September 17th, 2010  |  Leave a comment

The Van Hansis Interview – As the World Turns

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It is hard to image our soap opera viewing consciousness, and our daytime television viewing habits without the character of Luke Snyder.  From the minute Van Hansis took over the role in late December of 2005, he infused Luke with a sweetness, a playfulness, sex-appeal, charm, a zest for life, and an impulsiveness.  His Luke was also a romantic at heart.  Throughout the last five years, fans of As the World Turns have watched as Van time after time, story after story, gave a poignancy and honesty to his performances that long after ATWT is gone, will never be forgotten.

And while the big question on everyone’s mind – whether you are a gay soap fan or a straight one – was who would Luke end up with in the end?  Noah or Reid?  That was not the final story that was chosen to be told.  When the powers-that-be cut short the budding romance of LuRe by killing off Reid before the end of the series run, fans were left wondering how it would end for their favorite young hero. As we now know, he does end up going it solo for now, trying to pick up the pieces after the sudden death of the man he came to realize he loved.

In the five years that I have had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Van, we have covered a lot of territory, and a lot of social issues that were relevant to the groundbreaking love story of Luke and Noah; coming out, intolerance and bigotry, family acceptance, and ultimately a young man searching for love. 
Van’s ability to transcend and melt our hearts, make us cry, and laugh at Luke’s perils and his plights, was something that was universal, and his fans base is international in scope.  And for gay young men out there, he gave them someone to relate to, and someplace where they could see a part of their story being played out on the TV screen.  In this final farewell ATWT interview with Van, we hope to answer all of your most burning questions about the series wrap-up, and take a look back and try to see into the future for Mr. Snyder and Mr. Hansis.  Here is On-Air On-Soaps finale interview with Van. 

MICHAEL:

Van, your performance when Reid died was so moving. The fans were so upset and concerned about it being compressed and shortened, as there was not a lot of time to let the beats of the story play out, and it felt so rushed. We all wanted to see more of   you and Reid in those final moments.

VAN:

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I would have loved to have more scenes because I like doing that terrible stuff.

MICHAEL:

What you did was truly unbelievable.  It broke everyone’s collective hearts!  Did it seem so lickety-split and quick to you?

VAN:

I really was proud of that material, from an acting standpoint.  It is exciting to be able to get some material that really challenges you, and you have to find a way to rise to that kind of challenge.  And I guess in watching it, I realized how quick it all happened, but when we were shooting it, it did not seem quick at all… especially the episode where Reid dies, as we shot that whole episode in one day.  Sometimes we chop up the shooting days a little bit.  I remember there was just so much material that day and so much material I had to do… more so than I can ever remember in one episode.  I spent four or five days memorizing all that.  So for me, it did not seem like something that was so quick.  I was just so focused that I knew all my lines.

MICHAEL:

When you watched it back, what did you think?

VAN:

I went “Wow”.  It happens very quickly.

MICHAEL:

Why didn’t anyone console Luke?  It drove me nuts!  Where the heck was everybody!

VAN:

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I watched it on YouTube and I saw a lot of comments like that as well.  And again, it was weird, because while we were shooting that I was not even thinking that no one was consoling Luke.  It was such a rollercoaster of a day that at that point it did not even enter my mind.  But then later, I thought, “Why didn’t anyone console Luke?”  I guess, under the circumstances, there was so much happening for all the characters that everybody was kind of in tunnel vision.  Bob and Kim were focusing on their son, Chris.  Margo was focusing on getting the news out to everybody of what happened to Reid, and Luke was just focused on Reid.  And the doctors were just trying to save Chris.  But, I don’t know why nobody was there for Luke.

MICHAEL:

What this poor man went through was so devastating.  Do you think it was fragmented and rushed because the show went, “Oh, my! We only have a few more weeks left and we better get this all wrapped up?”

VAN:

Possibly, I have no idea.  We had only two weeks left, and sometimes that is just how soaps work.  Time is a very strange thing on soap operas.  Sometimes, you will have a day that will be two weeks of shooting, and sometimes characters manage to fly across the world in 20 minutes.  I guess there is a suspension of disbelief that you just kind of have to go with, as far as time goes… but in the shooting of it, it did not come into my mind until I saw it.

MICHAEL:

All of it was so sad.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house every time you came on screen.  Just beautiful work!  What did you think when they came to you and said, “We are going to kill Reid and this is how… he gets hit by a train?”

VAN:

At first when I heard Reid was going to die, I was like, “Oh, C’mon!”   But that is also from a really selfish point of view, because the last couple of weeks of shooting I had wanted to not coast, but I was not expecting to have something that was so heavy.  When your character loses someone, or has to make a terrible decision like Luke had to do with the organ donation, you owe it to people who have gone through that in real life not to gloss over stuff like that, because even though soap operas are a very fictionalized world, you’ve got to play it with as much dignity as you can, and try to make it as real as you can. Those people who are watching may have gone through something similar.  I truly believed the ending was going to be, “Who does Luke end up with? Reid or Noah?”  That is what I thought the whole last storyline was going to be and that would have been a much lighter storyline, than obviously, Reid dying.  But then I read all of Luke’s stuff and the scripts.  I saw what was going to happen to him, and then I got excited to play those scenes.  It’s rare that you get something that is really going to test you, I think.  Luke got some really good stuff in a storyline that is really, really, sad.

MICHAEL:

Luke is the emotional center of the show right till the end, and yet, he is the one character left alone.  I was reading in Soap Opera Digest this past week where you said, “His storyline is the only one that does not end happily. Luke is sitting there alone.”  I thought that is kind of cruddy, but in a way most remembered.

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VAN:

Yeah, that is kind of how I see it, too.  I care very much for Luke and this character I played for the last almost five years.  I would have loved to see him happy in the end.  I guess now it’s kind of like the last time you will see him; he will be alone and working through this stuff.  But, he has got a whole life out there somewhere for him, and he is going to rise above these tragedies.  I think it’s in his character to do that, as that is what he does.

MICHAEL:

What did you think of the final scenes between Luke and Noah?  Noah gave Luke a kiss before heading off to L.A.!

VAN:

Well, Luke tells Noah not to stay in Oakdale, but to go to L.A to pursue his dreams.  And then he takes him to WOAK, where he bought him a nice beautiful video camera for his filming. They have a nice scene, that one day Luke will go visit Noah in L.A.  They say at one point down the line, Luke will come out and visit, but who knows?

MICHAEL:

Do you think Luke should have ended back with Noah at the end?  Nuke fans have been unhappy for quite some time. They have followed the guys since the beginning of their journey together three years ago, and were hoping to see them reunite.

VAN:

I think with what happened with Reid and everything; it would have destroyed Luke’s character completely, if a week after Reid died Luke would get back together with Noah.  I think it would destroy anything that Luke and Noah had, because it would just be so crappy of Luke to do something like that. You don’t see Luke and Noah get back together in the end, but it’s kind of left open that in the future there could be something, or maybe they will just remain close friends.

MICHAEL:

There is a flash forward similar to what Guiding Light did at the end of the ATWT finale.  But Luke is not in the show as much.  How did you feel about that?

VAN:

There is a flash-forward at the end.  It’s a month forward and Luke has a scene with Natalie, his sister, and then he goes to Katie and Chris’s house.  Luke is only in two scenes in the last episodes. The last episode rightly focuses on Bob and Kim, and the people who have been there for a long time.  The other characters come in and out.  There were a lot of people in the episode!

MICHAEL:

But when we leave Luke, he is still grieving in the final episode?

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VAN:

Yes, he is.  And it won’t be whitewashed over.

MICHAEL:

You know, Van; when I look back with you, we have done almost five year’s worth of interviews together.  We have discussed every plot point that Luke had been involved with!

VAN:

Crazy!

MICHAEL:

It has been crazy, but yet so much has come out of it.  You have done so much for the gay community, and have been an actor and a character that the LGBT audience could relate to, and they went on every step of the amazing journeys of Luke Snyder with you.  So now looking back, does it seem like five years?

VAN:

When I look back on everything, it seems like five years.  Now I have time to reflect on it, and reflect on everything that has happened in the last five years.  Five years is a long time and that is half a decade! What is crazy for me to think is that this was my first real professional job.  I had no idea when I first started; it was like being in such a strange alien world, and working and being a professional actor.  I was doing what I always hoped I would do, and would be lucky enough to do, and to have my first job be something so incredible as this, is such a gift.

MICHAEL:

At the recent Paley Center for Media event and panel honoring ATWT, the shows head writer Jean Passanante, and EP, Chris Goutman, told the audience and you, that the character of Luke Snyder would never have been so effective, if it wasn’t for you.  What did you think when they said that to you?

VAN:

It was a very nice compliment, and it was great thing for them to have said.

MICHAEL:

The Reid and Luke interplay was so fun to watch.  Were you shocked that this duo took off in such a major way?

VAN:

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I was shocked that it became as popular as it was.  When Reid came in, I did not expect that storyline to go as far as it did, and that the two of them would become an actual couple.  I did not think it would take off the way it did.  That being said, I know there is still a very strong following for Luke and Noah, as well. To have two sets of fan bases, one liking my character with one character, and the other liking my character with the other character, was not something I was expecting at all.

