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Mabius sitting pretty with Ugly Betty success

Eric Mabius is still reeling from the surprise success of his latest gig.

Ugly Betty, a quirky, fast-paced comic soap opera about a dowdy girl in braces from Queens trying to fit in at a posh Manhattan fashion magazine, hit the airwaves in 2006 and instantly became more popular than a high school prom queen.

Mabius, who plays the male lead, Daniel, opposite America Ferrera's title character, has suddenly found himself splashed all over real-life magazine pages as one of the sexiest men alive, the object of millions of teenage crushes.

Cocooned at work on the Ugly Betty set for 70 hours a week, he didn't quite catch the significance of the rating figurers that said 15 million Americans were turning in weekly, he admitted. It only hit him when he first travelled to New York to do interviews for the show.

“It was pretty overwhelming,” the 36-year-old Pennsylvania-born actor said. “There were police barricades outside the hotel; there were hundreds of people outside. It's exciting, it means people are watching the show, but it's intense.”

The new-found fame hasn't gone to his head, said Mabius, who honed his theatrical skills at Sarah Lawrence College and, since the 1990s, has enjoyed moderate success, including roles in the films The Crow: Salvation and Cruel Intentions, and television gigs in The L Word and The OC.

“It's humbling and flattering,” said Mabius, who married his interior designer girlfriend of five years in 2005, and welcomed their son shortly after.

Mabius suggested Ugly Betty, a take-off from a popular Spanish-language soap, has quickly embedded itself in the cultural conscience because viewers can relate with its broad range of characters, and because the show addresses intense issues (such as gay character Marc coming out of the closet to his mother) in a way that doesn't speak down to the audience.

Plus there's the sheer fun of watching the blossoming relationship between the two leads. As Daniel, a notorious womanizer, begins to rely on his comely assistant, millions of viewers want to know whether she'll turn into his Cinderella.

“The quickest way to kill a show is to have that unrequited love consumated,” Mabius said. But, given the decade-long life-span of most television series, he added: “We joke it'll happen in season nine or ten.”

A Monaco Revue "Up Close And Real Interview"; filmed at the Monte Carlo Television Festival.

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Comments to date: 1. Page 1 of 1.

Jessica,  Canada

Posted at 1:58pm on Monday, November 12th, 2007

I absolutely love this show and it's nice to see that the fame hasn't gone to Eric's head!


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