|Marc St. James|
|Ugly Betty character|
Michael Urie as Marcus St. James
|First appearance||"Pilot" |
|Last appearance||"Hello Goodbye" |
|Created by||Silvio Horta|
|Portrayed by||Michael Urie|
|Full name||Marcus Weiner |
Marcus St. James
|Occupation||Creative director at Mode |
Junior fashion editor at Mode
Personal assistant at Mode
(to Wilhelmina Slater; 2004-2009, 2010)
(to Daniel Meade; 2009-2010)
|Family||Jean Weiner (mother)|
Marc, who hails from Schenectady, New York, is the personal assistant of Wilhelmina Slater, the creative editor at MODE magazine. He is very loyal to Wilhelmina and so far he will do whatever it will take to help his boss succeed in her goal to become the magazine's editor by conspiring with both his boss and magazine receptionist Amanda Sommers to sabotage the two people responsible for costing Wilhelmina the top job, and in particular, ruin the 'beauty' of the magazine's workplace: Daniel Meade and Betty Suarez, respectively. Despite his attempts at scheming and his efforts to derail the two, Marc usually fails, at times finding himself at the mercy of his boss' wrath, even though he has his own agendas, as hinted in "Filing for the Enemy."
References to Marc's sexuality are coy in the first season. He behaves in a stereotypically flamboyant manner and makes puns and witty jokes on suggestive terms like "flaming" and "out." Before coming out to his mother, he long claimed to have a girlfriend who lives in Canada.[a] Marc also mentions having used Amanda as a beard for two years when with his family.
When Marc's mother, played by Patti LuPone, comes to visit, Marc uses Betty as a fake girlfriend to cover up his sexuality and they have dinner at Betty's house. When she calls Betty's effeminate nephew Justin "swishy", Marc defends the boy and tacitly reveals his own "swishness" and homosexuality. Scandalized, she leaves for home.[b] While a little sad at first over his mother's rejection of his sexual orientation, he nonetheless is also happy to live life on his own terms.
In Season Two, Marc begins dating Cliff, a photographer whose scruffy and overweight appearance is at once charming and distressing to the fashion-conscious Marc. Their relationship gets off to a rocky start when Marc doesn't recognize Cliff's invitation to a movie and dinner as a date. Subsequently, Marc has to overcome his embarrassment of Cliff, which he does after Cliff dumps him. The pair's first public date is Wilhelmina's wedding to Bradford Meade. They got engaged but after Marc cheated on Cliff, they broke it off.
Marc has brief though recurring run-ins with Justin. In the first season, Marc advises the fashion-conscious Justin to "Be who you are, wear what you want. Just learn how to run real fast." Marc also mentors Justin while he interns at MODE in Season Two.
Marc's best friend is Amanda. The two share spiteful fun in teasing Betty (and others). Marc supported Amanda during her secret relationship with a straight designer who publicly pretended to be gay to help his career in the fashion industry. Marc supports Amanda in her various personal issues, including her discovery Fey Sommers is her birth mother, the search for her birth father, and Amanda's capitalization on the 15 minutes of fame that being Fey's love child gives her. Despite their frequent participation in mean-spirited antics, Marc and Amanda sometimes encourage each other to act morally. For example, Marc encourages Amanda to hand over the letters and perfume for presentation at Claire Meade's murder trial, evidence resulting in Claire's exoneration.
Marc's relationship with Betty is largely adversarial, and he frequently insults and humiliates her, often with the help of Amanda. As time passes however, and their professional positions become more aligned, their relationship develops into a simultaneous rivalry and camaraderie. When Wilhelmina temporarily becomes Editor-in-Chief of MODE, she spitefully lures Betty (who had left with Daniel) away from Daniel and back to MODE. However, when Wilhelmina begins to see potential in Betty, Marc felt betrayed and gives Betty a sack full of letters to shred. It initially appears he is demeaning Betty, but Betty learns the letters are Daniel's previously unseen fan mail. Their discovery results in Wilhelmina's demotion to Creative Director and Daniel's reinstatement as Editor-in-Chief at MODE--and Betty's reinstatement as his assistant. Marc admitted to Betty he was motivated to show her the letters out of jealousy.
After completing the YETI program alongside Betty in season 3, Marc and Betty find themselves vying for the only available editor space at MODE. Ultimately, the choice is left up to Wilhelmina and Daniel, who flip a coin. In the season 3 finale, the coin favors Betty, and having lost the editor's position, Marc is last seen being consoled by Amanda, his dreams temporarily dashed. But he becomes the Junior Fashion Editor now when he gets the promotion from Wilhelmina.
In the final episode it is implied that the new Editor in Chief of Mode Wilhelmina has made Marc the new Creative Director.
At work, Marc fulfills a variety of tasks for Wilhelmina, notably including abetting her schemes to take over MODE and, in the second season, Meade Publications. When he talks, she threatens him. On occasion, she promised to replace him with some other "curly-haired, effeminate sycophant," five of whom she claims to have on speed dial. Among the assignments Marc has fulfilled for Wilhelmina are hitting her so she could claim a jealous Claire Meade had her beaten. Wilhelmina claims to have no personal regard for Marc, on one occasion trading him to the cosmetics mogul Fabia so Fabia would move her own wedding date, leaving June clear for Wilhelmina. But seeing Marc as one of Fabia's maltreated boy toys brought out a strain of carefully concealed remorse in Wilhelmina, and she conceded the coveted June wedding to Fabia in order to get Marc back.
Marc was also one of the first people to know about Fey Sommers' rediscovered "Love Dungeon" adjoining the "Closet." Only three others in the office know about the secret retreat as of the second-season episode "It's a Nice Day for a Posh Wedding": Amanda, Christina and Betty. Henry would be the fourth person who would find out in "I See Me, I.C.U."
Originally, Wilhelmina was supposed to be so mean she would fire an assistant every week, but Marc proved to be a popular character and got the job permanently.
Slate magazine named the character as one of the reasons they were looking forward to the return of the show in fall 2007.