Television star Charlie Weber makes a splash in the new MTV series Underemployed. One year after graduation, a group of college friends face the harsh realities of the “real world.” This very relevant show chronicles the not-so-easy path to success in our world today. In the role of the advertising heavyweight Todd, Weber is a challenge for a new unpaid intern named Daphne (Sarah Habel).
Weber has had starring roles in shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bones, CSI Miami, and CSI New York. The Pioneer had the chance to interview Weber and discuss his role, the “real world,” and the entertainment industry. Underemployed premiered on October 16th.
Follow Charlie on Twitter @TheCharlieWeber.
The Pioneer (TP): How did you become involved with Underemployed?
Charlie Weber (CW): I went to read for the role of Todd. If I’m not mistaken, they shot the pilot about a year before with a different actor in that role, and some piece or another didn’t seem to fit. I’m someone they looked at for the role and fortunately I got it, which was great, but then I had to fly to Chicago almost immediately. I think I got the role on a Thursday and production began on that Monday. So I didn’t have much time, I pretty much had to pack and go, but I didn’t mind. It was a great experience.
TP: What can you tell us about your role as Todd?
CW: It fit in nicely and timely. I’m in a part of my career where it is a very appropriate role age-wise. It is a fun experience. I am just now at the forefront of playing roles of grownups with real jobs. It was a real cool experience. I usually play, you know, I’ve been in a lot of sci-fi, or I’m a drifter, or a musician. And this is a guy who has a real job and a life and an apartment so it was kind of cool to delve into that. You play him for the entire season and let that arc unfold.
TP: How can you relate to this character?
CW: I think I relate to him more on a sentimental level. He’s a guy that cares about is job and is at the office a lot and it’s a huge part of his life. I can’t say the same of myself, as far as that, but I think I understood him more than anything on an emotional level and the way he felt about other people, and the way he handled himself emotionally and his availability emotionally.
TP: Every year, college students find themselves struggling to make it in the “real world” much like the characters on the show. What message does the show give to students who may be struggling in the “real world”?
CW: I think a real positive one in the sense that, yes, it’s a struggle, but these people all sort-of don’t lose sight of what matters to them, their friends, their lives, and their personal relationships. They all are just finding their way and that’s sort of an interesting, when you are young and just getting out into the real world, you want to just take it all on at once, but sometimes you have to just step back and let it unfold a bit. So I think it is a nice, cool, positive message. Not to say hope, but certainly not to stress about it and just let [life] come.
TP: Do you have a personal message to those who may be struggling, especially college students who are just coming out and trying to find jobs in any field?
CW: If anyone were to ask that, I would just say to hang in there. Like I said, it’s not all going to happen at once. You’re not going to be the head of a company on your first day and sometimes you’ve got to start at the bottom and sometimes you have to take a job that you don’t like in the meantime. I mean, we’ve all been there. Even in my line of work there are peaks and valleys and you have to just ride out the hard times and let the good ones come.
TP: Do you have any advice for aspiring actors or people looking to get into the entertainment industry?
CW: For any, and this is advice that I’ve heard from actors that I admired when I was younger, something that I heard a lot that I really think is true, is that you kinda need to stay true to yourself and bring yourself to a role when you audition for it or do it, because in the end of the day there are so many actors, and that’s the one unique thing that you will always have, yourself, and to just not try to conform to what others may want to see, but to do what you think is cool and interesting and see who responds to it.
TP: When acting, you have to build up chemistry with others, especially as a collaborator in order to be successful. Can you tell us about chemistry building?
CW: I think for me, I like to see what’s there naturally and try to build on that. See where you get along with people and similar ideas that you have. Sort of just get to know people. Like, over the course of this season of Underemployed, I worked a lot with the actress Sarah Habel, who plays Daphne, and we had a really nice chemistry. She’s a very cool person, and over the course of the season, it became almost effortless to do our scenes together. It was a nice automatic chemistry that we then had to build on. And then creatively working with [Executive Producer] Craig Wright was a real joy for me because he’s kind of a sentimental guy in the way that he writes and I really respond to that, and after a while he could just convey something with just a word because we’d worked together so closely for so long at that point.