Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Nathan Fillion first burst onto the scene as Joey Buchanan, a character he played for three years on One Life to Live. After that, he branched out and went on to star in the TV series Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the feature films Serenity and Waitress, to name just a few. But Nathan never forgot his roots, and he is proud of them.
Daytime Dial: Many actors who start out on soaps but go on to other things tend to try to forget their soap-opera past, but you embrace it. Why is that?
Nathan Fillion: OLTL was an incredible experience for me. I’ve talked to other guys from other shows whose experience wasn’t nearly as positive as mine. I went to One Life to Live, and it was my first show, and I knew I had a lot to learn. I was surrounded by people who’ve been in the business for 15, 20, 25, 35 years. They nurtured me. They took me in and treated me like family. I can’t say enough about them and about my experience there.
If it weren’t for Bob Woods (Bo Buchanan), I’d have never moved to Los Angeles. I’d probably still be doing daytime. He sat me down and said, “This is how it’s gonna work, and this is what you’re gonna do.” I followed his advice to the letter, and here I am. Every time I go back to New York City, I buy him a bottle of scotch down the street, I walk in and say, “Thank you, Bob Woods.”
These people took care of me, they taught me, they mentored me. I’ll never pooh-pooh on soap operas. They are a valid source of entertainment with a plethora of talented people, probably the hardest-working people in the industry. I can’t say enough about them.
I went back — I think it was two summers ago — and I did two episodes of OLTL as Joey Buchanan to attend the funeral of Asa Buchanan, played by Phil Carey, who tragically died a short while after that. Some people expressed surprise that I had come back. I was like: “Why are you surprised? You know I had a wonderful time here. This is my home.” For three years, that was my home, and I loved it.
DD: Your hit show, Castle, will be back to start its second season on Monday, Sept. 21. Why do you think the show has struck such a chord with fans?
NF: I think I am a pretty good judge about what’s good. I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like. Obviously crime shows, murder mysteries and procedural shows are doing very well right now — I don’t know how many CSIs are out there, but I don’t think you can hold them all in one hand — so there is something very appealing to being presented with a mystery and trying to figure it out. I get caught up in that as well. I think what we do on Castle is we take away the brooding, haunted cops and the obscure, weird lighting of those shows, and we try to make it more real life.
We filmed the pilot in New York City, and we had a bunch of New York homicide detectives hanging around as consultants. And I tell you, these guys were not brooding, and they weren’t haunted, and they weren’t tortured. They were hilarious. They had the most brilliant stories that had me bent over double laughing, and they all start with, “So this guy gets killed ....” They bend toward being light to kind of lighten up a bit of a dark job.
DD: Is it fun for you to play a character who is kind of a jerk and do things you would never do in your real life?
NF: There was a time when I said, “I don’t care what kind of job I do, so long as I’m acting.” But now I’ve learned that I do care. I want to do things on TV that I don’t really do in real life. Castle is a nice guy; there’s nothing really wrong with him. I just don’t think I’d really want to hang out with him that long. He’d weigh on me after a while.
He just doesn’t have that filter that says, “Maybe now’s the time to stop” or “Maybe this joke wouldn’t go over right about now.” He really wears his joy on his sleeve. He’s joyous, and I like that about him. He’s unapologetic. He’s kind of fearless. He doesn’t have a sense of “This looks dangerous”; he’s more like “This looks fun!” He’s living this dream life that he only would write about in the past, and now he’s in the position to live it and he is so excited. It’s kind of like me in that I used be like “I’d love to be on movies and TV,” and now I’m living my dream. So I can really relate.
DD: Richard Castle certainly has a nontraditional home life. How does this factor into who he is?
NF: The nuclear family certainly still exists — the mother and father who are still married and the 2.5 kids. It’s still out there, it’s just no longer the norm. The nontraditional family is now the majority. I think the family unit that these people have is very realistic: an irresponsible mother who is now a grandmother, living with her son who is now a father, whose daughter is a mother to him, and he is kind of a parent to his mother. These are very realistic family dynamics. It’s very modern and contemporary, this whole idea.
I think it plays very well with the kind of person Castle is. He never had a responsible adult role model in his life. He doesn’t have any male role models in his life, no father figure. No one ever taught him how to be a man, so he runs around in his life being a boy. It’s part of his charm and part of his flaw.
DD: Another aspect of the show that makes it a success is the solid foundation in the cast. You all seem to work so well together and get along. How is the working environment on the Castle set? You must have a lot of fun.
NF: We do have a lot of fun, and it is great. There’s not a weak link in the cast. And we’ve also been blessed with our guest-cast members. It takes only one weak guest-cast member to make your show suck, and we’re just always so blessed with who we get on the show. It’s been wonderful.
And you have to take into account that there are 200-plus people who are on set when I arrive in the morning and who are still there when I leave. They work harder than we do and they deserve every accolade I can give them.
Tune into ABC on Monday nights at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT to catch Nathan in new episodes of Castle.
It was the casting decision heard ’round the world. Fans were shocked to learn at the end of 2008 that Don Diamont’s Brad Carlton would be killed off on “The Young and the Restless.” Don, a 20-year veteran of the show, was one of those people who were shocked when he heard the news.
