You probably already know Noel Fisher as Mickey Milkovich, the unpredictable neighborhood bully-turned-undercover lover to Cameron Monaghan’s Ian Gallagher on Showtime’s Shameless. He plays a much more innocent character on History’s three-part miniseries, Hatfields & McCoys, starring Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton and Tom Berenger, premiering at 9 p.m. Monday.
Fisher’s character, Cotton Top Mounts, has the challenge of being an illegitimate member of the Hatfield clan. Add his mental challenges and the sentiments of the time period, and Fisher’s character becomes one of the miniseries’ most captivating to watch.
Later this year, the Vancouver native also appears in Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 as the vampire Vladimir of the Romanian coven, and he’ll return to Shameless as a series regular for season three.
The 28-year-old actor gives The Hollywood Reporter’s readers a glimpse at what makes him tick with a guest blog. Here are five things you didn’t know about Noel Fisher.
1. I have been sponsoring a little girl in Zambia since the first season of The Riches. I went through some tough years when I first moved to Los Angeles, and The Riches was my first major success. After we shot season one, I decided I wanted to share some of that success with whomever I could. I wanted to pay it forward. Sponsoring a child has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. It feeds the soul in a way not much else can, and it requires so little.
2. I missed the final callback for my character on Shameless. I was working on another show, and I couldn’t get off set for the very last callback with [executive producer] John Wells. The callback had been on a Friday, and I was told that he was leaving for Chicago first thing on Monday, so I wouldn’t be able to audition for him. I wanted the part so badly that I spent all Saturday making this imitation director session and put that on tape. I did each scene three different ways and sent it to casting with a little intro clip asking them to just pretend they were directing me. Monday came, and I got a call that apparently Mr. Wells had not left after all. That day was the last chance. Of course, I was working on that day as well! The show I was working on very graciously moved my schedule around to get me out earlier, and I made it across L.A. in about 20 minutes flat. I remember literally running through the WB lot to get to the meeting in time. After all of that, I finally read for Mr. Wells and I got the call that I had booked the part as I walked off the WB lot. Whew!
3. I trained in piano for eight years. When I was a kid, my parents encouraged me to take many different classes. Piano was one that I really fell in love with. In one summer class I had to learn and perform my favorite song at the time, “Please Mr. Postman” by The Beatles. I remember being so nervous that the only way my teacher could convince me to perform was by turning the piano around so that I could play with my back to the audience, staring at a wall.
4. [Director] Kevin Reynolds thought I was wearing white makeup for my Hatfields & McCoys audition. The part of Cotton Top was originally albino. I remember walking into the room with Kevin Reynolds and one of the producers, Darrell Fetty. They are both tremendously kind people and made the audition a really wonderful experience. After the reading, Kevin looked up at me and told me that I had done an amazing job on my makeup for the part. My reply was simple, “No, that’s just my face.” Darrell laughed and let me know he was about to ask me where I got such a great wig, but now figured I probably wasn’t wearing one. I wasn’t.
5. I still have my first car. I bought it in 2002 and drive it to this day. I don’t think it has a side that doesn’t have a massive dent at this point. It’s gotten way past the point of “charming” looking. It is just a straight-up beater now. I get asked if I want help fixing the dents for a “really good price” at red lights about once a week. I can’t bring myself to sell it, though. I have so many memories in that car. The little beast has taken me back and forth to Vancouver more times than I can remember, I’ve slept through snowstorms in that car, it’s taken me almost everywhere I’ve gone for over a decade, and it has never let me down. I feel like Pig-Pen in the Peanuts cartoons– the dirty kid who’s always walking around with the beat-up blanket he just can’t let go of. My car is totally that blanket.