Greg Germann E!Online Q&A

He's the lawyer we love to hate, and his character's view on life--as expressed in those oh so cynical "Fishisms"--have made him the talk around the water cooler.

Greg, though, is nothing like Ally McBeal's smarmy boss, Richard Fish. He's a good-guy family man, married to actress Christine Mourad and the father of three-month-old Asa.

A theater major from the University of Northern Colorado, he cut his teeth on Broadway (Biloxi Blues, War Games,Only You and Assassins) before making the jump to film (Clear and Present Danger, So I Married an Axe Murderer, Once Around) and TV (Ned and Stacey).

His current passion? He just wrote, directed and and starred in a short, Pete's Garden, which actually made it to the highly competitive shorts program at Sundance--not bad for a new kid on the block.

So, what's a "Fishism" anyway? And why does a woman's wattle drive this guy crazy? Greg took time out of his busy schedule to answer your questions below

From heafuen: Tell us how true you really are to your character's Fishisms?

Luckily, I only have to live by "Gregisms."

From Roxana: Do you think your character will ever ask Whipper the big question?

I think he's going to lose her because he's so scared. Right now, I'm in more than a little hot water because I can't seem to stay away from Janet Reno!

From thatgirl: Have you ever written a Fishism that has been used in Ally? If not, and you were asked to write one, what would it be?

My Fishism: Never attempt to write a Fishism as long as David Kelley's around.

From boomhauer: Prior to landing your gig on Ally, were you a fan of David Kelley's earlier work, such as Picket Fences or the first season of Chicago Hope?

I certainly knew something about David, but doing this show has been an eye-opening experience--just to witness his depth and versatility.

From casadega: In the episode titled "Silver Bells," you performed the song "I Love You More Today than Yesterday." You did a great job! Have you had much professional singing experience?

I created the role of John Hinckley in Stephen Sondheim's Assassins in New York--but I would never consider myself a "real singer."

From speidh: Do you think there should be coed bathrooms in real life like on the show?

There is at my house.

From gilliandavidlove: On the show, you love wattles, especially Whipper's. Is this true in real life, too?

An Australian journalist told me recently that a wattle, in Australia, is a flower that produces a pollen everyone is allergic to. I know that doesn't answer your question, but it's the best evasion I can think of.

From pfeiffer: Did you ever think Ally would get to be this big and successful?

I knew it was an extremely well written pilot--and I knew most of the other cast members from the theater in New York. So, with all that going for us, I was certain we were doomed.

From the_1_and_only: Boxers or briefs?

I'd have to see you to say what looks best on you.

From shane_e: How did you get into the business? What do you think of attending casting-director workshops in order to break into the business? Did you take any of them and where?

I studied in New York. I think that's where the best training can be found. I would focus on being the best actor possible, doing things to "break into the business" will never serve you in the end as an artist.

From cdc314: Your character seems to have great chemistry with the rest of the cast. As an actor, how do you find just the right timing to make that happen?

I'm very lucky to be able to come to work every day with a group of actors I truly respect. I'm challenged by all of them. The chemistry is just a happy accident.

From erryn: All actors dream of being on a top-rated show. Is this where you want to remain, or do you have bigger goals?

I love to act. It hasn't honestly mattered to me where--TV, theater or film--as long as the role will push me in new directions.

From NDM_nLA: Has life changed for you since the show?

Yes. I'm so busy now I have no life.

From hadley69: How do you feel about the show's sudden popularity?

Grateful, surprised and a little stunned.

From tsaviola: If you could have any guest star on Ally McBeal, who would you pick and why?

Dyan Cannon, Sandra Bernhard, Tracey Ullman, Richard Kiley: It would be hard to top that list.

From abberdazey: What is your position on lawyers? They get such a bad rep now and then. What does it feel like to play one?

Lincoln was a lawyer--I'm honored.

From seinfeldian1: How did you get your role in Ally, and what was it like working with a talking, killer doll? Do the two of you ever hang out?

You must be referring to Chuckie in Child's Play II. He was a real pro. Unfortunately, we haven't seen each other for years. I think he's out of the business.

From phoebe72: How do you interpret Fish's personality?

Confident, guilelss, unapologetic.

From chris_chivers: How close is the gang on Ally? Do you socialize after a day of shooting?

We're usually there anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day. As much as we like one another, and we really do, getting a few hours sleep before we do it all over again is all we really have time for.

From myrrh: Your character was my favorite on Ned and Stacey, so I'm especially glad to see you on another great show. What other past projects have you done, and are there any upcoming film or other projects we can look out for?

I wrote, directed and starred in a short film called Pete's Garden that was recently in competition at the Sundance Film Festival. Hopefully, you'll be seeing that on cable soon.

From june26: What is your all-time favorite movie?

That's tough, maybe My Life as a Dog.