MICHAEL:

We always talked in past interviews that the one thing that Luke never had was a purpose.  Does he have a purpose here at the end?  Is he going to run the Reid Oliver Neurological Wing at the hospital, somehow?  I couldn’t really tell! (Laughs)

VAN:

I don’t know if it is specifically spelled out that he does. (Laughs).  I like to think that out of this tragedy that some purpose will come for him. Having to make those decisions about Reid, and about somebody’s death and a funeral, you actually have to man up and grow up a little bit to make those decisions about someone you love. I think reaching that maturity level leads to having more purpose in life.  We shot these scenes a long time ago, but I don’t have any specific memory of that as his purpose. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Terri Colombino (Katie) and you worked so well off of each other in the final weeks of the show.  How was working with Terri in those pivotal scenes surrounding Reid’s death, and the aftermath?

VAN:

I loved working with Terri, and you know what, Katie ends up comforting Luke in the end of the last scenes after Reid died.  

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MICHAEL:

So many fans have been in an uproar as to why did the show have to destroy the happiness of the gay couple and not allow them to be happy, when all the straight couples at the series finale are finding their happiness together.  Instead, the gay couple got a horrible, horrific, and sad ending.  Many wanted Luke so badly to be happy, and have that be the final image in their minds.

VAN:

Yeah, and I understand that, and I feel for the fans in that way, I truly do.  Knowing the people behind the scenes though, I really doubt that they were sitting there going, “How do we ruin the gay couple?”   I know the writers and the producers, and I know they wouldn’t do that.  And do I think it was done to prop up the “straight” couples?  I don’t think so, because I don’t think it was done with malicious intent, and like as you said, out of this Luke becomes the focused character of the end of the show, and he is a gay character.  So, to make him the point of view character for the wrapping up this 54-year-old show is kind of cool, and without the tragedy it would not be the focus of the show and all last week. Even though Reid died quickly, the repercussions were felt all week long.  I think that although it’s a tragedy, you see the tragedy through Luke’s eyes.

MICHAEL:

Luke never had sex with Reid.  Why do you think that was?  Were the writers trying to protect the integrity of Noah and Luke?

VAN:

I don’t know.  These are all questions I don’t know.  You have to ask the writers these questions, not me, but I try to answer that in my head as best as I can.  When I got scripts on the show, I didn’t look at them in terms of story, but in terms of my character.  I think that is the difference between being a writer and an actor.  The writers have to watch the whole story and figure out where the whole story is going, and the actors have to make sure their characters are justified in what they are doing, based on their history and personalities.  For me, I’d like to think it is in Luke’s character to wait to have sex with someone.  He and Noah waited a very long time.  I think in those scenes you got to see with Luke and Noah at the pond prior to the small service for Reid, is where you see Luke regretting not having slept with him.

MICHAEL:

Yes, I loved the scene at the pond when Luke said in a heartbreaking speech, that he did not sleep with Reid, he did not go to a movie with him… I didn’t do this and that.

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VAN:

I liked that, too.  I think it also shows that Reid and Luke were just starting out, and that is something very sad.  It got cut off before he ever got to do any of those things with Reid.  And, I think one of those was even to go to a Farmer’s Market, and he got nothing. No Farmer’s Market for them anymore!  But, I do think it is in Luke’s nature to wait.  I think it’s also a regret that Luke will live with for the rest of his life.

MICHAEL:

I thought it was very touching that Noah put all his feelings aside and came to Luke at the pond when he was most in need.

VAN:

That is Noah, also.  That is his character and he is a real stand up guy.  He put his plans on hold because he does care about Luke.  I don’t think he showed up there with the intent of, “Oh, Reid’s dead.  Now I can get Luke back! Ha Ha.”  I think he honestly cared about Luke.

MICHAEL:

How was working with Eric Sheffer-Stevens (Reid) and exchanging that rapid fire dialog with each other and those great barbs?  Did Eric say anything to you during the final scenes when he died?

VAN:

I have not spoken with Eric since the end, and that is because I have been jumping around and Eric was doing a show in Vermont.  I think Eric is a great guy.  I would love to see what he is up to.  Eric is incredibly talented.  I am sure I am going to be seeing him on the big screen or the small screen, or the theatre. Working with him was fantastic!  The last episode of where he is all bloodied up and dying, there was a break between a couple of scenes.  I was sitting right across from the hospital set, and he was all strapped into the bed with tubes in him.  He tried to smile, but he gave me the thumbs up.  It was after the deathbed monologue scene.  So that was really nice, having a corpse give you the thumbs up and that you did a good job (Laughs).  I liked the banter between Luke and Reid and it was a lot of fun.  It was fun for Luke.

MICHAEL:

Jake Silbermann (Noah) and you have had this whirlwind journey together for three years.  How was performing your final scenes with him?

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VAN:

They are sad.

MICHAEL:

Were you sad?

VAN:

When I finished the very, very last scenes… I was sad.  Not weepy sad, but it kind of hit me like, “Wow, part of my life is done and over.  I was on the show longer than I was in college, and longer than I was in high school.”  So it is a very significant chapter of my life, and when a significant chapter of your life ends like that, it’s a bit of a sucker-punch.  I mean it was something that defined me for so long and helped define who I am, and is no more.  There is always some sadness in that.  But as far as with Jake, he is one of my best friends.

MICHAEL:

Jake is just such a great guy!  He is honest, forthright, and there is something about him you can trust.  I don’t find that immediate reaction to someone in a lot of people I have interviewed over the years.  Jake’s directness is so refreshing.

VAN:

He is a fantastic guy, and I definitely feel all that you say.  And working with Jake, there was never any moment where I felt I was being judged in scenes with him.  I would do something where he would think that was not a good choice.  But, there was such an open communication between the two of us that it was OK.  I just felt completely (and even from the beginning) that I could trust him, and that if I messed up in scenes, he would not sell me up the river.  He is a very forthright and honest guy, and he is also very funny.  You did not get to see his humor too much with Noah.  I will miss working with him a lot.  I have seen him since we stopped filming and I was not sad, like, “I am not going to see my friend anymore,” it was just sad that I am not going to get to work with my friend anymore.

MICHAEL:

Noah has gone to Los Angeles.  Reid is dead and Luke is left bereft when As the World Turns comes to its conclusion.  Where would you like to see Luke five years from now?  Remember, there are no writers you have to worry about! This now is all your fantasy of what Luke’s life would look like.

VAN:

He would survive through the loss of Reid, and I think he needs to get the hell out of Oakdale. (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

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To a big gay metropolis?

VAN:

Yeah, I think he needs to get the hell out of Dodge.  I think he should go back to school in a big city somewhere and get back to his writing.  Because remember, he use to be a writer?

MICHAEL:

Yeah!

VAN:

…And instead of writing short stories, maybe he could get into journalism because he had so much crazy stuff happen to him.  Luke is very passionate and he has very strong views on almost everything, even if he does not know what he is talking about, he has a strong view on it.  Maybe he could be a pundit for a cable news network.  I would just like to see Luke use his passion to get out there and to fight.  That is where I would see him.

MICHAEL:

Do you think he should have a romance and allow himself to open up to someone again down the line?  Do you think he should stay away from men for awhile?

VAN:

That is the thing about romance, it just comes up and knocks you on the back of the head, and you don’t get much of a choice on it.  But for now, Luke should focus on himself and maybe wait a little bit.  He went through a lot romantically in the last several months, and I mean A LOT!  I think one thing is for sure, that Luke and Noah will be in each other’s life in some capacity for the rest of their lives.

MICHAEL:

So are you going to the ATWT cast party Friday?  I heard the cast were getting together to watch the finale at a sports bar in New York.

VAN:

I heard from people on this, too, but I haven’t been invited yet. (Laughs)  I guess I am still grieving. (Laughs)   I saw that one of the casting directors from ATWT wrote on facebook to me, “Are you going to this wrap party?”  And, I go, “What wrap party?  I would love to go, and I will probably go if anyone gets around to inviting me, otherwise I will just sit outside and cry. 

MICHAEL:

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Whether you go to a party, will you watch the finale?   It’s hard to believe, Van, 54 years and poof, it’s gone.

VAN:

I think so, definitely.  I saw the final promo that said, “After 54 years” and I went, “Oh, God!” You know, it’s crazy to think that people have lived and died in the time that ATWT has been on the air.  Across the board the ratings are down both in primetime and daytime.  I think the biggest and highest rated finale ever was MASH, which I think was in the early eighties.  I think that is the way media is right now.  There are so many choices right now, and so to get a huge group of people to watch one thing is very hard.  That sucks in a way, because shows live and die by their ratings.  If you are trying to just chase the ratings and get the most amount of people to watch your show, that means your show can’t be very edgy, and you can’t risk pissing people off, because then they won’t watch it.  You need those people.  But, if you have a smaller cable network where you can be more edgy, and you can do things that you could not do on a huge show, that is the flip side of ratings eroding, where there are more TV shows and outlets that people can watch.

MICHAEL:

Will you please submit yourself for the Daytime Emmys next year?  Or, at least consider it?

VAN:

Yeah.  I would consider doing that and it kind of depends on where I am.  I would submit myself I think, but it’s kind of far away for me to think about that right now.

MICHAEL:

Most of the Guiding Light actors did not know where or who to turn to, so they could pull their reels together for Emmy competition this past year.  Has the show told you what to do if you decide to enter the competition?

VAN:

I believe they told us what to do, but I don’t know if I was paying attention. (Laughs)  I think I may have to call up a producer and ask again! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

OK, the numerous Luke Snyder plot points… where do we begin.  Let’s see, the long-awaited first kiss of Nuke, where the fans did the endearing online countdown to, the coming out story, the deprogramming story, reconciling with his father, Damian, and the return of Paolo Seganti (Damian)… I could go on and on.  What sticks out in your mind….

