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'Human Target''s Mark Valley on his favorite roles, the photos he wants no one to see, and wife Anna Torv

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Image Credit: Justin Stephens/FoxMark Valley left his bike in Vancouver. It’s there with his radio, some clothes, and hiking gear. He left the items for good luck, and, he admits, so he can playfully brag later if his show Human Target gets picked up for more episodes beyond its current 12. (”I’ll say ‘Oh, of course it got picked up,”’ he says in a faux haughty tone, ”’I left my stuff there.”’) They haven’t heard anything yet, but he’s hopeful. ”I think there’s more story to be told.” The same can be said of Valley’s personal rise to fame. Sitting down with EW.com earlier this week, Valley spilled on some of his memorable roles. And a few of not-so memorable ones…


Character: Fair-haired resident

”I always thought it was fun to do these little parts. But they weren’t little parts to me at the time, they were a big deal. It was like ‘Oh my God, I’m going to be on a [movie] on HBO, playing ‘the fair-haired intern!”’


Character: Bobby Kennedy

”We were shooting at this girl’s school – I guess some of them were, like, taking classes nearby – and there was this gaggle of them near a pay phone, laughing and giggling. And one of them came over to our group while we were smoking cigars, and there’s Gary [Sinise] sitting there like, ‘What the hell is going on?’ She comes over, and I’m thinking she’s going to want Gary’s autograph. She comes over and said [to me], ‘I’m sorry to interrupt you guys, but it’s my friend’s birthday and I was really wondering if you could talk to her and say hi.’ And I’m sort of embarrassed. Gary looks at me and says, ‘I always wondered what that was like.’ [Laughs] And I’m, like, I always wondered what it was like to have this amazing career like him, and he’s admiring the girls screaming by the pay phone.”

DAYS OF OUR LIVES (1991-1997)

Character: Jack Deveraux

”I look back on it now, and I’m like, ‘Oh man, I took it so seriously.’ I remember saying something like, ‘I am the authority on my character.’ I look back at that, and I cringe. Or I look at some of the photo shoots. ‘Just wear this fur vest. Just try it on. You’ll never see it again’ [laughs] or ‘Just do this one shot in the bathtub.’ There was this whole shoot of me outdoors. It was kind of a cool photo shoot, and then they’re like, ‘One more thing. If you can do this before you leave.’ They had this copper bathtub set up. And they’re like, ‘If you could just get in it. They just want one shot of you. The bubbles will cover everything.’ That picture…yea. Whenever I Google myself – which is not as often as you think – that picture always shows up. It’s always like ‘Aww, they got me. Those f—ers.'” [Laughs]

PASADENA (2001-2002)

Character: Robert Greeley

”One of the writers, Alex Cunningham, is a producer on Desperate Housewives now. And I think Desperate Housewives has some influences from Pasadena. Pasadena erred on the side being too dark. That was probably the one thing about it, in retrospect, why it didn’t get picked up. I think if it was a little more cheery, people would have stuck around for it because the humor was there; it just seemed a little heavy.”

KEEN EDDIE (2003-2004)

Character: Det. Eddie Arlette

”I used to audition for NYPD Blue quite a bit, so I had this stock New York detective character that I would bring in for all their auditions. I got really close on some parts. One just really broke my heart that I didn’t get. It went to [Rick Schroder, Det. Danny Sorenson]. I really wanted that part really bad. I didn’t get it, but I had this stock New York detective character, pretty specific. I remember the second time I went in for Keen Eddie, I thought, ‘Why don’t I use this character?’ It was a good experience because I realized that every audition sort of pays off.”

BOSTON LEGAL (2004-2007)

Character: Brad Chase

”It was interesting because we had a lot of fight scenes in Boston Legal. That’s been a good precursor. One pretty memorable fight scene with Craig Bierko in a bathroom because we used to take it pretty seriously. Brad would sort of just punch somebody in the face. [Laughs] It was great. So in a way Brad sort of set me up for Human Target.”

FRINGE (2008-2009)

Character: John Scott

Valley quietly began dating Fringe star Anna Torv during filming. The couple secretly married in December 2008, announcing the nuptials months later.

”I always joke that people asked ‘Aren’t you that guy from Fringe?’ And I’m like ‘Yes, I was that one in the background on the slab, covered with translucent Vaseline, veins drawn on in an ink marker with some sort of confectioner’s sugar sprinkled on top with electrodes hooked up to my brain downloading my self-esteem and memory onto a fake computer.’ So I guess you can say I’ve made it in showbiz. Anna was really sweet to me, though. She’d always come up to me and say ‘Do you need coffee or tea or something?’ We did get to know each other a little bit on the show. But she was working quite a bit, and I was like lying quietly on the slab. Seeing [Torv] work and seeing how much she works and the amount of preparation she puts into it and how seriously she took it, that was really inspirational.”


Character: Christopher Chance

”There are a lot of kids who like the show, which I’m kind of interested in. I’ve usually had women coming up to me…. I’ve had soap fans coming up to me saying ‘Oh my God!’ and gushing. Once we were shooting down by the docks, and we were rehearsing this scene – I think I had to fight with these weapons, so we were swinging these sticks around – and I see these two little kids come up, maybe 11 or 12. They’re standing shyly in the distance so I wave them over. One comes over and says [in a quiet voice] ‘We were wondering if maybe we could have your autograph. We really like your show.’ And I’ve never really seen what it’s like to have a following of little kids like that. That’s a new group that’s interested in the show, which I like.”

Human Target airs 8/7c Wednesdays on Fox.