Friday, June 18, 2010

David James Elliott Portrays Two Distinctly Different Dads

David James Elliott (photo credit: Hallmark Channel) played baseball star who was spurned by Paige on “Knots Landing.” Then he played a sex-addict football star on “Melrose Place” who cheated on Allison. Now he is an advertising star who is fired by the company that he helped build on the Hallmark Channel original movie “Dad’s Home.” David plays a widowed father who is suddenly out of a job and thrown into his children’s lives, just in time to heal his almost-broken family.

Daytime Dial: “Dad’s Home” premieres on the Hallmark Channel just in time for Fathers’ Day. When you read the script for the movie, what was is about the movie that made you want to be a part of it?

David James Elliott: My very good friend Bradford Lake worked on the movie, so right away, I knew that was something I wanted to do. And then we found something that we thought we could jam on, and that is kind of what we did with the movie. It was more of a jam session almost. We would come in and kind of rework the scenes. It was like jamming on a riff. It really felt like we could do something with it.

DD: One aspect of the movie I liked was that it was told from the male perspective. We get a lot of these kinds of movies of the single mom trying to juggle all these things, but I really liked that the single father is the protagonist, having to make family versus career choices. Was that appealing for you?

DJE: Absolutely. It was a scenario that I believed that I could talk to. I have two children of my own — a boy and a girl — so it was very accessible to me. It was easy to get there for me. It’s pretty interesting because, like I said, I have a boy and a girl, and we’re completely different. We’re different animals. I have a friend who’s an indigenous person, North American Indian. He told me that his grandfather said: “A long time ago, there used to be just men on the Earth. We lived on corn and cocaine. One day, women came down in a spaceship. They’re better than we are, but they’re not the same.” There’s a lot of wisdom in that.

DD: How was the cast, especially the actors who played your children, to work with? They are such great young actors!

DJE: Both of the kids were really good, which was great. They were just really available and talented. Madison (Davenport, who plays his daughter) was exactly the right level of precociousness. She was a spunky, smart girl. Confident. Very much like my real one. It’s like talking to an alien sometimes. How do I get in there? What do I have to say that opens the door? Are you listening to what I’m saying to you?

DD: I’ve interviewed Sharon Case (Sharon Newman on “The Young and the Restless”) — who plays your romantic interest — a few times and she is always such a sweetheart. How was she to work with?

DJE: Very nice lady, very professional. She was easy to work with. It was great. We had a good chemistry, I thought. She gets it. She’s been working steady her whole life and has a great career. She’s just a really nice girl.

DD: Tell me about “Scoundrels” and about your character, Wolf West (photo credit: ABC).

DJE: This is a dynamite project. It came about in such a funny way. I had just come back from the Amazon, and I got a call, “Hey you want to do this show?” And I said yeah, because I already knew about it — I’d had a meeting about it before. It’s a based on a series that’s been very successful in New Zealand called “Outrageous Fortune.” Great characters. It’s about a family of small-time criminals. That’s how they put food on the table. The first episode opens with what we believe is going to be a short stint in jail for my character. I figure I’ll walk away with four months. That’s OK; I’m setting everything up to exist while I’m gone, and then I end up getting five years. So, the husband is in jail, and the wife is struggling to hold the family together. Virginia Madsen plays my wife.

DD: How is the cast to work with?

DJE: It’s been a lovefest since I got there. Everybody has just been great. Everybody is getting along like a house on fire. It’s just a gas to go to work every day. The scripts are dynamite. I can’t find a thing wrong with it. It’s just bummer when I’m not there.

DD: Because your character is in prison, how/will we still get to see you on the show often?

DJE: Yeah, I’m involved in a lot of ways. He will eventually get out of prison when the show gets picked up.

DD: The show got an eight-episode order for the summer season — if it does well, it is possible it could be picked up for the fall?

DJE: You hear a lot of scenarios and only those guys who wear the suits and work in the big building know. Steve McPherson is the guy who is going to make that decision one day. So anything is possible.

