It may be hard to believe, but there apparently was more angst behind the scenes of Fox's late family drama Party of Five than on camera. Series star Matthew Fox, who played patriarch-by-default Charlie Salinger, reveals in an exclusive interview with TV Guide Online that the six years he spent keeping his orphaned TV siblings in line was no party.
"I can honestly say that I was frustrated a lot of the time because I was being asked to do stories and to play a role that I had problems with," he sighs. "I just felt that the show was very soft, very emotional — everybody talking about their feelings all of the time. It wasn't visceral enough.
"To be specific," he continues, "there's a very big difference between the genders and how they deal with things, and I would have loved to have seen the [men] on the show written a little bit more guarded with their feelings. And I always felt that they wrote Charlie younger than he actually was."
The 36-year-old self-proclaimed "dark guy" says he fought with producers Christopher Keyser and Amy Lippman over PO5's gentle touch. "There were a lot of battles," he confesses. "But am I proud of [the show]? I'm very proud of it. Was it very successful? Yeah. And in no way do I mean to knock that. It was just a tonal issue. It's like, I'm not a fan of romantic comedies."
For his part, Keyser declined to respond to Fox's grumblings, saying only, "I wish him the best."
Well, he seems to have found just that with his latest gig, UPN's creepy new thriller Haunted. Part Sixth Sense, part X-Files, the spooker has Fox playing a private eye, who — after suffering a near-death experience — finds himself being visited by lost souls. "I don't think there's anything like it on television," he says. "It's got a look, a style and a feel all to itself."
Better still, Fox implies that Haunted producers have a very non-PO5 philosophy when it comes to receiving creative input from actors. "Creative input does not come from anything in a contract," he reasons. "It comes from when you're in every frame of a series, when you're carrying the show on your back, week-in and week-out, people want to make you happy. They want you to love what you're doing."
And if he didn't already make his point loud and clear, Fox concludes with a wink: "I'm really happy with the people I'm working with."