July 9th, 2009  |  Leave a comment

The Forbes March Interview – As The World Turns

forbesMain.jpg

Next week is the debut of Forbes March in the new role of Mason Jarvis on As the World Turns. Soap fans have eagerly awaited his arrival back on daytime, since his demise as Nash Brennan on One Life to Live. Many were upset that this fan favorite has been off daytime screens for sometime, when “OLTL” chose to kill him off. Now, with a new role and a fictional town (Oakdale) to play in, Forbes, one of daytime’s all-time leading men, is back…but this time he is playing gay. Mason is introduced to us as a film advisor who will be involved in story with Luke and Noah. Is Mason the ultimate spoiler in the Luke and Noah romance? How will he shake things up?

On-Air On-Soaps chatted with the witty, funny, and charming heartthrob. Forbes gives us his take on stepping into Mason’s skin. However, and of note, this is not the first time Forbes has played a gay role. In (We Love Soaps) Roger Newcomb’s recently released new film, Manhanttanites; Forbes plays a guy who steals the fiancé of his former One Life co-star, Ilene Kristen. You can see that performance currently on DVD.

So, without further adieu, here is Forbes on how he plans to take ‘World Turns’ in a bit of a…different orbit!

Listen to the audio:

Play

MICHAEL:

Forbes, next week you are debuting on As the World Turns and you are playing a gay character, which means there are more than two gay characters in Oakdale!

FORBES:

Apparently so. There are three points to a triangle, isn’t there? Oh-oh!

MICHAEL:

When you auditioned for this role, did you know at the time you would
be playing a gay character?

manhattanites.jpgFORBES:

I had an inkling. I had heard the role would be available, and called my agent to look into it. I got the ‘sides’ for the audition, and saw I was going to be talking to two guys. I thought, “That was odd,” because usually in a soap audition if you are reading for a male character it is usually opposite the young lady you are having a story with. I ‘googled’ it before hand, and went, “Oh, Luke and Noah, the new Luke and Laura.” So, I had an inkling. I went into the meeting. I had read for Chris Goutman (exec producer “ATWT”) before. I find him to be a real charming guy. I did my audition and he went, “Ok, I kind of like that.” Then he says, “There are a couple things you need to know about the role.” I said, “You are going to tell me the guy is gay, right?” and he goes, “YEAH.” He was waiting for my reaction, right? And I went, “That’s great.” That was about it. He said, “All right, we will call your agent.” And that is how I got the role.

MICHAEL:

So, when you found out you got the role, what was your initial reaction?

FORBES:

Oh, I was very excited.

MICHAEL:

So, it wasn’t, “Oh God. Now I have to play gay?”

FORBES:

I knew there was going to be some kind of reaction to the whole gay thing. But, I really did not anticipate that people would be this excited by it.

MICHAEL:

We are in a different day and time, and we have seen how popular recent gay storylines have been in soap operas. Like what Luke and Noah have done for “ATWT” and what Otalia has done for “GL”. So it’s great to see that they are integrating another gay character into the canvas. That is one reason I think so many people are excited about it, plus having you playing the part!

forbesWife.jpgFORBES:

Now that I am in the role, I understand it. Maybe because I have always been surrounded by very diverse people in my life, it did not cross my mind that much. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood, and it was a neighborhood that was not quite gentrified yet. To the left of me, I had a biker clubhouse. My dad was an academic. The next house was a cathouse, and the next house was a gay couple that had been together for 20 years, and I never saw them in any way being different. I never thought it was a big deal or had a major discussion about it; that it was a man and a man who lived together. They are like husband and wife, but man and man, and that was the end of it… and that was when I was three or four years old. So I never had any contact with homophobia, really. I had been in the arts my whole life and that is a very open culture. I am a little surprised about how much attention it’s getting because this is a gay role. But, you know what’s been really weird? The number of people who have been concerned for my wife, which is so bizarre! They keep saying, “What does your wife think”? Like this should be a real point of concern for her. I mean, she is this bodacious blond! If anybody can attest to my straight-hood, it is my wife. Do people think I am going to turn gay? I don’t think it works that way! (He laughs)

MICHAEL:

Mason has a boyfriend named George, who is bored and needy in Oakdale, and there is tension between the two of you. True?

FORBES:

Yes, I do have a relationship, but he promptly gets annoyed and stands up and stomps out. And that’s the end of George. That is the first and last we see of him. That’s how we find out that Mason is gay.

MICHAEL

So he walks out right away? Well, that’s pretty funny! So, that frees Mason up pretty early on!

FORBES:

It’s actually really funny and was a lot of fun to shoot.

MICHAEL:

How is working with your on-screen cast mates, Van Hansis (Luke) and Jake Silbermann (Noah)?

lukeNoah.jpgFORBES:

They are fantastic! They have been in this storyline a lot longer than I have, but their comfort and their confidence is a lot of fun to be a part of. They are very talented guys, and good actors.

MICHAEL:

And Mason is Noah’s film advisor.

FORBES:

Noah is a film student, and Mason is introduced as his advisor.

MICHAEL:

So, they will obviously be working together. Do you think down the road there will be a Noah and Mason possible pairing/romance?

FORBES:

I don’t know how to answer that. I answered once sarcastically in an interview by saying, “That’s a ridiculous suggestion. J ust because there is another gay character does not mean they are going to be bed-hopping. What is it, 1950? We just assume all gays sleep together?”

MICHAEL:

But. we are dealing with a small gay group on the canvas!

FORBES:

However, there are three points to a triangle. I assume there will be a triangle, because otherwise I am going to be looking for another job in six months.

bree.jpgMICHAEL:

You left such an indelible impression as Nash on One Life to Live. Your exit facilitated heartbreaking story for your former co-star, Bree Williamson (Jessica). Have you ever tuned in to see how it played out after you left?

FORBES:

I have watched only very briefly, and I caught an episode a few weeks ago. I have no doubt Bree is doing very well.

MICHAEL:

Well, the funny thing is; they cast Nash’s dad for some pivotal episodes, and he had similar long hair to you… and resembled you!

FORBES:

Dude, are you kidding me? A friend of mine saw it and said the guy has some of Nash’s mannerisms. I don’t know because I have not seen it. But that’s funny, but good for them.

MICHAEL:

What do we know about Mason? We know he is gay, but what is his emotional make-up? Good guy? Bad guy?

FORBES:

forbesJacket.jpgI am always hesitant to answer that because those decisions are usually dictated by plot. I come up with my own version of the character, but it’s one of the challenges in working in daytime. You have to be very open to changing your character when the plot dictates that you were wrong. I imagine Mason to be very worldly. He has been around. He knows things. He has a high level of confidence. I imagine him as not a soap opera villain, but I am not playing him as a soap opera good guy, although they are pushing me that way. I would like to play him as kind of a pragmatist, and none of the BS, and the fact that he is gay does not define him. He is confident enough in himself without having any arrogance. He is squared and truly not afraid of who he is. This is who he is. Mason does not over compensate because of it. He is not embarrassed about it, and he is like, “So, let’s get on with it.”

MICHAEL:

Obviously, with Proposition 8 and the importance of gay rights in our country at this point in time and the struggle with equality, it makes this another role that people will be closely looking at. Any pressure that you feel comes along with this role?

FORBES:

The whole gay thing was not a big deal to me. I thought it would be a chance to play something interesting. A lot of my friends are gay. I did call them and asked, “How would you like to see a gay person portrayed on TV?” I know it sort of sounds like a kind of a funny question. The consensus was, “Please! Don’t do the campy effected thing.” I have some close friends who are gay and I owe them one. They wanted me to portray a gay person as a human being, as a person.

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