When Sliders (canceled by Fox in 1997) moves to the Sci-Fi Channel on June 8, star Jerry O’Connell, 24, will have someone familiar around to help him adjust to the new digs: his brother. Charlie, 23, joins the cast as Colin, the long-lost sibling of Jerry’s character, dimension hopper Quinn Mallory. The Bros. O’Connell took time to field some very juvenile questions.
— Kristen Baldwin
EW: Okay, Charlie. How’d you get this job?
CHARLIE: There was a worldwide search, and I wore a disguise so that no one would recognize me as Jerry’s brother. And then on the final audition after I gave the reading, I took off my disguise….
JERRY: It was pretty much nepotism to the nth degree. When the show went to Sci-Fi, they made me a producer. Charlie was coming back out to L.A., and I said, ”You’re not coming back unless you have a job.” He said, ”You want me to have a job, get me a job.” So as a producer, the first stunt I pulled was adding his character.
EW: Jerry, did you try to replace your Jerry Maguire costar Tom Cruise with Charlie?
JERRY: Yeah. All of my gigs, I sort of say ”Hey, is there a part for a brother?”
EW: I want each one of you to tell me an embarrassing story about the other.
JERRY: I was in the fourth grade, he was in third. One day I remember hearing over the PA system, ”Charlie O’Connell, please come to the principal’s office. Your mother has your snow pants.” I felt so much embarrassment for the poor guy.
CHARLIE: He was in second grade, I was in first grade, and he did the poopies in the pants. We were in a Catholic school, so he went home in a nun’s outfit.
EW: Did you guys have derogatory childhood nicknames for each other?
JERRY: Charlie was ”Upchuck.” I was always a little husky, so there were a few comments about weight, but I quashed them as soon as I could.
EW: You guys versus Jeremy and Jason London in a fistfight — who wins?
JERRY: No doubt Charlie and I, because we were born and raised in New York.
EW: Charlie, you’ve done some runway modeling in New York. Do you and Jerry ever fight over who’s better looking?
CHARLIE: No. I think Jerry knows.
EW: Which Brady brother would you be?
JERRY: Charlie’s most definitely Marcia. If I were any of the Bradys it would be Sam the butcher, because he was the only one who was actually getting a piece.
CHARLIE: I’d have to go with the next-door neighbors in the movie who thought they were nuts.
EW: Jerry, you let out a, like, 20-second burp in the upcoming film Can’t Hardly Wait. Was that real or dubbed?
JERRY: All real. The scene called for me to chug beer. So they got me cases of non-alcoholic O’Doul’s. When you’re killing 48 O’Doul’s, the burps just happen.
EW: Charlie, you’re playing the older brother on Sliders. Why?
CHARLIE: Because Jerry hasn’t hit puberty yet.
JERRY: You’re the older brother, because [my character] didn’t know you existed. It’s good you paid attention this season, Chuck. Sorry, I forgot to wake you up for that meeting.