Monday, April 09, 2012

Interview (Y&R): Eric Braeden's John Jacob Astor Gets 3-D Treatment

By now you know that James Cameron and company have decided to rerelease their megablockbuster hit “Titanic” — it’s back on the big screen, but now it’s in 3-D. And, as many of you also know, “The Young and the Restless” star Eric Braeden portrayed American businessman John Jacob Astor IV in the 1997 film. I spoke with Eric recently about the rerelease of “Titanic,” as well as a few other topics that tickled our fancy. As always, Eric was perfectly frank and candid with me in his responses.

Daytime Dial: What did you think when you first heard that “Titanic” was going to be rereleased in 3-D?

Eric Braeden: My thoughts were they’re going to make more money, as if they needed it. There’s a saying in German: “The devil always sh*ts on the same heap.” (laughs)

DD: I know it was awhile ago, but what can you tell me about filming the movie? I read that you performed your own stunts.

EB: As you know, my character drowns. That was one of the scariest moments in this business for me, because you had all the water coming from the sides and 150 tons of water coming from the top. I had never rehearsed that before — you can’t rehearse it. Once the water reaches a certain level, then everything that is not bolted down crashes through the room. All the camera people were in diving outfits with oxygen masks, etc., but, of course, the actors weren’t. I must say it was one of the scariest moments I’ve spent in this business.

DD: That would scare the crap out of me, especially since I’m claustrophobic.

EB: Oh yes. Water rising and rising and rising, and then suddenly 150 tons comes on top.

DD: In a previous conversation, we spoke about your film “The Man Who Came Back.” Any chance you’ll make another Western like that, or maybe a sequel?

EB: No, I will never do a period piece like that again. It’s too expensive, and I would do it entirely differently. I will not deal with normal distribution companies. They are crooks, and the experience has been a very bitter one. I think a lot of independent filmmakers will now turn to the Internet to sell things directly. If you go through a distribution company, you are at their mercy.

The making of the film was wonderful. I loved it. I loved every moment of it. I would have done another film already, I enjoyed it so much, but it was such a bitter experience with the distribution. That is an experience that is shared by the majority of independent producers. Once you sign that contract with the distribution company, you may as well forget about it. It’s that bad.

DD: We are knee-deep in election coverage and debates for the 2012 presidential campaign. What are your thoughts on that?

EB: I just think it’s amazing how the public is still buying some of this crap. It is so apparently dishonest. I guess it is the best system that we have, so we live with it, but the obscene amounts of money spent on listening to the same nonsense over and over again, it’s stunning. And then people win based on having unleashed more personal attacks on someone. There’s so much dishonesty in all this. When they have these debates, there’s no one to follow up and say: “Wait a minute. What did you just say? What proof do you have of this or that?” People cannot allow them to get away with making statements that are blatantly untrue. It is all so staged and so phony. It’s disappointing. There’s not a real debate in that sense, because there are very few follow-up questions by the news anchors who conduct these debates.