VAN:

…There was a lot, wasn’t there?

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MICHAEL:

…Yes, and I think you and I talked at every plot point for an interview for Advocate.com or On-Air On-Soaps, because they were all so relevant to gay people’s struggles and their families and finding love.

VAN:

And don’t forget getting an Iraqi wife! (Laughs)

MICHAEL:

Yup! (Laughs)

VAN:

Yes, they are all very topical things. (Laughs)  The first thing that stands out to me is not a story.  I had a scene with Paolo Seganti, and it was a scene when I was first nominated for a Daytime Emmy.  Luke gives his ring back to Damian, and Damian tries to take Luke back to Malta.  And, I remember that was the first time I was like “Wow”, because it was for me one of those first cool and cathartic soap opera moments.  It was over the top, but yet grounded in such reality.  I just remember thinking, for some reason it was a revelation for me in some way, about the style of working on a soap opera and the uniqueness of the genre.  That day really struck me.  I remember leaving the studio that day going, “This is OK.  I know what I am doing.”  It took me about nine months or so to figure it out, but after that I had the confidence I hadn’t had before in myself on this television show.

MICHAEL:

The gay press swooped upon you.  You were everywhere… the media darling.  Did you ever feel pressure because you knew the eyes of GLAAD or other organizations, or the press, were watching how this character would play out on daytime television, since there had never really been a gay male love story between two young men, and a central core gay male character on daytime before?

VAN:

“Pressure” is not the right word.  I felt a responsibility to tell the story correctly, and more so, not for the press as much, but for the fans.  The press can write whatever they want to write, but the fans are the people who are watching.  And, the press seemed in a way commentators or reviewers, or people whose job it is to tell what is going on.  But, for the fans, they don’t have anything that is forcing them to watch the show.  It is their choice.  When the story first started and Luke came out, I think it was important to make sure that the fans were following and connecting to the story.  The story has been a rollercoaster.  There has been such good stuff and bad stuff.   However, it is really great that the fans have stuck it out.  I know that a lot of fans are unhappy with the end.  I am sorry that they are and all I can say is, “thank you” for keeping on watching.  The responsibility for me, first and foremost in my career, is to the people who make my career a reality, and that is the people watching.  And if the people watching did not respond well to Luke’s story three months in, I would not be here, and so that is what the responsibility is for.

MICHAEL:

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Have you seen an improvement in the fight for equality and Gay rights since you started as Luke?

VAN:

I think so.  In no way do I think this is because of what ATWT did, but I think if you look at what is happening right now in our country, I think Gay Rights is the biggest civil issue that we are facing right now.  And, you look at Proposition 8 and states that have the ban on same-sex marriage, and it has become an issue that has become front and center.  I don’t think it was that way even five years ago.

MICHAEL:

Your fans are very excited about your first psychological thriller/horror flick, Occupant. What is the latest with that?  What is next for you?

VAN:

I want to work next. (Laughs)  Occupant is coming along.  I think I am going to see a screening of it soon, and I am excited about that.  A few weeks ago I did an ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement), which is like if you’re shooting a scene (and we shot in location) and there is car horn that goes off outside, and the scene is really good except one line, you go in and dub your voice over yourself.  The scene is up on the big screen and you watch yourself and you say the line with yourself.  I did that and I saw bits of the film at that time, and that was very exciting.  It is beautifully shot.  I am very excited for it.

MICHAEL:

Would you consider truly doing another soap opera?

VAN:

Yeah, I would.  But I don’t know if I would do a contract on another soap right now.  I might, but it would depend on the character.  I would like to do something like Tom Pelphrey did on ATWT… come back and do a couple months.  I would like to play something so completely different than Luke.  I would love to play a bad guy on a soap.  I think that would be fun.  I don’t feel I am at any place in my career where I can just say flat-out, “no” to anything, or to any genre.  These last five years have been a blast and on a soap.   I don’t think I would ever rule out soaps.

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MICHAEL:

You and Jake just returned from France over the summer where you guys have such a huge fan base.  In my recent interview with Jake, he informed me that they only show the Luke and Noah scenes there, and they are not as familiar with the rest of Oakdale.

VAN:

I think most of them watch it on YouTube, and the YouTube material is edited for Luke and Noah, and so they watch the story of Luke and Noah and Reid.  My feeling is, it is a Luke and Noah and Reid web series there!  There are a lot of people from the Netherlands who came to the Paris event, because there they have seen the whole show, I believe.  They know all the characters, but I don’t know if the rest of the international fans know the rest of the characters on ATWT.  I should ask that on my facebook page!  The fans internationally, are just as vocal and passionate as they are in the U.S.  We went to Boston as well, and did a goodbye to mostly American fans there.  It’s great to go to these exotic cities like Paris, and these not so exotic cities like Boston (Laughs) and see the fans and it’s fantastic.

MICHAEL:

I can’t believe the time has come for me to ask you these farewell questions.  First, what will you miss most about Luke?

VAN:

I will miss watching his journey and having the ability to reflect on somebody else’s fake life.  That is the cool thing about being on a soap.  You have longevity there.  I know what Luke has done for the last five years of his life, and it’s like having a weird Avatar or something.

MICHAEL:

What will you miss most about ATWT?

VAN:

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Just the people… and I like working and I like keeping busy.   I think the people and the process are what I will miss the most.

MICHAEL:

What will you miss about these incredible fans that have been so there for you?

VAN:

They are incredible!  It is very comforting to know that people have your back that are strangers.  It is a very surreal thing that is unique to certain professions, this being one of them.  And, I will miss having the interaction that I have had with them.

MICHAEL:

Do you think we all will need hankies at the end of the finale?

VAN:

Yeah, maybe, and maybe a whole box!  This week was not as sad for Luke, but I know the last episode will be very, very sad for a lot of viewers.

MICHAEL:

Are you leaving with a sense of pride and accomplishment?

VAN:

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Oh, yeah!  I look back at the work I have done there, and more often than not, I am proud of the work I have done. I think it is a really nice feeling to have, and for the rest of my life I will look back at my time on this show with amazement.  It was wonderful!

MICHAEL:

Alright Van. I want to tell you it has been great fun to do all these interviews with you and to deliver this final As the World Turns interview to your legions of fans.  I want to personally commend you for the outstanding work and the lasting impression you have made on people around the world, and to gay people who still struggle every day for equality.  We cheered with you, we got frustrated for you, and we cried with you, but in the end we always enjoyed your immeasurable talent.  Thank you for chatting with me, this one last time.

VAN:

You are very good to talk to!

  1. reidstheman says:

    Thank you Van for giving us the pleasure of watching the LuRe lovestory! This story would never have been able to reach the depth of the viewers’ hearts with anyone else besides you and Eric!!! You are dynamite actors and pure magic together on screen. In all my years of watching movies, tv shows and soaps, I have NEVER fallen so in love with any couple and I’ve been heartbroken along with Luke over the “death of Reid.” I hope to see you and Eric in something else together in the future. Your “on-screen” chemistry cannot be matched!!

    Reply

  2. Nicole says:

    So glad you did interviews with Jake, ESS, and Van in these last few weeks. A nice way to say goodbye to the show. :)

    Reply

    Josie replied

    Thanks for the interview, Michael. I hated Luke’s ending, but I still love Van!

    Reply

  3. lynette says:

    Aww, Van. I loved everything he said about Jake, I’m so happy they’re such good friends. (“He is one of my best friends” = awww!) Going to miss watching them together on the screen as Luke and Noah, I loved those two together. :)

    Reply

  4. N says:

    Lovely interview. I have to admit I was surprised that Jake and Noah were brought up. I am a Nuke fan so of course I LOOVED that. The past few months it was all about Reid, Reid, Reid in the press so I was fully prepared that this interview would be no different but thankfully I was proven wrong.

    I love Van and had the pleasure to meet him three times. He is a great guy. Can’t wait to see what he will be up to next. I will definitely support him all the way.

    Oh, and yes! Van ask us that question of Facebook! :D

    Reply

    DL replied

    Do you have the link to Van’s facebook page? There is so many Van Hansis facebook pages that I don’t know which one is the one of the “real” Van. Thanks.

    Reply

    N replied

    This is him:

    http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1488016478

    DM replied

    I have to add here that Van Hansis is the only actor who spends so much time discussing with his fans on facebook. I am “friend” with some actors and, really, Van is the only one who is so friendly with us. He doesn’t use FB to promote his own carreer, he honestly uses his page to talk with his fans about different subjects and to answer random questions from his fans. Van is unique and I appreciate his kindness towards everyone.

    Reply

  5. ritalaura2000 says:

    What Van says about Jake AAAAAAWWWWWWWWWW

    love it

    Reply

  6. Karen (limeybird2) says:

    Thank you Michael for this interview with Van.
    I watched the character of Luke being born on the show & when you watch that you feel protective of that character like they were your own child.
    I like that Van is happy with what has happened with the direction of Luke. I would of preferred he be happy at the end but in real life not everyone gets a happily ever after either.
    I hope he does submit these last scenes for an emmy, he has blown any other actor’s work out of the water. I will continue to watch for any projects Van does in the future & support those too.

    Reply

    DH replied

    I agree with you. Van should submit his scenes for the Emmy Awards. No other actor did such a wonderful work!!

