Aspenite gets ‘Ugly’ on TV
December 13, 2006
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN One might think Aspen native Larry Mayer came straight out of central casting – and landed on “Ugly Betty,” which airs at 7 p.m. Thursday on ABC.Mayer had competed in freestyle from 1968 until he hung up his skis in 2002. He is also a musician, a balloonist, a construction and drilling expert, and he drives a snowplow now and again – anything to maintain his Aspen lifestyle. And Mayer has a new line on his resume: actor.”It’s not a matter of what you know, it’s a matter of who you know,” Mayer said, like a true Hollywood insider. Mayer’s mastery of the mountains led him to Bill Durham, a Hollywood producer, cinematographer and frequent visitor to Aspen. And through Durham, Mayer made his first TV appearance on “NYPD Blue” as Dr. Bocco in 1995. “LAX,” a 2003 show about the Los Angeles airport starring Heather Locklear, also featured Mayer.
Being on that first TV set was about getting paid and fed well, Mayer said. And spending his weekdays working with Locklear on “LAX” and his weekends surfing.”It’s a blast. I should be out there doing it now,” he said.”Ugly Betty” is a remake of a popular Colombian show about a woman who goes to the big city – in this case New York – to make it in the fashion industry. A fashion magazine mogul – and known “player” – hires Betty (actress America Ferrera) simply because she is such a plain Jane, but the two take the industry by storm.Mayer traveled to Los Angeles and walked on without tryout or rehearsal to play an extra in a New York street scene and a fumbling hot dog vendor in another. But his coup de grace is as a pirate-themed exotic dancer at a bachelorette party.
“It took a hundred takes to get one shot,” he said. And it was always “‘You didn’t stuff the twenty in the panties right, so do it again.””Unreal,” he said.But Mayer’s forays in Hollywood have him hooked. This is his first Screen Actors Guild credit, and with two more he earns entry into the union, which he reckons will lead to more work.But while Mayer wants to make it in the biz, Aspen is where his heart is.
“All my ties are here. Everybody in town knows me,” he said. “I can make good money here as well.”He’s on the list for further acting jobs.”If they want me, they’ll call me,” he said.Charles Agar’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.