In NBC's supernatural thriller "The Others" (premiering tonight at 10), 1994 Carnegie Mellon University alum Gabriel Macht plays medical intern Mark Gabriel.
The shared name isn't a coincidence.
"I auditioned for [the role of] Dr. Mark Osborne, and it later turned into Dr. Mark Gabriel," Macht said last month in Pasadena, Calif. "So I thought, maybe this is written for me, maybe this is synchronicity."
Macht, 28, plays one of a group of characters with unique abilities. Macht's character has the gift of empathy and first discovered his talent as a child when he brought his dead dog back to life.
"I'm just really trying to talk and listen to the other characters, and I try to identify with them on an emotional level," Macht said. "And if I can heal them or be of aid to any pain or suffering, I'm trying to be there for them."
Macht's also had an opportunity for quality time on the set with his father, Stephen Macht (attorney David Keeler on "Cagney & Lacey"). The elder Macht was cast in a guest appearance as the father of Macht's character.
"My whole life, I've learned from many successes and failures on his part, but he was my model and my inspiration," Macht said. "Who better to cast in the part? He's been an actor in the business for 30 years, he's a solid actor, and he's my pop."
Macht also learned to work hard during his tenure at CMU.
"I was in school from 9 in the morning to 11 every night," Macht said. "The drama conservatory works you and teaches you what discipline is. ... It's almost like I'm back in school."
Macht also has a role in ABC's upcoming biopic that stars Jennifer Love Hewitt as Audrey Hepburn. Macht plays William Holden in the TV movie, which has generated negative advance buzz because of Hewitt's performance.
Macht said he prepared to play Holden by watching films to learn how to imitate his voice.
"And I drank a lot during that period," he joked. "Everyone has a different technique on how to play real people. I try to take some of the same qualities or similar qualities that I have with these people and just try to play me. And hopefully it reads as William Gabriel Holden Macht."
Gabriel Macht will take part in a TV Guide/AOL chat at 9 p.m. Thursday. Log into AOL Keyword: TV Guide.