tortured character?
Fichtner: Thank you. Thank you for using those words to describe him. That's exactly how I think about him, but people are always like, "He's such a bad guy." I'm always like, "Don't you get more than that?" Pay attention, he's more than a bad guy. He's a guy who gets pulled in so many directions. That is what has made this entire season really worth it for me.

TVGuide.com: Recently Mahone has been the focus of an FBI Internal Affairs investigation, on top of trying to track down the remaining fugitives. Do you look forward to playing a guy under an intense amount of pressure, or is it pretty exhausting?
Fichtner: It's not exhausting at all. It's absolutely welcome. It's what makes the journey worth it. In the beginning, when I read the first two episodes last summer after deciding to do it, it wasn't about being the FBI guy chasing the fugitives. That does very little for me. What's interesting is all the other stuff, the internal conflicts and what's happening in his life and with his family, that's what makes it work. Characters who have more than one plate spinning are the most fun to play.

TVGuide.com: Prison Break could be considered this generation's Fugitive. Were you a fan of that show?
Fichtner: I don't want to date myself, but I was.

TVGuide.com: I was thinking you might know it from reruns.
Fichtner: Thank you. Actually, I was around 10 years old when it was on, and I still remember it very well.

TVGuide.com: Well, The Fugitive lasted five seasons. Do you think Prison Break has the legs to make it that long?
Fichtner: That's interesting. You know, when you start off with a show called Prison Break, it better be about one thing. They got that done. The second season they're on the run. So the second season is like The Fugitive. What will the third season be about? I don't know. But it's not a formula show, and it doesn't have to follow any pattern, so who knows?

TVGuide.com: They have the option to bring you back for next season. Any word on whether that's going to happen?
Fichtner: They do have that option, but I haven't gotten that phone call yet. I'll tell you something — if they decide to exercise that option, so be it. It would be my pleasure to come back. I've never had that feeling with a television experience before.

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