DD: This character seems to be different from the type of character we are used to seeing you portray. Was that part of its appeal to you?

DJE: It would be great for people to see me in another role. I look for things I can embody. This guy, he has a lot of me and he’s got a lot of people that I know in him. It’s just a great opportunity that came along and I’m just happy to be a part of it. He’s completely different from Harmon Rabb (from “JAG”), and that’s dynamite.

Speaking of “JAG,” that was a difficult show to get off the ground, especially when we started. We started under the Clinton administration, when things were going extremely well and there was no thought of war. And to have pulled off what we did and to have lasted as long as we lasted is pretty amazing. The 10th season just came out on DVD, I understand. The timing is all good for me. My stars are aligning — finally. Mercury is leaving retrograde.

Don't miss David in Hallmark Channel's "Dad's Home," airing Sunday night at 9/8c (and repeating throughout this weekend and next), as well as "Scoundrels," which begins this Sunday on ABC at 9/8c.

Monday, June 14, 2010

AMC Archive Photos Available for Purchase

In honor of All My Children’s 40th anniversary, special archive photos from the series entire history will be available for purchase beginning today, June 14, at The official All My Children photo gallery is the sole home of 40 special cast images from every year of AMC going back to the series premiere in 1970.

Captured in time, the photos depict some of AMC's most classic and endearing moments, featuring a young Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) flaunting her very first engagement right to her mother Mona (Frances Heflin). Remember when teenager Hayley Vaughan (Kelly Ripa) arrived in Pine Valley dressed in punk with black hair, and who could forget the time when Leo du Pres (Josh Duhamel) and Greenlee Smythe (Rebecca Budig) were stranded on the deserted island? All those classic moments and more are included.

AMC has created many romantic moments which are also featured including daytimes’ first location shoot in St. Croix with Erica Kane and her first husband Tom Cudahy (Richard Shoberg) on their honeymoon (above). There are also fan favorite couples including; Chuck Tyler (Richard Van Vleet) and Donna Tyler (Candice Early), Tad Martins’(Michael E. Knight) proposal to Dixie Cooney (Cady McClain), young lovers Jesse Hubbard (Darnell Williams) and Angie Baxter (Debbi Morgan) (top left), and the fairytale wedding of Maria Santos (Eva La Rue) and Edmond (John Callahan). Available sizes and pricing can be found on

For those die-hard Erica Kane fans, Susan Lucci has also signed a limited number of photos of Erica Kane from her first month playing the legendary character from 1970. These photos (above), also available for purchase, will come with a certificate of authenticity.

B&B: Such a Tease!

· A couple makes love for the first time.

· A mother feels guilty about unintentionally hurting her child.

· A young man fears that his secret will be revealed.

· Family members attempt to end a relationship that they don’t approve of.

· An evil plan of revenge goes into effect.

Y&R: Such a Tease!

* An attraction sparks between Abby and Daniel but Abby’s intention may not be entirely pure.

* Tucker entices Ashley to take a business trip with him that could send them on a head-on collision with Billy and Victoria.

* When Snapper (see clip above) brings an ill Liz to town, she ends up revealing a secret to him about Jill.

* Michael realizes Phyllis could be the key to Nick’s case but she could also be his undoing.

* Jack and Victor team up to settle an old score.

Interview (Desperate Housewives): Helena Mattsson Gets Some Summertime Action

Dubbed "The Swedish Bombshell," Helena Mattsson surely is making her mark in Hollywood. With a part in prime time's hottest show, as well as 2010's biggest summer blockbuster (so far!), Helena is no longer flying under the radar. I caught up with her recently to talk about Iron Man 2, working with Robert Downey Jr., and playing a gold-digging manipulator on Desperate Housewives.

Daytime Dial: Iron Man 2 debuted at No. 1 its opening weekend and still dominates the box office. It's well on its way to becoming Summer 2010 biggest blockbuster. This all must be very exciting.

