Charlie Weber



Most table reads are de rigueur for the casts and crews of hit TV shows.  They’re a chance for actors to get familiar with their characters’ arcs and for producers to figure out the flow of an episode.  But when you have an Oscar-winning powerhouse like Denzel Washington focusing on your every word during said script reading, the nerves are understandably on edge.

For Charlie Weber, who plays Frank Delfino on ABC’s red-hot legal serial Hot to Get Away with Murder, it was one of those rare starstruck moments.  “He’s friends with Viola [Davis] and just stopped by to say hello and ended up sitting in on our table read,” Weber says, describing that day in October when the veteran actor sat in on a script session.  Weber couldn’t help glancing at Washington in between scene readings.  “That was one of the most intense table reads we’ve ever had.  Everyone brought their A-game.”

“Intense” can also be used to describe the last half of Murder’s stellar first season, which recently returned to continue the salacious storylines of America’s hottest legal team.  Ever since launching in September, Murder has proven itself to be a worthy companion to ABC’s other hashtag-inspiring drama, Scandal.  There isn’t a single plot twist – or racy sex scene – that didn’t have viewers scrambling to tweet their reactions across the interwebs.

“We try to keep it interesting for sure,” Weber tells me over the phone on a January morning while he prepares to hit up a few Golden Globe parties later in the evening.  “We just keep going further and further down this rabbit hole.”

And viewers have been enjoying the perilous journey of Professor Annalise Keating (brilliantly portrayed by Oscar winner Viola Davis) and her eclectic group of law students as they try to figure out whodunit – and each other – on a weekly basis.  Twitter feeds have been filling up with #TGIT, keeping Thursday nights on the map as the hottest destination in network TV.

Weber’s known for being highly responsive when he receives shoutouts on Twitter.  “That’s my favorite part of Twitter,” he says.  “It’s instant fan mail.”  He remembers receiving actual postmarked letters and gifts when he did a stint on Buffy the Vampire Slayer back in the early aughts and notices the difference a decade makes.  Now?  “If they ask you a funny question, you can hit them back with an immediate response.”

Yes, if you’re a Buffy fanatic, you may remember Weber as Ben, the young intern who played a key role in the fifth season of Joss Whedon’s supernatural saga.  In fact, Buffy represents Weber’s first break into the biz, and all of it comes back to him while we chat and take a trip down memory lane.  After leaving his Missouri roots to launch a successful modeling career in New York City (“I had wanted that pure culture shock [of] moving from a small town to the big city”), he then made the migration to L.A. in 1999 and dived into his first pilot season.

When it came to reading for Whedon, he was thrilled to be given the opportunity shortly after arriving in Hollywood.  “Clare Kramer (who played Glory from Buffy) and I were there together.  Joss came out after we both read for the writers and said, “I’d like to hire you guys.”  And we were both just elated; I remember I was on cloud nine.  I walked out of there, got in my car, changed my shirt, and drove to the premiere of Broken Hearts Club.  And that was a pretty good day for a young actor.”

Let’s back up for a second.  The Broken Hearts Club, an indie cult film from 2000 (starring then-up-and-comers Zach Braff, Timothy Olyphant and Justin Theroux), happened to be the first feature film written and directed by current TV powerhouse Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Arrow, and The Mysteries of Laura).  The self-proclaimed “romantic comedy” was also Weber’s on-camera debut; blink, and you might miss his one line as “the newbie” at the end of the movie (go Netflix it now).  “My first paying gig was that one line,” he fondly remembers.  That experience proved to be so positive and lasting that it inspired him to keep going.

And he did.

Flash forward 15 years later, and he’s on one of the most talked about TV shows – and cutting a stylish figure – as Frank Delfino.  Has his fashion sense changed since he started portraying a suit-loving power player?  Not really, but he loves having a say in Frank’s wardrobe.  “The waistcoat thing was very specific to Frank.  I wanted him to be exceptionally put together [and] exceptionally well-groomed, almost to the point of being too much; like, why does he care so much about how he’s presenting himself?  And it’s sort of because it’s the world where he came from.  He still has one foot on the other side of the tracks, and it’s all sort of symbolic of his personality.”  And that personality is one he describes as “that East Coast aggression and forwardness.”

As for hintng at what’s to come on Murder, he’s as tight-lipped as any actor starring in a Shonda Rhimes-produced drama.  Details are always under wraps, and the cast is always kept in the dark…until they receive their next script.

Divulging such juicy secrets is just another thing Charlie Weber may to have to learn how to get away with.



photography YONI GOLDBERG



photo assistant GRIFFIN POCOCK

Production Bello Media Group | words by HIKO MITSUZUKA

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