Michael's breakout role is in the HBO series Carnivale in which he played Samson.
Fans often refer to him as that dwarf from Twin Peaks.
Anderson played a leprechaun in both The Great Land of the Small and Charmed.
In 1987 he started his movie career with the family film The Great Land of Small.
In both Carnivalé and The X-Files he played the caretaker of a traveling carnival.
Michael J. Anderson's first appearance on television was was in 1990 on Twin Peaks.
He was a former computer specialist for Martin-Marietta.
Michael speaks with a slight stutter.
Michael J. Anderson portrayed a full-size man using a prosthetic body in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.
Michael J. Anderson was unable to walk until his twenties due to a genetic bone condition called osteogenesis imperfecta.
Learned the strange skill of talking backwards while attending a school for exceptional children when him and his friends wanted to find a way to communicate without others hearing. He used this ability in his role as the Man from Another Place in the series Twin Peaks.
He worked at NASA as a computer expert.
He was once leader of a band called "Wayward Gene and the Natural Selection" that played in various New York clubs.
Michael J. Anderson: (On his character in Carnivale's backstory) Samson originally joined a circus, as the strong man--hence the name Samson But now, he's a little older, he's not the circus performer type anymore. The mystical background of Samson is still rather in question; there is evidence to support connections to both sides.
Michael J. Anderson: (The most difficult challenge he faced in Carnivale) I think when Samson rose to the position he is in, it was greater than a dream come true for him It was more than he had been led to expect he would ever get out of his life. And so he's determined to stay in that position. So don't you get in his way, there's just very little he would not do, because he sees the alternative as unthinkable.
Michael J. Anderson: (On how the carnival is a home for character Ben in Carnivale) I'd say it's a very tenuous relationship. We always have the feeling that he's ready to light out and disappear, or just stay in the, in the town where we're set up. He seems always ready to leave. But, then, he never quite does.
Michael J. Anderson: (On who his character in Carnivale takes orders from) Well, I take orders from the secret Management. There's a character in the management trailer who only speaks to Samson. And, a lot of people aren't even sure that he exists; they think it might just be a trick Samson uses to stay in control of the carnival. And when we encounter Ben, we know that he has something to do with good and evil avatars.
Michael J. Anderson: (On how his character in Carnivale deals with other characters) The rest of the carnival is a diverse group with many, many differing value perspectives Samson, a lot of the time, is just juggling things, trying to keep one component from smashing into another Keeping it balanced, in the midst of extreme adversity. But, of course, that's, a strong point for Samson, dealing with adversity. That's probably what puts him in the position that he's in---hat he's one of the few people that can move between all these different paradigms without disturbing his own.
Michael J. Anderson: (On how his character in Carnivale is a mentor for Ben Hawkins) Well, Ben is really caught up in greater powers But he's sort of lost and confused. He doesn't know really who he is, or why he has any of these abilities. And neither does Samson But, because they share that degree of confusion, they're able to piece it out together, sharing and comparing what information they have been able to gather So, he's not so much a mentor that reveals the secret so much as he provides a way to discover the secrets.
Michael J. Anderson: (On his character Samson in Carnivale) Well, he runs the carnival. And the Dust Bowl, it was a hard world; it was a tough place to survive. A lot of people didn't, and as a result, the ones that did sometimes had to make some tough choices. Samson makes those tough choices... He does what he does for the benefit of the people of the carnival. But, there is hardly nothing he won't do that in that pursuit.
Michael J. Anderson: (On working on the set of Carnivalé) It has been one of the greatest experiences of my life, and everybody has been really great. And I'm looking forward to doing many, many more. The atmosphere...the ambiance and the message. I mean-- aside from the good and evil-- just the diversity. It's something that I really feel comfortable and at home with. I love being associated with it.
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