Interview with Michael Perl: A Winston Egbert Exclusive

15 Aug

Last week I interviewed actor Michael Perl, who [in case you lived under a rock last decade] starred as Winston Egbert on TV’s “Sweet Valley High” which ran for four seasons from 1994-1997. A self-confessed high-school loner, his witty comebacks and cute-but-geeky looks gave him the kind of Winston-esque charm that sensible girls eventually grow to adore [Step aside Bruce Patman.]

And despite my being a non-journalist and persistently annoying fan, he was only too happy to answer all my questions and bring Winston back to the people.

This guy is all over Bruce Patman

Where did you grow up and what drew you to acting?
I was born and raised in LA. I think the first time I realized that acting was going to be in my life was during the 5th grade when I had the chance to play Danny in the school production of ‘Grease’. I was a bit of a loner in life and acting out (forgive the pun) allowed me to breach that shell I kept myself in.

How did you come up with your interpretation of Winston?
I just saw him as the guy who all the girls wanted to be friends with but none of the girls could see themselves going on a date with. Whether or not it’s true, that’s how I saw myself in high school and I just went that direction with him: a fun guy, yes. But a smooth talker, nuh-uh. Also, it was nice that he was written in the way he was. It gave me zero opportunity to take myself seriously.

Did you read the Sweet Valley books? I actually didn’t. I knew about them, but I was more into Ray Bradbury and Louis L’amour when I was growing up.

Who were your buddies in the cast? Is there anyone you still hang out with? I had a great time with Brock [Burnett] and Harley [Rodriguez]. We hung out quite a bit the first year. But they were all good people and fun to work with. I still catch up with Brock now and again.
[Ed: Bruce and Winston are friends? Weird…]

What was your favorite episode and why?
Probably the one where we went to ‘Mexico’ (actually Ventura, CA) It was one of those experiences where I had to marvel at the fact that I was getting paid for doing this.

Did you have a crush on anyone in the cast? Outside of Brock, you mean? Joking, joking. No, I’ve only got eyes for my girlfriend.

In Season #1 “Kidnapped” did Winston have a thing for Liz or was Todd just being a possessive douche bag?
Not to make judgment calls but…the latter.

Why did Winston never get the girl?
Why do most ‘nice’ guys not get the girl in high school? My guess is that girls in high school (at least the good looking, popular ones) favor the boys who can offer an adrenaline rush, not a secure loving relationship….also, he was a bit of a geek. Geeks get the girls later in life.

Winston or Bruce – who do you think ladies really want more?
Which ladies? The ladies I adore go for the guy who can make them laugh. The ladies I avoid go only for the money (and let’s face it, Bruce is about the money and little else)

How did you feel about being a cover model for the SVU series?
It was surreal. I think my Mom bought something like twenty copies just because of that. I’ve yet to buy a copy. Too strange.

Team Jessica or Team Elizabeth?
Team Elizabeth…she always wins. And it’s nice to know that at least in fiction, the good girls end up winning.
[He just lost 10 points]

What’s next for Michael Perl? I’m shooting a web series called ‘Quit’ in early August. I wrote and co-produced it. And of course, I wrote myself a role in it. We’ve got a great cast and crew ready to go and we’re going to have a website and Facebook fan page up for it very shortly. I’ll make sure to keep you up to date. After that, I’m producing and starring in a play that will run for six weeks here in Hollywood called ‘Jump/Cut’ by Neena Beber.

Do you drive an orange VW?
[That would be kind of creepy]

I don’t drive a VW, but if I ever find a orange bug puttering around LA, you know I’m gonna stop whoever’s driving it and offer to buy it right then and there…cause I’m all about creepy.

Nothing like a ‘triumph of the nerds’ story to help you through the weekend.

Thanks to ShannonSweetValley for pictures and of course to Mr Michael Perl for just bein’ Winnie.

If you heart Winston even more now, don’t forget to enter our Team Winston T-shirt contest, which only has a few more days to go!

13 Responses to “Interview with Michael Perl: A Winston Egbert Exclusive”

  1. Shannon August 15, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    This is so awesome! Though you’re right, minus several points for being Team Elizabeth.

  2. Zoe August 16, 2010 at 6:44 am #

    It’s hilarious that producers think that by putting glasses on a male model type it makes them nerdy. A fantastic interview with the gorgeous Michael Perl. He sounds so down to earth and a real nice guy, just like Winston.

  3. winstonegbert August 18, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    @Zoe – my sister said the exact same thing. Go Maria Santelli!

  4. Amanda August 20, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    Made. Of. Win. He seems like a very down to earth guy.

  5. Totally Sweet Valley August 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    Thanks so much for finding my blog! I’ve been reading yours for ages, so I feel really slack leaving you off the list 😦 Am so embarrased!!

    I LOVE Winston, I’ve always been a Bruce girl myself, but as Ive matured, I’m finding myself growing very fond of Winston, I could definietely marry him. He’s a great guy, very smart and funny and good to his girl, what more could you want?! He’s awesome 🙂

    Great interview, though Winston DOES ‘get the girl’ atleast twice. Maria was a good catch, as was Denise from SVU.

  6. Sadako August 27, 2010 at 1:52 am #

    Being a cover model does sound both cool and surreal. Great interview!

  7. Liesel September 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm #

    absolutely love this interview! 🙂
    I interviewed him a year ago or so ago – which seems like ages ago to be honest – so it’s nice to see a ‘follow up’ interview detailing a bit about what he’s currently up to.
    I especially love your question about whether or not he drives “…an orange VW” and his response to it, Lol!
    Great job on the interview!

    • winstonegbert September 5, 2010 at 9:39 am #

      I just read that, Liesel, great interview! Finally some light is shed on the mysterious disappearance of Patty Gilbert!
      And he played Demetrius? Lucky Helena!

  8. Estrella Doradox3 February 13, 2011 at 7:15 am #

    Hey! i really love this series!! 😀 its really great! i have found to fall in love with sexyy todd wilkins!!! well anywayss I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! :-[ 🙂

  9. frill March 13, 2011 at 6:14 pm #

    WINDOW!!!!!!!!!!!! you know what, i have always loved the Lila+Winston dynamic sooo much. i love this interview! winston’s character is probably the best quality, and lila’s (esp the earlier one) is soo hilarious. they’re both tops! i am so excited to see this!

  10. katie March 11, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    Hey; i’d date Winston. He’s actually cute. and i like nice guys(: Not like Bruce I wouldn’t date him in a million years haha

  11. Stacy August 27, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    My favorite actor in the series was actually Michael Perl. He had great timing and was genuinely funny. He had a natural flow and seamless delivery of the character. As the series went on, he cut his hair. I think he is quite gorgeous. I grew up reading SVH as a teen and even though Michael had not read the series, he was spot on portraying Winston–everyone’s friend but no one’s boyfriend. I still have the DVD’s and a lot of the older SVH books. Yes, I’m much older but I like to open a SVH and go back in time for a while.


  1. #2 – Secrets | HappiMess Media - August 20, 2015

    […] Winston? That sounds hott. Not only is he one of the rare ones in SVH who have a fun personality, in the TV show, he was pretty cute. Plus, because he never gets any, he’ll probably be eager to please in the sack. But I […]

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