Michael T. Weiss pulls weight in ‘Bones’

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
October 21, 2001

As the star of “The Pretender,” Michael T. Weiss grew accustomed to wearing natty designer clothes.

For his role as a corrupt, corpulent cop in the film “Bones”–which opens Wednesday–Weiss wore a different kind of suit: a fat suit.

“People who haven’t seen me since ‘The Pretender’ are going to think, ‘Boy, he really let himself go,'” says the ordinarily lean 6-foot-3 actor. “I weigh about 300 pounds in the film. It was kind of intense to be that big, but it definitely was fun, too, ’cause I knew I could take off the weight every night. Spending five hours in makeup to look so different than I usually do really put me into my character. I could literally feel him.”

Working with Snoop Dogg was something the former Chicagoan enjoyed, too. But Weiss, who once worked as a singing telegram deliveryman, didn’t dare offer to get down with the rap star.

“Snoop is a fantastic actor and musician,” says Weiss, 39. “I’d be an idiot to tell him, ‘Hey, I’m an actor who can sing a little.’ He is really fantastic and just a really great, funny guy. People are going to be surprised when they see him in this movie, which is a combination of ‘Superfly’ and ‘Shaft’ with a little ‘Friday the 13th’ thrown in.”

While a student at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Weiss was cast as an extra in Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People.” After graduating from the University of Southern California, he put in a five-year stint on “Days of Our Lives” and won critical acclaim for his role as a gay man in the feature film “Jeffrey.”

“I try to choose things that are polar opposites of what I’ve done before,” says Weiss. “I don’t see the point in playing the same guy over again in different projects. I loved this role in ‘Bones’ because he is an evil character who doesn’t even realize how bad he is. He’s almost comic that way.”

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