Helena Mattsson: Very exciting. It’s just a really fun movie that I am so glad I got to be involved in. I saw the first movie and I really liked it. I was really excited to be part of this one. I have a really small role, but that doesn’t matter because it’s an appealing thing.

DD: Tell me about your character, Rebecca.

HM: I can’t say too much (to not give anything away for those who haven't seen the movie yet), but I’m playing Rebecca, and I have this one big party scene where I sort of challenge Iron Man with his weapons, and there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on. I throw stuff up in the air. It’s a really big, crazy party scene.

DD: Was yours a physical role?

HM: Not so much. I get to run around quite a bit. I ended up taking my shoes off when we were shooting because I was running around. It was pretty exhausting. I wish I had more of the action stuff to do, that would have been fun.

DD: Is this the biggest project you’ve worked on so far? And what was the vibe on the set?

HM: It was just such a big set with so many people involved. They build all of these beautiful setups for the scenes and they had a lot of extras — just such a big production. It was really, really exciting to step into that and be part of it, and also to get to work with Robert Downey Jr. was really a dream come true. He is such an amazing actor and I admire him so much. I was a little nervous, but it was so exciting to get to work with him and everybody else on set.

DD: Is Robert a lot like his Tony Stark character?

HM: Yeah, I think he brings a lot of himself to his character. He is a character — very much a character himself. He’s a really, really nice guy and a lot of fun.

DD: It must have just been a very surreal experience, to be a fan of the first Iron Man and of the actors in it, and then you get to be in the sequel.

HM: Definitely. It was very surreal just to be a part of something you’ve seen. You’ve seen the first movie and it was such a big hit. Like I said, even though I have a small role in it, it was really, really exciting anyway just to be part of a project,

DD: It would seem to me that there are no small roles in a movie of this caliber!

HM: Definitely. I also definitely realized going to the premiere that this movie was very anticipated. People really loved the first movie and this one is going to be really big too. There were so many people at the premiere. It is definitely the biggest project that I’ve been a part of, which was really exciting. I wish I had a bigger role in it. Shooting was so much fun. I just wanted the shoot to go on. It was that much fun.

DD: Last fall, you also were in another action/sci-fi movie, Surrogates, with Bruce Willis, which is now on DVD. What was that movie like to work on?

HM: That was another really huge set with so many people. We shot in Boston and I was there for a few weeks. It was a great, great experience. That one was about robots, surrogate robots. It was really cool to be a part of an action film like that. It’s sort of a dream come true as well.

DD: You also have a role on Desperate Housewives as Irina, who happens to be Russian. You do a really good Russian accent. Did you work with a professional coach on that?

HM: My accent was really heavy when I first came here. I had a heavy Swedish accent. Although it’s not quite the same as the Russian. I have some Russian friends, and I really wanted the part so I made sure to really look to my Russian friends, and I really started to get the accent down. For some reason, it came easy to me. It’s really fun to do an accent like that because it brings a lot to the character.

DD: I think you are doing a great job with it, because it sounds very authentic.

HM: I was really nervous about that at times because they gave us the lines and the scripts and everything so last minute each time. At one point they gave me a long speech in Russian, and I had like no time to prepare. By the time I got it down completely, they changed it again. So I was really stressed out about that. Just to speak the language properly, you don’t think about that when you watch it. Sometimes there’s no time to prepare.

DD: I love the tug-of-war relationship Irina has with Lynette. It is fun to watch. Is it fun to play those scenes?

HM: Oh my God, it is so much fun to be the villain and to be manipulative. There are so many off-tones and so many layers that only the women understand among themselves. You can always read between the lines. It was a lot of fun. It is also a lot of fun to play a character that’s really far from yourself and really have fun with that and be the villain. So, I’m very excited about that.

DD: What do you like, if anything, about Irina, and how do you relate to her?

HM: Every time you play a character you have to justify everything that they do. As Irena, I had to justify what I was doing and everything, and sometimes that’s tricky to justify some of the things she does, but I made it work for myself. I justified my actions to myself. Purely for the fun too.