    Reply

    Lire replied

    That’s definitely Van who deserves the Emmy the most! For his superb performances in 2006 and for each year since then!

  7. Mary Pariseau says:

    Great interview. I really enjoyed the part where in 5 years time, Van said that he would see Luke getting back into being a writer. I hated when Luke gave up writing and was seen concentrating more on the foundation and then Grimaldi Shipping. Being a writer has always in Luke’s soul.

    And Van definitely needs to submit himself for an Emmy next year.I cried my eyes out watching Luke’s pain over losing Reid. Those scenes were so emotionally powerful, that it felt like I was watching a close friend going through all that.

    I believe that Van’s fans will still be there supporting him through all of his future endeavors. He is an amazing actor and I have no doubt that there will be great roles in his future. I also feel lucky that I will be able to say, I knew him when he was Luke Snyder on ATWT.

    Thanks for the interview and thanks for the memories. :-)

    Reply

  8. DH says:

    WOW !! Van Hansis delivered a so beautiful; thoughtful, heartfelt interview !! I love reading Van’s interviews and this one is even better !! Van Hansis, thank you for the best portrayal of a character I’ve ever watched, thank you for giving us my favorite character Luke Snyder, thank you for an excellent and heartbreaking work. Thank you for everything you do for your fans, Van. You’re the most talented actor that I had to watch. I am looking forward to watching you in the big screen, beginning with “Occupant”.

    Thank you Micheal for this wonderful interview !!

    Reply

  9. sarah says:

    Van hansis rocks!!

    Reply

  10. marie says:

    I LOVE WHAT VAN SAYS ABOUT JAKE, IT WAS AN AWWWWW MOMMENT!!!! VAN IS GREAT AND SO IS JAKE AND ERIC!!!! WE WILL MISS NUKE AND LURE!!!

    Reply

  11. VY says:

    What a lovely, wonderful interview Van gave here! That guy is really inspiring through his flawless acting and through his thoughts too. This interview is very insightful and gives me some peace with Luke’s sad story. Luke will always be my favorite character, the one I indentify with the most, and that’s all because of Van’s wonderful acting, full of emotions and of deep feelings conveyed with beauty. I alwready miss my Luke on my screen, but I will always be thankfull to Van for making me care that much for a soap character. Van Hansis is the best actor in my book and I will support him till my death and even more!

    Reply

  12. Sheila says:

    Wonderful interview. Thank you so much, Michael and Van. I can’t believe it’s Van’s last interview for As the World Turns. Van was insightful and articulate as always. I’m looking forward to his movie, Occupant, and will watch anything Van does in the future.

    Reply

  13. Teri says:

    Thank You for this interview. I will never be happy with the way the story ended and the fact that my last image of Luke is a sad one. But because of Van and the incredible performances he gave the last two weeks of the show and now hearing his final thoughts, I think I might just be OK with where Luke ends up as a character.

    Reply

  14. Stefanie says:

    Thank you for another wonderful interview with Van Hansis, Michael Fairman. You always ask such wonderful questions, and I think Van as an actor, Luke Snyder as a character, and both the Nuke and Lure pairings were honored in this interview.

    Van is such an intelligent man, so I love reading his answers. I love his idea of Luke’s future, and you can tell he has put some thought into it and is fond of his character. (I’m fond of him, too!)

    It’s been such a joy to watch Van portray Luke throughout the years, and although I’m going to miss As the World Turns, I’m going to miss Luke (as played by Van) most of all. I have much love for both of them.

    Van is so talented, and I hope he finds another role. And this wish is a bit selfish, too, because I want him back on my screen – whether it’s a film or a TV screen!

    I eagerly await his film Occupant!

    Thanks again, Van and Michael. Love to you both!

    Reply

  15. Robin says:

    Thank you once again for capturing words from one of my favourite actors!

    To me, Van’s portrayal of Luke is an integral part of the last five years of ATWT. He has been a joy to watch throughout Luke’s growth, especially the last few months. There was good angst, but it was also wonderful to see Luke smiling and enjoying a mature love relationship. And while I don’t like the end of the love story, I do greatly appreciate what Van put into Luke’s despair and grief!

    Van, you must sort out what you need to do to submit your reels for the Emmy’s. That was sublime and nuanced and compelling work you did. You deserve an honour for it all.

    It’s been an honour to watch Van. I hope I’ll see him soon in another role.

    As much as I will miss the show, I’ll miss Van and his castmates more.

    Thank you, Mr. Fairman, for doing such a fine interview with Van.

    Reply

  16. C.B. says:

    Thank you for this very insightful interview, Michael. And thank you to Van for being such a brilliant actor and all-round awesome man. He made Luke a soap character that will be always remembered.

    Wishing Van long and successful career. And don’t anyone dare rob him of his Emmy this time!

    Reply

    spencer replied

    OMG if Van is once again robbed from his so well-deserved Emmy, I will have to kill someone.

    Reply

  17. truecolors says:

    What a lovely final interview with Van. Is anyone else crying? Though, I didn’t quite understand the ending today, I understood it alot more reading this. It wouldn’t have been in Van’s character or anyone else’s who truly loved someone else to go back to an ex right away or embark on another journey when they were grieving. Luke loved someone else. Noah understood that since he loved Luke and he was probably going to be alone for awhile since he was heartbroken, too. They were both heartbroken trying to recover from past loves. Since beginning to watch Nuke in 2008, I became obsessed with these characters. I am proud to say that I stood by them until the end. I think both Van and Jake did exceptional work. Luke was always my favourite character, but Noah was my second. Thank you for bringing Luke to life for all of us who watched this storyline so closely. I will miss it dearly. Good Luck with all your future endeavours. I hope that you do finally get that Emmy. Cheers! Signed, your loyal fan.

    Reply

  18. tess says:

    Thanks Michael for the interview and thanks to Van for all the good work he did potrying Luke, am just sad they had to kill Reid at the end. Dont know if its weired that i have never rewatched the episodes of Reids dying apart from when i watched it live. Lukes chemistry with Reid was so much fun to watch and i wish Van and Eric all the best in whatever they wish to do.

    Reply

  19. Jana says:

    Dear Michael, Dear Van,
    thank you both for giving us this interview. It feels like you are people who really care for what the fans feel and it helps us to get through the whole end. Van said so many comforting and soothing details, that made me really feel better about the ending, since I cried through the whole last epi, not even mentioning those tragic ones. And Eric giving him thumbs up after the death scene! :) Good to hear, because since the character´s death felt as if someone real died to me (still cant understand why it had such an effect), this helps me to focus on the reality. Van, I wish you some great opportunities in future, your fans will need to see you on the screen soon :) Thank you MIchael again.

    Reply

    spencer replied

    the thumbs up thing was a really great detail to mention and I thank Van so wholeheartedly for telling us about that. It helps to put things in perspective and it made me come back to reality. Van is really a great guy!!

    Reply

    Karen (limeybird2) replied

    i loved him telling us about the thumbs up from Eric too. i think why this is hitting alot of us hard is that Van, Jake & Eric played these parts so well that they didn’t feel like soap characters, they felt like they were real people & that they were our best friends that we saw everyday.

    Reply

  20. cc says:

    Aww Van. It sucks I will not be seeing him [or Jake or Eric] on my screen anymore, I will miss that the most. But I look forward to Vans future endeavors and I will be watching out for him.

    Reply

    DL replied

    We will probably see Van Hansis in another show very soon.

    Reply

  21. Lis says:

    Van Hansis rocks big time!! This interview shows us how much Van is sincere and so caring for his fans and for his castmates. He always has such kind words for everyone! He honestly is the best actor in TV nowadays, so I say he has to submit the scenes of Luke in the hospital taht aired last week to the Emmys. No other actor did such a sublime work. And Michael, I love the presentation you wrote for the interview: I agree with every word. Van Hansis, Thank you for your beautiful acting, for your amazing talent, for your efforts, for your hard work, for your sincerity, for your kindness and for giving 100% of yourself to each scene you shot and to each event you did for your fans. I love you!!

    Reply

  22. Robin says:

    I forgot something I wanted to say and hope Van will see – I never thought I’d see marvelous chemistry between two actors as I saw with Gale Harold and Randy Harrison on Queer as Folk again. I enjoy what Van and Jake did. And was over the moon with what I saw between Van and Eric. All of which was a pleasure to watch. I think chemistry just happens and when it does, it’s very special. :)

    Reply

    VICTOIRE replied

    I think Van Hansis creates powerful chemistry with every actor he plays with.

    Reply

    Robin replied

    I agree. Not every actor can do that. To me, it’s a testament to how much Van gives to his screen partner. It’s a win win situation – for Van, his co-stars and us fans.

    Fran replied

    You hit on it, Robin. I never thought I would see such amazing chemistry between two actors as I saw with Gale and Randy, but Van and Eric were just so amazing to watch. They really were quite mesmerizing – and beautiful. I love Jake – he seems to be such a great guy, so I’m not knocking Noah and Luke. I just find the chemistry between Van and Eric simply beautiful. That is the word I think of every time I think of them.
    Best wishes to Van, Eric and Jake.
    And thanks for all the interviews, Michael.

    Reply

    VICTOIRE replied

    I could see the powerful chemistry between Van and Paolo too: they looked like more than father and son when they were on screen together!! And Van and Jon H. (Holden) have great chemistry too. Van and Noelle, Van and Liz Hubbard, Van and Terri, Van and Bob and Kim…. I can go on and on… Each scene Van played was filled of intense chemistry. I really think it comes from Van.

