Q: My wife swears that the older actor in a Cingular commercial where a future son-in-law calls his future father-in-law is Robert Knepper, the T-Bag character in Prison Break. In the commercial, he convinces the younger man that it's OK to call him "Jim." I told her that it's not Knepper, but does look like him. Please let us know who's right. A dinner date is on the line.
A: She's buying. It's actor Michael Cullen playing the future father-in-law in the Cingular (now AT&T) commercial.
In the ad, Cullen plays Mr. McDermott, who tells the younger man on his cellphone to call him "Jim."
The young man begins to riff on the name, getting to "Jimbo" just as the call is dropped — leaving the young man thinking he's offended his bride's dad.
Cullen also now is appearing in a Cheerios commercial. In it, he plays a grandfather who tells his cute young grandson that Cheerios is helping him get ready for a big test — of his cholesterol.
Cullen also has had character roles in TV shows including Prince Street, Ed and Law & Order: Criminal Intent and has appeared on and off Broadway and in repertory theater. He also has had parts in feature films including Malcolm X and Clockers. Up next, Margot at the Wedding, a film starring Nicole Kidman.
As for Knepper, he's still doing time. He'll be back as mean-spirited convict Theodore Bagwell on Sept. 17 for the third season of Prison Break on Fox
Contributing: By Laura Petrecca