Tuesday, July 27, 1999
OH BROTHER: Sibling revelry is all the rage on TV this fall.
There is a brother and sister act in The WB's family drama "Safe Harbor," and Fox has Christopher Kennedy Masterson in "Malcolm in the Middle." He's the brother of Danny Masterson, star of Fox's "That '70s Show."
Danny is 23, while Christopher is 19. The brothers have a similar look - big, curly hair in the shape of the letter "M" atop their heads - and sometimes audition for the same roles.
"There have been a few times where we've been up for the same roles, but never down to the wire," Christopher said. "But if that happened it wouldn't be a big thing 'cause if I didn't get it I'd be happy to know he did."
For the brother and sister playing teens on "Safe Harbor," competition isn't an issue. Plus, they use different last names that sound the same: Christopher Khayman Lee and Chyler Leigh.
"That's actually our middle names," Chyler said.
The pair said acting together on this new series gave them a chance to be together again. Chyler had been living in Miami and Christopher was in California.
"We know how each other acts, we understand how each other thinks," Lee said.
"It makes it a lot more comfortable because you know somebody else that's going to be in the cast," Leigh said.
As long as writers don't create a romantic entanglement between their two characters, they'll probably continue to get along just fine.
For some siblings in the business there are additional advantages to familial closeness. Twins can exchange roles. Jeremy London starred in the NBC series "I'll Fly Away." After NBC dropped the show, PBS filmed a follow-up, but Jeremy was busy with another project so his brother Jason stepped into the role.
"I think a few people caught on, but most people didn't know," Jeremy said during a USA Network press conference for the September mini-series "Journey to the Center of the Earth."
Like Masterson, Jeremy said he'd prefer for his brother to be his competition, but he has one pitfall as a twin: Fans don't always believe him.
"The most common thing that happens is that somebody will come up to me and tell me that they loved me in 'Dazed and Confused,' and I tell them, 'Thanks, but that was my twin brother,' and they think I'm a jerk, that I'm lying," Jeremy said. "They think I'm making it up, that because I'm such a huge movie star I would feel that I have to do that. That's a little bit irritating."
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