    Lynne replied

    I agree, Fran, the chemistry between Van and Eric was mesmerizing and simply beautiful. Both deserve Day Time Emmy awards!

    Valier replied

    I think Van Hansis is really the one deserving of an Emmy Award because his scenes during the Luke fighting for Noah’s eyes and the Luke and Reid romance are the most intense and the ones that were the most challenging for an actor. Van got the scenes and the story that were asking him to give so much as an actor, to convey the deepest emotions that a human can feel. Van did an amazing job out of them.

    Reply

    Robinegg replied

    I would love to see Van win the award for the work he did this year, specifically the day of Noah’s surgery and the scenes during Reid’s last moment and shortly thereafter.

    I would like to see Eric nominated, because I think he had a natural grace on screen. I was reminded of this yesterday re-watching the clips from the he comforted Katie and had Henry quarantined. Those clips include his sharing pictures of patients that he had lost with Katie.

    Eric did some fine work and deserves a nod. Van did some stellar emotional work that deserves the award. I have a feeling even Eric would agree with this. :)

  23. spencer says:

    Van thanks for a wonderful interview in which you prove us once again what a classy guy you are. You’re not only a very talented actor, you’re also a wise man who speaks his mind and his heart with dignity and kindness. Your portrayal of Luke Snyder touched me deeply and made me feel like he is my real friend.
    Michael thanks for this interview. I love what you said about Van’s amazing portrayal and about Van’s role impact in the Gay Rights. You’re very right and I totally concurr. Luke was a huge part of ATWT during those 5 past years and I think Van made TPTB see that Luke is one of the most important characters of the show. Without Van’s amazing portrayal, we wouldn’t have Luke Snyder.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    I so agree.And besides loving to watch Van and Eric smoke up the screen, they took away the stereotype of gay men.To me this was a love story, but these wonderful actors had so much chemistry, they took everyone by surprise.Nobody else could have done justice to the characters of Reid and Luke.This was acting at its’ best.Luke could tell a story just with his eyes and that sweet smile.I’m missing you Van but we’ll see you again.and thanks for the memories!

    Reply

    BB replied

    ‘Luke could tell a story just with his eyes and that sweet smile.’ = You’re so right! In yesterday’s episode, Van had no words in the first Luke scene and in the scene of Luke listening to Reid’s heart in Mike’s chest and, though, they’re were the two most powerful scenes of the episode!

  24. Garnett77 says:

    Thanks for the great interview! And thank you, Van, for the last five years of wonderful performances. Luke was one of my favorite character on the show and I’m sad he didn’t get a happy ending. But I look forward to the future projects of Van, Eric & Jake.

    Reply

  25. anonymous says:

    “. I truly believed the ending was going to be, “Who does Luke end up with? Reid or Noah?” That is what I thought the whole last storyline was going to be and that would have been a much lighter storyline, ”

    Imho thats where the story should have been headed. The tragic gay ending is so outdated. I’d like to think the ending wasn’t because of homophobia but when I think of all the archaic double standards Luke and his relationships were subjected to throughout his run of the show I can’t help but think homophobia played a role even if just subconsciously. But even if it wasn’t the fact that no one behind the scenes apparently realized how the fans would interpret this ending really speaks volumes about TPTB’s ignorance of gay viewers and gay movie/tv history ans stereotypes.

    Reply

  26. Decky says:

    What an amazing interview! Thank you Van and Thank you Micheal. You two rock!!!

    Reply

  27. VICTOIRE says:

    I just read an article Greg Hernandez wrote on his site about Luke’s final scenes and I totally agree with what he wrote : “Whatever movies or TV shows or stage plays that Van Hansis does in the future, I want to see them. He has been a superb Luke Snyder and I so wish he had won one of the Emmys he was nominated for.”

    http://greginhollywood.com/lukes-final-scene-on-as-the-world-turns-37685/comment-page-1#comment-16604

    I want to see Van Hansis in another show and on my screen as soon as possible!! Van Hansis is my favorite actor and he portrayed Luke, my favorite character, for five years. I need Van to portray my next new favorite character!!

    Reply

    kwbalan replied

    Perfectly said. I totally agree. Van is an amazing actor and someone said it perfectly on his Facebook page, “He set the bar very high.”

    Reply

    Lisa replied

    I also agree with what Greg wrote about Van. I think Michael and Greg are Van’s biggest fans in the journalists community. Every journalist should write about Van’s talent.

    Reply

    VICTOIRE replied

    Oh yes, Van set the bar very high!

  28. kwbalan says:

    Where do I begin…

    First Michael I think I went through a whole box of tissues these last two days. (And I thought I couldn’t possibly cry anymore after Reid’s death.)

    Thank you so much for giving us this interview Michael and Van. It is wonderful. Reading about Eric giving Van the thumbs up when he was strapped to the table during the death scene. That is just so touching to me.

    Van I have loved Luke since the day you took over the role. Like CG said at Paley you made the role yours. You made Luke who he was and who we all fell in love with. The way you play your emotions we could always tell exactly what Luke was feeling and that made it so much more real. You are an incredibly talented actor and I wish you only the best of successes in the future. I am looking forward to seeing Occupant.

    I have to say that I am so emotionally exhausted by the last few weeks of the show, never in a million years could I have imagined how it would affect me. But it is like Van said “Wow, part of my life is done and over. I was on the show longer than I was in college, and longer than I was in high school.” So it is a very significant chapter of my life, and when a significant chapter of your life ends like that, it’s a bit of a sucker-punch.” Even though for us as fans it is different we have still been watching this show some of us for a very long time and it has been a part of our life. It is very difficult to have to say goodbye.

    And even though I was truly heartbroken by Reid’s death and Luke being left alone and also by feeling that we were robbed of so much with these two I don’t regret a single moment. I have made so many wonderful friends through this story line that I know I will have long after the show. So I have to say Thank You to Van & Eric and ATWT for that.

    Goodnight Luke & ATWT :(

    Reply

  29. Isabel says:

    Thank you yet again, Michael, for intervieweing these very talented, amazing actors, especially Van Hansis. He is the sole reason I became invested in a soap again after being away from them for so long. His character is one of my favorite characters ever, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching all his ups and downs. Luke and Noah were an amazing couple who won my heart, and then Luke and Reid just entertained me endlessly with their love and passion. But it all comes down to Luke and this great actor who portrayed him. Van is an incredible actor who I hope finds bigger success–he deserves it. And he is a wonderful person too who is so grateful to the viewers and fans. I just want him to know how grateful we are to him for giving us a fiery but vulnerable character who was never boring, even in some less-than-stellar storylines. Somehow, Van Hansis made everything work for me.

    Reply

    VICTOIRE replied

    I agree totally with what is said here: everything comes down to Luke and to the fantastic way the handsome and talented Van Hansis portrayed this beloved character.

    Reply

    BB replied

    I agree with you. Van made every story he told through his character Luke work for me. That’s the sign of a wonderful actor-magician.

    Reply

  30. Lisa says:

    Such an in-depth and wonderful interview by a super classy and talented actor!! Van Hansis is the best. Thank you.

    Reply

  31. Babs says:

    Van Hansis is a class act. I loved Luke, because of Van. I’m proud to call myself his fan…now and forever.

    Reply

  32. Steph P. says:

    Van and Jake….

    Thank you both soooooooo much for an amazing 3 years…and look forward to see what your future endeavors are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have made and met some of the most AMAZING FRIENDS…LIKE EVER and it’s all because of you two…and for that I will be forever grateful!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I LOVE YOU VAN <3 & JAKE <3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOYAL NUKE FANS ROCK….YEAH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!! **SQUEEE** :D

    Reply

    mmc replied

    I was never a nuke fan….there was no comparison between Noah and Luke(they were children)and Luke with Reid(they were men)The LuRe love story was like no other and the chemistry between Eric and Van literally made the tv screen sizzle.But i do thank all the actors for m,aking us remember ATWT!

    Reply

    Steph P. replied

    Ummmm…OKAY…well as you can see my comment wasn’t even meant for you seeing as I’m a NUKE fan and you’re obviously not…so regardless of who likes who my comment was for Van, (& Jake) and MY FRIENDS (I LOOOOOOOOOVE YOU GUYS & GALS SOOOOOO MUCH)….SOOOOO YEAH!!!!!!!!! But hey….thanks for letting me know thoughts…and have an awesome weekend!!!!!! :)

  33. Lisa says:

    Thanks again to Michael and Van for a GREAT interview. It is hard to believe that it is the final interview on Van’s view of Luke. I can’t explain how much I will miss Luke on my TV screen. I can’t wait to see more of Van’s work in the future. He should definitely enter himself for the emmy’s.

    Reply

  34. Melissa says:

    Thank you Michael, for this wonderful interview that gives proper closure to these harrowing final weeks of ATWT. Even on such a long-running show, Luke Snyder was a character for the ages.

    I’ve come to adore Van and wish him all the best in his future career.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    With all the sadness i’ve been feeling at the ending of ATWT and the ending of Luke and Reid this interview with Van helped put things into perspective.I wish only good things for him .His talent is amazing and he’s so good looking and shows so much emotion in that gorgeous face.I hope to see him acting in the future.And submit an emmy reel, please!

    Reply

  35. Kat says:

    Michael and Van, thank you for this wonderful interview!! On Friday I had to say goodbye to a show I’ve watched for 30 years and to characters I grew up watching. Most importantly I had to say goodbye to Luke, a character I saw being born in Emma’s kitchen.

