"I was the kid in algebra class who had no
idea what's going on. ... I always thought it should be an optional
class, like gym."
Now the 26-year-old has to seem passionate about
it as he uses mathematical equations to help his brother hunt criminals.
Some of the chalkboard close-ups uses Krumholtz's
stunt double, a math student. For the rest, he's on his own.
"Numb3rs" is CBS' latest effort to increase
ratings by employing filmmakers with impressive credentials.
The network has already scored with Jerry Bruckheimer's
"CSI," "Without a Trace," "Cold Case"
and "Amazing Race." Now it has "Numb3rs," produced
by Tony Scott (who directed Bruckheimer's "Top Gun") and
his brother Ridley (who directed "Gladiator").
Morrow is accustomed to working with Hollywood veterans.
Robert Redford cast him as the star of the acclaimed movie "Quiz
For Krumholtz, however, meeting the Scotts was imposing.
"I've always been a big film fan," he says. "I've
always been a little too starstruck."
When he was 16, Krumholtz was in both a TV series
(as David Schwimmer's brother in "Monty") and a movie
(as Bernard the elf in "The Santa Clause").
The TV show failed, but the movie and its sequel
soared. "When you meet a 4-year-old and to him you actually
are Bernard, you take that seriously," Krumholtz says.
Hollywood soon saw him as a rarity -- a young guy
with perfect comedy timing. He did three more series, "Chicago
Sons," "The Closer" and "The Trouble With Normal."
Then it all faded. "There was a period of time
where I was auditioning for a lot of the biggest comedies and I
couldn't get one."
Krumholtz did lots of independent movies. He was
surprised to be cast in two "ER" episodes as a slasher.
"I didn't know if I would always be remembered as the guy who
killed Kellie Martin and almost killed Noah Wyle."
Then came two drama series -- last year's "The
Lyons Den" and now "Numb3rs."
While Krumholtz's character is furiously thinking
and scribbling, Morrow gets to chase and fight. "Late in life,
I'm getting into the physical scenes," he says.
Morrow, 42, grew up comfortably in suburban New
York, went to college "for a minute," and then jumped
into acting. "Northern Exposure," with Morrow as a big-city
type reluctantly working as a doctor in small-town Alaska, opened
quietly in 1990 and became a cult favorite.
Most recently, he was playing a troubled parolee
in the Showtime series "Street Time." Now he moves to
the law-and-order side.
He had plenty of current or former FBI agents advising