By Gina S.
for Disappearing Ink

We all know that poor Eberts is relegated to being The Official's lackey and he does seem to have a certain knack for that sort of work but there's got to be more to him than meets the eye. Well, we'll just have to wait to see if new episodes will reveal more about Eberts, but we no longer have to wait to find out more about the incredible talent behind this intriguing character! Mike McCafferty has graciously taken time out of his very busy schedule to answer some questions for "Disappearing Ink", for which I'd like to say a great big thank you!So, let's get to know Mike McCafferty, the man behind the man who stands behind The Official :)

*Disappearing Ink: How is the atmosphere on the setfor the filming of season 2? Did everyone get right back into the same flow? Is it more relaxed? More energetic?

*Mike McCafferty: I just had my first day back.  It's been the 7th day of actual shooting so the excitement is a bit muted by now. It seems like everyone got right back into the flow of things. Also there is more of a shorthand for how to accomplish shooting scenes between the directors, writers actors and crew.

*DI: We've heard plenty about Paul's penchant for adlibbing. Is it difficult to adjust to that when playing a scene with him?

*MM: I've had a lot of improvisational experience so it usually doesn't throw me. Basically I wait for him to stop or tire out then I jump in with my line. My character is so straight-laced that it's hard to throw in an adlib and be in character.  Vince seems to really roll with Paul and that's their chemistry.  Eddie gets a little flustered occasionally, but he simply uses it to add to the energy and consternation he has towards Hobbes.

*DI: We know you're a musical buff. What are your favorite musicals to watch and which would be your dream choice to star in?

*MM: You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown is a play I just finished and it is definitely in the top two to play. As a musical theatre guy, my tastes get a little more selective.  A favorite musical is "Closer Than Ever"

*DI: What do you do to relax/for entertainment during your off hours (any hobbies)?

*MM: Video Games (Unreal Tournament online), Ping-Pong.

*DI: What is the best part of your job on "The Invisible Man"? What's the most frustrating part?

*MM: The best part of I-man is getting the chance to be on a sci-fi television show, which is the next best thing to actually being in outer space. The worst part is the waiting around until they're ready to shoot the next scene. Boring! That and having to stand in almost all the scenes.

*DI: Besides "The Invisible Man", what are your favorite tv shows currently  (assuming you have any time to watch tv)? How about as a kid (besides Star Trek, of course :)?

*MM: Right now it's Survivor, West Wing (second best show on TV), Real World, Simpsons with occasional Farscape, Futurama, ER, and Star Trek.  As a child: re-runs of Star Trek, Lost in Space, Twilight Zone, Happy Days (I'm really dating myself now). During college I really tuned out to focus on acting.

*DI: What was the audition process for "The Invisible Man" like for you?

*MM: I originally auditioned for the part of one of the scientists in the pilot (The one that takes an axe to the computers). After I read for the part on a whim they asked me to read for Eberts. This was in San Diego and they pretty much decided on casting a better known actor in LA. Never-the-less, they put me on tape and that was the end of that. Six weeks later I discovered that the actor they had cast changed his mind and the deal fell through. With less than three days until they shot the scene (First of the shooting schedule), Matt Greenberg watched the tapes of the other actors. Two days before they shot I learned they
offered me the part.  I turned down a commercial that shot that day and did the one day shoot. Five months later I was looping my lines for the pilot. Since they often change parts and actors in them after the pilot I was sure that they'd recast me with someone else. As I finished, Breck Eisner (Pilot director) said to me "By the way, Matt really wants to talk to you." I hadn't heard anything from him since that day on the set so I figured it would be a "Well, we really loved you but the networks wanted to go a different direction...". Instead, what I got was "Dude, you were fudging (except like in "A Christmas Story" it wasn't 'fudging') awesome!   lost your number and have been trying to get a hold of you. I'd love to have you in the show if you want."  Needless to say I did, and here we are.

*DI: If you could change one thing about Eberts, what would it be?

*MM: I'd like him get out a little more. He obviously needs a social life.

*DI: Eberts is a card-carrying believer in the suit and tie wardrobe. What clothing do you prefer to wear?

*MM: I always wear a full tuxedo wherever I go. Always.

*DI: What odd jobs did you have while working on starting an acting career?

*MM: I worked at a variety of amusement parks. I worked at Sea World in San Diego, Legoland, Cedar point in Ohio, Club Disney in West Covina, CA and turned down jobs at Opryland, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Knotts berry farms in Anaheim. The weirdest was doing the Sea Lion and Otter pre-show at Sea World. A couple of times it was me and a 500 pound sea lion on stage and the sea lion wasn't listening to its trainer. A little scary. That and the fish smell.

*DI: When you receive your "Invisible Man" scripts, do you sift through looking for your scenes, or do you read them from start to finish?

*MM: Well do you want the honest answer or the one that makes me look good? Okay, I admit that at first I read the script through and now I see where my scenes are. Part of this behavior is due to not knowing if I was even in the next script. Also I'm sort of the Basil Exposition of the show. Me and the Official Brief the boys at the beginning of the Episode, then De-brief them at the conclusion.  We're the plot minus the action. Plus, it's fun being surprised when I see them on the air. I am starting to read them again (Now that you've shamed me into it!!) -- *Gina feels bad for shaming Mike into anything* :)

*DI: What is your drink of choice and what is Eberts' (does he abstain from alcohol or does he need a stiff drink to get past all the insults :)

*MM: I gave up caffeine about 8 months ago (And I'm suffering!) so it's caffeine free diet coke for me! Eberts drinks Tabs, but occasionally has a snifter of Brandy after a tough day with Hobbes.

*DI: Which actors do you look up to?

*MM: Vince, because he's tall. Bad joke.

*DI: What was your first paid acting gig?

*MM: Me and a buddy sang a version of "anything you can do, I can do better" for some guy's retirement. We were terrible and got paid $40.

*DI: What sort of home do you picture Eberts living in (or do you think he lives at the Agency)?

*MM: You find out soon enough....

*DI: What advice would you give to any budding actors/actresses in the I-Maniac bunch?

*MM: This is the hardest business in the world! Always be honest about who you are and have a thick skin that can take landing one job out of every 75 auditions.

Again I'd like to thank Mike profusely for graciously taking his valuable time to answer these questions for us. We very much appreciate the opportunity to get to know the man behind Eberts and hope to see even more of him in future episodes!