    Van, you did make this character your own and you made us fall head over heels for him. Watching you on this show has been such a treat. You made this show that much more special.

    We all look forward to seeing what the future brings for you! We know you will be successful. So looking forward to seeing Occupant…and I’m not a horror film person, totally doing this for you!!!

    Thank you again Van for all the hard work you’ve done over the years. And PLEASE find out whatever it is you have to do to submit yourself for an Emmy!!

    Reply

  36. Karalee says:

    Luke Snyder was one of my most favorite characters ever on ATWT. I was a joy to watch Van in this role. I quickly fell in love with Reid, even though he was on such a short time. I did not like Noah as much, but Jake made the most out of how little he was given. I felt the chemistry with Van and Jake, but never cared for the pairing. Loved the Luke/Reid romance. However the end is very unsatisfying.

    Reply

    MGG replied

    I cared for Luke with Noah and I cared for Luke with Reid. In fact, I cared for Luke first and foremost. I didn’t care who Luke would choose at the end. Obviously he choose Reid and I think that was a good choice because Reid seemed to care much more for Luke than Noah did at that particular moment. I mean, Noah was always treating Luke as his “thing”, judging him and yelling at him, making him guilty for everything that went wrong in their lifes, pushing him physically and rejecting him. I think that Noah was great with Luke at the beginning. I wanted Luke happy and to feel loved/desired and that wasn’t the case anymore with Noah. Luke was clearly desired by Reid and I loved watching that, except for the moments Reid insulted Luke for nothing. I did want to see Luke shove his stethoscope in Reid’s throat, but Luke only thought about Noah and about the help he promised to him. Luke was really the only character I cared for during his two coupling. And I cared for him when he was the only teen in town without boyfriend and when he was wondering if one day he would find his significant other. Luke was so sad at that moment! Then his couplings were great to watch: the chemistry was there and Luke made me care for Lure and for Nuke.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    I never cared for Luke with Noah.But Luke and Reid was electrifying!To watch them fall in love truly touched my soul.Only Van and Eric could have mesmerized us with this love story.So beautiful and it should have had a happy ending. I will never forgive TPTB for not giving them a happy ending.TPTB left me with such sad memories of a soap that i loved from day 1! Love Van and Eric….

  37. Michelle says:

    Michael, first and foremost I want to say that you are a great interviewer. Van, what can I say. You are such a talented actor. I have always loved your portrayal of Luke Snyder, but I kind of got away from the show, off and on for awhile with the back and forth stuff between Luke & Noah. But lo and behold Jan. 19, 2010 that all changed. From the first phone conversation with Luke and Reid, I was like “Who in the world is this guy talking to Luke like that.” I’ve been hooked ever since. For me the relationship between Luke and Reid grew into something so natural and believable. Eric as Dr. Reid Oliver was like no other character that I’ve seen on any soap. He is such a phenomenal actor. You and Eric together were pure magic. My husband actually asked me what made me sort of obsessed about this couple. In all honesty, I saw Luke & Reid as two people who fell in love that happened to be gay and for me that was a beautiful thing. I have never been into any storyline in my life like I was for LuRe. It would have been great if you and Eric could have gone over to the new internet soap “The Bay” with some of your former ATWT alumni. It seems to be very interesting. I wish you, Eric and Jake the best in all of your future endeavors. Van with actors like you around “The World Will Always Be Turning.” :)

    Reply

    The other Lisa replied

    Michelle… I couldn’t agree with you more. 40 years of watching would have always made me miss ATWT. But this last 9 months of Eric and Van as Luke and Reid has me do things I never would have thought of doing for a daytime drama. They literally where magical. I could not stop watching them, Writing about them, talking about them. My husband also thought I’d lost my mind with my obsession. Yes it’s an obsession only because there really is no stronger word. The way their relationship grew and developed was like a real love story. And those have not been told in daytime in years. I have seriously fallen in love with them as a couple and will continue to love them. Thank goodness for the internet, fanfiction and Youtube. LuRe will go on forever as far as I’m concerned.
    I too wish all of the actors a great life and much success.
    I just wish it just a bit more for Eric, Van whos carriers I’ll follow to my dieing day .Also to Terri, Jake & Collen who I think are cool beans!

    Reply

  38. mmc says:

    I can’t thank you enough Michael for this wonderful interview with Van.So much emotion always came across his gorgeous face.His eyes alone told a story.But what really knocked me out was the story of Luke and Reid,They said more with their eyes and without saying a word.The chemistry between them was so amazing that I found myself glued to the TV.I felt that their love story should have had a happy ending….I cried when Reid died and I cried because Luke was so alone.I’ve been a faithful viewer of ATWT from day 1, but i will say no storyline has touched my heart like Luke and Reid.And we owe that to the incredible talent of Van and Eric.I will never forget their chemistry …it literally sizzled through the screen.Wonderful acting Van.You deserve an emmy win and i hope to see other projjects that you’ll do.Thanks for doing this interview Van, not only are you a talented young man, but you are also a nice human being!!!!

    Reply

  39. MGG says:

    Dear Van, you’re the actor who brought me to ATWT five years ago and who made me watch ATWT till the end. I watched ATWT because I wanted to watch Luke’s adventures and journey. That was your fabulous portrayal of Luke that made me a fan of this show. Van, you made me happy each Luke’s episode to see what an amazing actor you are. You made Luke a so touching and beloved character. I am proud to be a Van fan! I am looking forward to Occupant and to many other beautiful projects!

    Reply

  40. Dana says:

    Thank you for giving us this wonderful interview, Michael. I didn’t want it to end at all. At the last lines of the interview, I felt very sad. I had to read it all over again.
    Van is really a fantastic person. I love him because he is an amazingly talented actor, but also because he is this thoughtful guy.

    I am missing Luke Snyder. I didn’t want Luke’s story to end, especially in a so sad way.

    Van put his everything in this lovely character and I commend his beautiful work. From day one, Van showed us what a real actor means.

    Van, you have to submit yourself to the Emmys. You’re the actor who made millions of viewers cry their eyes put watching you portray Luke with so much emotions and talent. I felt like Luke and I identified with him during the whole Luke story thanks to your portrayal, Van. Dear Van, you’re the best!

    Reply

  41. DL says:

    Thank you for this great interview. I love what Van had to say about every subject he was interviewed about. Van put some deep thoughts on them and that it very obvious that he cares for every aspects of his work and his portrayals. Van is my favorite actor for many reasons (his wonderful acting, his sincerity, his gorgeousness… and of course because he speaks his mind with intelligence).

    Reply

  42. DL says:

    Michael, do you know anything about the solutions to help Van submit his scenes for the Emmys next year?

    Reply

    BB replied

    It’s up to the producers of the show to tell the actors what to do. I hope Van will know how to submit and that he’ll do it. Van deserves to win.

    Reply

  43. Vita says:

    Great interview. Thank you. I knew that we could count on you Michael Fairman to offer to us another in-depth interview with this wonderful actor, Van Hansis.

    But, Michael, you forgot to talk to Van about one thing: the charities and the money that was raised in his honor during all these years of him offering to us his amazing portrayal of Luke Snyder. Right now, there are donations made in honor of Van Hansis’ birthday and the money goes to a sponsorship for a student of Wallnut Hill, the artistic High School that Van frequented. The recent uptades let us know that this cause raised almost $14000 in one month.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=23711&id=100000713547512&saved#!/pages/Happy-Birthday-Van-Hansis-Walnut-Hill-Student-Sponsorship-Initiative/110017005717981

    Van has always participated to charitites and to causes and his name and his talent helped raise more than $50000 in three years.

    Reply

    Vita replied

    Direct Link to the FB page of the Initiative in Van’s honor: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Happy-Birthday-Van-Hansis-Walnut-Hill-Student-Sponsorship-Initiative/110017005717981

    Reply

    Stefanie replied

    With little (if any) press, fans have raised $13,400 so far. That’s so impressive! I know they’re trying to raise a little more than $2,000 more, so it’d be great if you could give them a plug, Michael, either on your site or on Twitter.

    Official Facebook page about it:

    Happy Birthday Van Hansis – Walnut Hill Student Sponsorship Initiative
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Happy-Birthday-Van-Hansis-Walnut-Hill-Student-Sponsorship-Initiative/110017005717981

    Here’s where people can donate:
    http://www.walnuthillalumni.org/s/116/index.aspx?sid=116&pgid=371&gid=1&cid=1016&ecid=1016

    Thanks!

  44. Lucia says:

    Aw, my beautiful Luke Snyder, I already miss you. Van Hansis is the most excellent actor ever and I am sad I won’t watch new episodes of Luke portrayed by this fantastic man. Really, Luke has been a huge part of my daily life during 5 years, I was always so happy when spoilers were telling us when Luke would appear on screen, and when Luke was happy and smiled this beautiful smile of his, I was happy too, and when he was sad (like in today’s episode) and cried those heartbreaking tears, I felt sad… Luke was the character I identified with the most, all that thanks to Van Hansis’ amazing portrayal. I now want to see Van play a lot of other roles. I know I’ll love every one of them and I’ll always be Van’s first fan. And Van’s talent has to be rewarded for all the hard and gorgeous work he did on ATWT!

    Reply

  45. HABD says:

    Tahnk you Michael for this interview! I love Van Hansis. I am proud to be a huge fan of Van who left a huge impact on me through his acting and his unforgiveable portrayal of Luke.

