As angst-ridden adolescent Kevin Arnold on ABC's late, great dramedy The Wonder Years, Fred Savage has endured his share of humiliating experiences. But nothing could prepare him for the horrors that awaited him on the set of Austin Powers in Goldmember (opening Friday). For his role as "The Mole," the actor had to sport a one-inch furry birth mark on his lip.
"It's big, dark and hairy; it's pretty unsightly," he says of the gnarly blemish. "You tend to forget about it when you're walking around each day, but people keep reminding you of it as they're talking to you and staring at your face. Fortunately, I was able to take it off at the end of each day."
The 26-year-old former child star wasn't the only one relieved. "My girlfriend came to the set one day and couldn't even talk to me," he says, with mock indignation. "Although, I did keep one [mole]. I have it at home ready for a rainy day. I could throw it on and walk around town [with it]."
Even without prosthetics, Savage still finds himself the center of attention when he goes out in public — a consequence of his Wonder years. But with roles in Goldmember and George Clooney's upcoming directorial debut Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, he's working hard to make a name for himself on the big screen.
"When you're a kid you don't really think about acting a whole lot because it just comes naturally," he says of his new career in film. "In my old age, I've become a lot more self aware. I have to become more conscious of the craft of acting."