“It’s hard to encapsulate into a word or two how I felt,” Don says. “Obviously it was disappointing. It was shocking. It was many things. I went through a range of emotions.”
But don’t feel bad for Don. He’s back — and riding high as the corporate titan Bill Spencer Jr. on “Y&R”’s sister soap, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” which makes it difficult for Don to recall his emotions that fateful day last fall when he was told the news about Brad.
“I guess I have moved on from it,” Don explains. “I am just so happy doing what I am doing now. My time on ‘Y&R’ was wonderful. The hardest part was that I had spent my entire adult life there, and I had so many friendships and so many relationships, and so many life experiences that I went through while being there. That was really the hardest part of it.
“I got the news two days before Thanksgiving that they were killing off Brad, and my last shooting day was just before the winter break, around the 22nd of December. It was the end of February when I got the call from Brad (Bell, executive producer/head writer of ‘B&B’) that he was interested in my creating the role of Bill for me.”
While Don was excited to sink his teeth into a new role, he was also thankful to be a part of the creation of an entirely new character. “As an actor, you want to act, and just to get a call that there is a part for you is always a terrific call. When Brad and I sat together to talk about Bill, he gave me his character breakdown, and he also gave me the freedom to create him.
“I felt that the beard was really significant, to distance him from Brad. The physical characteristics — the way he dresses, his beard, his physicality — I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people who watch both shows and they have no problem with my playing a new character. They don’t see Bill as Brad in any way.”
So what was Don most excited about with his new role? “I loved that Bill is such a different character, and especially different from Brad. And he is such a dynamic guy to play — he’s a combination of Richard Branson, Jack Sparrow and just a dash of Hannibal Lector thrown in. So it really was a departure. The character really lit a fire, it really excited me. It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s take Brad Carlton, give him a different name and plug him in here.’”
Bill and Brad couldn’t be more different than night and day. “Bill says whatever is on his mind. He’s sexually inappropriate, he’s politically incorrect. Whatever he is thinking, he says it. He has no fear of anything or anyone. He answers to nobody; that gives him a lot of freedom. Whether anyone likes what he has to say, that doesn’t concern him.”
When Brad Bell (head writer/executive producer, “The Bold and the Beautiful) created the roll of Bill Spencer Jr. for Don Diamont earlier this year, Don wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but he knew that he was in for quiet a ride. And what an exciting ride it’s been so far!
Part of the excitement stems from getting to work with an old friend and former castmate, Heather Tom (Katie, “B&B”; ex-Victoria, “Y&R”). Don gushes: “It is absolutely the best to work with Heather Tom. She is so talented and she is so much fun. She takes her work very seriously, but she doesn’t take herself too seriously. We have a good time.
“I have always admired Heather, from when she was 14 and started at ‘Y&R,’ she just hit the ground running. She was a pro from day one. Here we are, how many years later, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Don’s alter ego, Bill, is a pretty happy guy himself, now that he has found himself falling in love with the sweet Katie. “With Katie, she touched something in him. Their falling in love has certainly taken Bill by surprise. His entire world revolves around his business. This just came out of left field for him.”
Don continues: “He really believes that she has so much untapped potential. He thinks she is more on the ball than her sisters combined, she is just afraid to go out of her comfort zone.”
Bill has been going out of his comfort zone recently as well, thanks to Katie. “It’s certainly hard for Bill to open up and be vulnerable. That’s just not something that is comfortable for him. He doesn’t let anybody in, which is really the beautiful part about that relationship. He’s obviously had plenty of women, but he hasn’t let anybody close or revealed much of himself.
“There is just something about Katie that is disarming for him, that touches him. There is a genuineness about her, an innocence about her, and yet there is a strength. She challenges him, and she does it in such a way that he doesn’t want to eviscerate her.”
Some fans might fear that now that Bill is in love, he’s going to go all soft on us. Don wants to reassure viewers that that won’t happen. Don explains: “I thought it was very important for Bill — he wouldn’t go soft because he is love. While he can soften some of his edges, he cannot lose who he is. He believes in who he is. In the world he lives in, the competition is fierce. You don’t get to where he is without being who he is. While Katie will point out some things in his life where he could go a little easier, soften an edge or two, that’s fine. But he’s not going to become a lovesick puppy all of a sudden.”
If Don sounds energized and happy by his new role, it’s because he genuine is. “It’s been a long time since it’s been that I can’t wait to open a script. I can’t wait to pull that thing open and see what Bill is up to now.
“I will be forever thankful to Brad Bell for not just creating this character, but for his faith in me in being able to bring this guy to life. He really gave me a wonderful opportunity. Here I played Brad Carlton all these years, a character who was named after Bradley Bell, and now I am playing a Bill (after Brad’s father, William Bell). It’s important to me that I do his dad proud. That is not lost on me. It does have a significance for me.”
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Meet Soap Star Kyle Lowder (Rick, The Bold and the Beautiful)
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans to meet one of daytime soap's hottest stars, Kyle Lowder who plays Rick on The Bold and the Beautiful.
Kyle will be in Plano, IL as part of Soap Opera Digest magazine's "Shop Like a Soap Star" national tour. The star will be signing autographs and posing for pictures with his fans.
Saturday, September 26th from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Wal-Mart Supercenter #1003
6800 West Route 34
Plano, IL 60545