    Reply

  46. ltklo says:

    Thanks Michael for another fantastic interview. I’m going to miss Luke. Even with the crazy storylines, Van always shone as an honest and talented actor. He was so raw ando pen in those Reid death scenes that I truly felt Luke’s grief. Not every actor has that gift.

    All the best to Van and I’m excited to see his future work.

    Reply

  47. BB says:

    Thank you for this interview! Van is my favorite actor and reading this interview made me love him even more. Van’s acting is spectacular and his phenomenal portrayal of Luke during so many years made Luke my favorite character. I felt for Luke during the whole coming out story because of all the suffering endured by this character and because Van showed so much depth in the way he played this suffering: every emotion was present in his eyes and in his gorgeous face. Then, I felt for Luke being alone and rejected by Noah so many times. Then I suffered with Luke when he witnessed Noah’s accident and when he lost Reid in a so tragic way. Van played all those heavy scenes and Luke-centric episodes at perfection! Luke is a kid who became man before our eyes but with too much pain and that’s definitely Van Hansis’ magic and amazing acting that made me watch every bit of Luke’s story. Luke’s story is my favorite thanks to Van. Van has to win an Emmy.

    Thank you for this interview, Michael.

    Reply

  48. Anusha says:

    I am going to miss Luke an d Noah’s story a lot….:(.. I already do..
    Thanks a lot for Van and Jake for your great acting….Wish you all the success in the future..

    Reply

  49. K says:

    Van is really a gifted actor. He played Luke to perfection till the end of the show and that’s really Luke who touched me the most. In fact, Luke is the only character who touched me with that much intensity. I’m sad Luke ends the show so lonely and in pain. I came to identify with Luke and him being unhappy makes me unhappy. Van played Luke with so much beauty !! I love Van Hansis, think that he is the most amazing actor and want to watch him and his fabulous acting in another show that will show him in more airtime.

    Reply

  50. Lire says:

    Van is my fav actor and that is so easy for me to love the character of Luke Snyder because Van played him with this sweetness and this impetuousity that makes you care so mcuh for him. I congratulate Van for his wonderful performances on ATWT especially in the past weeks shows. I’ll miss Luke Snyder but I am looking forward to Van doing great movies and shows.

    Reply

  51. Fran says:

    I have loved Luke Snyder since he was a little boy. When Van came on the scene he made Luke his. I will only remember the darling child that played him in his younger days and Van. Van says so much with his eyes – it is truly amazing.
    I feel a little bit silly, but I cried my eyes out today, knowing that I would never see Luke and Reid again. I haven’t cried like that since I watched “Cold Mountain.” Van and Eric were magical, and really the only reason I watched the show in the final months. They made me feel like Luke and Reid were real people.
    I wish all the best to all the guys. Hope I will see more of them soon!
    Thanks, Van, for all your hard work!

    Reply

  52. elphau says:

    thank you michael for the interview. the timing was a good one, as the fans need a place for comfort after the sad final episode.

    Van, you are a truly amazing actor. I love seeing you and Eric creating powerful scenes after powerful scenes.

    Hi Michael, just a suggestion, would you consider doing an interview with the writer Chris G. and Jane P? The fans, too, are very concernd about what they think about the ending of the story line, for someone who had wrote that themselves

    Reply

    mmc replied

    I would love to read that interview.CG said in other interviews that if the show had continued Luke and Reid would have ended up together.WHAT????Then why have Reid die at all.They should have had a happily ever after too.That love story was the best i’ve seen in years…it was lovely in every way!!!

    Reply

  53. Victoire says:

    I was rewatching those scenes of Luke at reid’s deathbed, crying and imploring, then mourning and being all alone in his times of despair at the hospital, and it got me again, like a punch in the heart. It is so realistic!! Van plays despair and sadness with so much humanity!!

    VAN HANSIS rocks!! Van = Phenomenal actor and amazing guy !!

    Reply

    DM replied

    i spent the day re-watching those scenes too and I am blown away every time by Van’s performances. No other actor cries like Van: I find him so ethereal and beautiful while expressing pain and despair! But his smile is so adorable too!

    Reply

  54. MGG says:

    I found the message Van sent to his fans who participated to the Walnut Hill Sponsorship Inititiative on Van’s name for his Birthday in 2008. This message is full of Love and Humility:

    “hey everybody!

    it’s van. it was great to see a bunch of you on sunday at the broadway cares/equity fights AIDS flea market. i hope those who made it out to new york had a blast. i did. i really like that event. its really cool to see broadway open it’s stage doors to daytime….stupid joke. whatever, i think it’s funny… its nice to mingle with actors outside the medium. it’s nice to see our fans again, and it’s nice to see all the broadway fans who have no idea who we are but are like “hell, they can sign my poster anyway!” but most importantly, its a great event because it is for a great cause (which, thanks to you all this winter, has 6,575 dollars more than it did before to help people who really need it!)
    i guess that is the message of this letter i am writing: helping out a great cause. Walnut Hill is a great school, and it’s dedication to education through the arts, is a rare one. however, Walnut Hill is a private school, and thus, students and their families have to pay their way. the school is very generous with scholorships and never wants to turn away a student due to thier financial background, but sometimes the school needs help. and you all, through your donations and dedication, helped give a student the help he needed. you raised $7,100 to date for this student. that is amazing. and you did it in my name. that is one of the kindest, most humbling experiences of my life.
    having spent four years in natick, at walnut hill, i know what this student will gain from his education. not only will he recieve a world class liberal arts education, which will prepare him, if he so chooses, for a world class liberal arts college. in addition, his education as an actor will prepare him for the best schools of drama in the country. he will learn the value of work. he will learn that as a performer, there is nothing you cant do if you have put the work in beforehand, and if you learn to trust yourself. and he will also make a family. the friends you make in boarding school are the friends you have for life. they are truely a second family, and a support network you have with you forever. maybe most importantly, he will have the time of his life.
    walnut hill was, and will always remain an incredibly important part of my life.
    i see life sort of as a chain; one decision or experiance links to a previous experiance which links to a previous experiance and so forth. right now i am on as the world turns, which i feel i never would have gotten without the education i recieved from carnegie mellon which i feel i wouldnt have been admitted to without the base of training i got at walnut hill. its sort of like a choose your own adventure book! by this rationale, i am very excited for the student you have sponsored. by being at walnut hill now has a wealth of possibilites opened up to him due to his education.
    so again, thank you. thank you seven thousand one hundered times. you are a very special group of people. i hope you know that. for you to give so generously, and to give in someone else’s name, speaks volumes about you who you are as a person. it’s not what you say, it’s what you do that counts. to me, and more importantly to the student who you are helping and his family, what you are doing means the world. thank you.
    with love and admiration,
    van
    ps. please forgive any spelling/grammar mistakes. that’s just how i roll. ”

    Those words make me love Van Hansis even more.

    Reply

    DM replied

    That’s a very beautiful message that Van wrote. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    Stefanie replied

    What lovely words! Walnut Hill must be a wonderful school, because it’s done wonders for Van Hansis!

    Reply

    DB replied

    Van is very eloquent: it is a beautiful message. And Van is so humble and unassuming! Walnut Hill and Carnegie Mellon are great schools and they are lucky to have Van too.

    Li replied

    That is a very lovely message. Kudos to Van for being that amazing and generous man.

    Reply

  55. Katalina says:

    Thank you so much Van for letting us enjoy your outstanding talent! You have to know you have so many fans that you could never even imagine. Personally, I have followed Luke and his storylines faithfully and you have to know that Luke will never be forgotten. We are all looking forward to seeing your new movie “Occupant” to be released. I wish I was able to say some more beautiful words about you and how you changed my life, but words cannot express emotions sometimes…

    Reply

  56. George says:

    Van says there was no malicious intent in the way ATWT ended LURE and NUKE. The fans may agree with that. We know that all the straight couples on ATWT got a happy ending. But, all the three gay characters got a horrendous ending. I don’t think any viewer or fan who were loyal to LURE and NUKE SLs and watched faithfully were happy with the way things ended, infact it was total heart-break. The question is what message was ATWT trying to convey through the endings of their LURE and NUKE SLs. The message appears to be giving actors challeging material. Because, if you look at the endings that the gay characters got, it appears that the final message from ATWT is that gays have no right to happy endings. Gays have no right to be happy, content, and fullfilled with reference to their way of life; and they have no right to love and be loved. If LURE was a straight couple who mesmerized the fans like the gay couple has done over the past eight months, would ATWT have even considered killing one half of the couple and leaving the other with a life of perpetual pain, suffering, and misery? And, would they have wounded their loyal fanbase the way they have ultimately done!

    Reply

    DBAH replied

    Maybe there was no real message intented. They had two fanbases to satisfy but they decided to satisfy no one and went the “Luke will have to choose Luke” solution. I don’t think they intented to write an homophobic story, but they only thought about how to end Luke’s storyline by making him end up independent. Plus, it isn’t homophobic to make Luke one of the most important character in the final weeks of ATWT. Luke is the centric-character during the last weeks of the show, even if he isn’t happy at the end, he is pivotal and present till the end.

