Meet the real-life inspiration behind Archer’s handsome mug, model Jason Fitzpatrick. Archer is an irreverent spy comedy that arrived on FX in 2009 and follows the titular character. Archer is a selfish, womanizing, alcoholic secret agent who works for an agency led by his overbearing mother Mallory. While the show might be inspired by the antics of 1960s spy movies like the Sean Connery James Bond era, the early seasons of Archer are almost a sitcom centered on his tangled relationship with his misfit co-workers and his mother.
Archer himself is voiced by H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers), and the cast includes Aisha Tyler, Jessica Walter, and Chris Parnell. In the interest of keeping things fresh, later seasons would mix up the formula, beginning with season 5’s Archer Vice, which took inspiration from shows like Miami Vice. After reverting back to the traditional spy setup, season 7 ended with Archer in a coma, with every season since featuring the character in a new scenario. Archer Dreamland found him as 1940’s private eye in a coma-induced dream, while season 10 Archer: 1999 is a cheesy sci-fi adventure.
The voice cast behind Archer has come to define their characters so much it’s always surprising to see H. Jon Benjamin or Judy Greer look little like their animated counterparts in real-life. That’s because the makers of the series hired models to serve as a reference for the animators, instead of the actors themselves. Archer’s impossibly chiseled features really belong to a male model named Jason Fitzgerald.
Mallory Archer’s model was Kathleen Cohen, Lana Kane was based on bodybuilder Kynyetta Lester, while confusingly Lucky Yates – who voices Dr. Krieger – served as a model for Ray Gillette, who is played by Archer’s creator Adam Reed. Comparing photos of Archer and Jason Fitzgerald makes it pretty easy to see the resemblance. Fitzgerald no longer models and has since become a professional photographer.
While Jason Fitzgerald has served as the basis for Archer’s appearance in every season, a bonus feature on the season 2 DVD called “L’Espion Mal Faît” animated H. Jon Benjamin as the character instead. The premise behind this quick short is that Archer is horribly mangled and ends up looking like H. Jon Benjamin instead of Jason Fitzgerald. This film ends with Archer realizing it was only a horrible dream, and describing himself as looking like something from The Hobbit; thankfully, it seems Benjamin has a really good sense of humor about himself.
Next: How Archer: Dreamland Boldly (& Controversially) Reinvented The Show