    Reply

    George replied

    I understand that ATWT is a show; that Luke, Noah, and Reid are fictional characters; and that LURE and NUKE are pure fiction. I am an ardent admirer of the brilliant potrayal of Luke, Noah, and Reid by VH, JS, and ESS. But if a show that has been around for 54 years has no message intended for its loyal viewers and fanbase, that doesn’t sit well for a good reputation for any show. I undestand that VH, JS, and ESS had no control over the scripts of NUKE and LURE; and that they were doing their job and earning their living just like I do. I respect everything that VH, JS, and ESS have said in their interviews. But, I don’t think that the actors can comprehend the pain and betrayal that CG, JP, TBTP or anyone involved with the creation of NUKE and LURE SLs have inflicted on viewers and fans who faithfully followed Luke’s story, NUKE, and LURE over the past 5 years. Imagine an innocent puppy being mercilessly stoned to death; imagine something 10 times worse than that. After reading comments from NUKE and LURE fans across different boards, that is how loyal viewers feel at the diastrous ending of NUKE and LURE. I do not know about others, but my faith in American shows (at least the gay SLs) has been destroyed, and I would definitely never watch anything involving CG and JP. I am sure there are many NUKE and LURE fans feel the same bitterness that I feel.

    DB replied

    That’s a given that the actors had nothing to do with those decisions. Though, Van apologized to the fans for the sad ending, even if he did have nothing to do with the authors’ choices. We have to congratulate and thank Van for his sympathy toward his fans; no othor actor expressed his sympathy with so much empathy and with the direct words Van used here.
    I don’t think the authors of the story intended to express any homophoby through Luke/Nuke story, but it sure looks like the contrast between Luke’s sa story and the other couples’ happy endings is totally unfair to Luke and to the fans. It looks more like the authors thought in terms of ‘story’, not in terms of ‘message’. They tried to write the better story for the characters at that moment of their lives. Yes, Luke deserved a happy ending, especially considering that Luke is one of the characters that got to go through more tragic situations than could take a kid/young man. Luke had no rest, went through tragic situation after tragic situation. Though Luke is the romantic young guy who just wanted to find love and to give love to somebody who’d love him for who he is. So his story is very tragic and it makes Luke the tragic hero by excellence. This tragic story makes me sad too. I wanted a happy ending for Luke.

    mmc replied

    I will never forgive TPTB for letting Reid die and leaving Luke to grieve.The Luke and Reid love story was the best i’ve seen in many ,many years.And it was truly a love story.they brought out the very best in each other. And they did away with the gay man stereotype.No one could have done it better than Eric and Van.I feel honored that I was able to see acting at its’ best.Love you Eric and Van….I wish you the best in life in general and in your careers!!!!

    Reply

    MGG replied

    The only good thing about this Luke and Reid story was the wonderful work Van did during those past weeks and the fact that he got more airtime at the end of the storyline. I also loved the chemistry Van had with Eric and with the other actors. Van’s chemistry with Noelle, Jon, Liz Hubbard, Jake, Mr Hastings, Mrs Hayes… is sizzling and beautiful to watch on screen. Which reminds me that I loved watching Luke having several long scenes with Bob, Kim, Kattie, Chris, John Dixon… who are veterans of the show. Thanks to this storyline, he also got scenes with Molly, Carly, Abigail… I loved watching Luke interacting with so much characters and Van did a fantastic job playing with all of them. That was really great. But now, I am missing my Luke almost every day on my screen. I want Van to get a role in a show, a movie or in theater as soon as possible!

  57. Bonnie Half-Elven says:

    Thanks for a great interview. Van’s point on the responsibility of making his performance real because real people have been in those situations is so true. I thought of the fact that for everyone who receives a new lease on life by getting a heart transplant, someone else has died, and both of those people had loved ones who were affected. Rejoicing and grieving side by side.

    Van’s performance was fantastic. What a roller coaster ride!

    Reply

  58. Denise Robinson says:

    Michael, thank you for conducting the FINAL ATWT interview with Van. Van still keeps it honest about what motivates him and that he was focused on doing the best with the material that he’s given. I’m glad that he’s aware of his fans, but he knows that we can’t ALWAYS be happy with the storyline. His “thank you” for sticking around is nice, because HE isn’t the one writing the scripts.

    I’m also glad that he AGAIN stated that if the show had Luke going off with Noah, ONE WEEK after Reid’s death it would be detrimental for BOTH characters.

    Van, really has made a landmark in the history of the soap opera genre. I hope for the best in his continued professional career after ATWT.

    Reply

  59. DM says:

    Van said : “When your character loses someone, or has to make a terrible decision like Luke had to do with the organ donation, you owe it to people who have gone through that in real life not to gloss over stuff like that, because even though soap operas are a very fictionalized world, you’ve got to play it with as much dignity as you can, and try to make it as real as you can. Those people who are watching may have gone through something similar.” That is really meaningful and thoughtful of Van to think and say that. Van totally shined in all his scenes during Luke ‘ s final storyline and played every decision and attitude Luke had to go through with dignity, humanity, realism and beauty despite the heavy sadness. Van, thank you for your outstanding performances.

    Reply

    Aisance replied

    Van played all those challenging and difficult scenes so naturally and with so much emotions that I wasn’t watching a show, I was watching a ‘real’ young man going through the most horrible situation ever! I felt so much sympathy for Luke that I thought my heart would explode from pain for him. Van Hansis is the most talented actor I had to watch on my screen, I tell you!

    Reply

  60. Li says:

    I am a huge fan of Luke and of Van Hansis’ portrayal of Luke. Van Hansis is a fantastic actor and the only one in my book who could pull off the amazing acting to play the heavy scenes he had to play during five years, and especially during these past weeks. I am a proud Van fan. Van Hansis deserves Emmys for his magnificent work. I’ll just add that I would have prefered to watch Luke happy at the end of the show, especially after all the tragic situations Luke had to experience during his young life. But Van plays the sad and emotionally heavy scenes to perfection.

    Reply

  61. Li says:

    And yes, of course, thank you Van and Michael for this wonderful interview. Great questions and great anwers all-arround!

    Reply

  62. Li says:

    I am bringing here the other Van Hansis interview with Michael Fairman. That was also a great one and I don’t want to forget about it: http://michaelfairmansoaps.com/as-the-world-turns/the-van-hansis-interview-as-the-world-turns-2/2010/05/28/

    Reply

  63. Lewis says:

    Great interview! Outstanding actor – I hope he gets the Emmy for this year’s performance. But for those who are still as upset and frustrated as I am over the morbid and devastating end of LuRe, I humbly proffer my own ending which I already submitted in basically the same form on the Eric Sheffer-Stevens interview page. So here goes: Reid leaves for Bay City; on the way he calls the hospital there on his cell phone alerting them that he is coming; in his haste he races to cross the railroad tracks before the gates close and just barely makes it (this is a tension moment and foreshadows what may occur later); he arrives at the BC hospital and immediately confronts the novice surgeon and COS there in his own inimitable way; he also informs them that the heart is for the Dr. son of Memorial hospital’s COS; the COS takes the novice surgeon aside and speaks to him in private; the next scene shows Reid leaving BC hospital with a triumphant smile on his face and the heart cooler in hand; he races back to Oakdale and once again confronts the prospect of having to wait for that same train to pass; he rushes to beat the closing gates and stalls on the tracks; the scene ends with the onrushing train heading towards him; end of that day’s episode. When ATWT resumes, we see Margo being informed of the accident and she and Tom Hughes go to the accident site; she identifies Reid’s car; the scene shifts back to Memorial hospital where a newsbreaking TV item comes on the screen informing the people there of the accident; Luke bursts into tears and retires to the privacy of Reid’s office while the rest of the hospital cast members are in disarray; suddenly, there is the sound of police sirens; people rush to the hospital windows and see several police cars being followed by an ambulance; a tearful Luke is still in Reid’s office when, suddenly, a hand appears on his shoulder and a voice says: “Why are you crying Luke?” Luke looks up to see a haggard and frayed Reid who informs him that he narrowly escaped the car along with the heart cooler just before the train struck. They embrace and kiss,etc. Chris gets his new heart; and we then fast forward a month to find that Reid is acting COS of Memorial, Luke is involved with funding organ transplants through his foundation, and life goes on. You’ve got drama, suspense, tension, a temporary cliff hanger, and an emotional but satisfying conclusion without violating the integrity of the story or the characters. Any way; that’s the way I wish it had ended. But, then again, I’m not the one writing the soaps; I just suffer with them – and after this experience I’m about to wash my hands of all of them after nearly 40 years of watching them. Good Night All.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    I love your ending, why couldn’t the writers have written this?There was no reason for Reid to die, none, and the damn fool writers chose to end the loveliest love story I’ve seen in ages.I will never understand their thinking …or their lack of. thinking.In my mind I always give my beloved Luke and Reid a happy ending, but I think i like your happy ending even better than mine.Thank you so much Lewis, You made my day!

    Reply

    Lewis replied

    You’re welcome mmc and thanks for your kind comments. That’s what being a college professor who watches the soaps does for you. I was stunned by my own reaction to the ending until I read how others responded. Talk about a shared collective experience! When I passed my own “ending” by my friends, they also liked it better than the real thing and asked me why I don’t consider writing. Of course they know that I have been writing factual books and articles for some 45 years but have refrained from the world of fiction simply because time does not allow it. My students have also asked me how someone of my intellect could watch the soaps; to which I reply: “That’s how I clear my gray cells,” though I do NOT look down on the soaps and find the acting on them to be superior to most other shows; and once in awhile they come up with great characters and a gem of a story as ATWT had (even with a botched ending). After this most recent experience, however, I have left the soaps for now since their dramatic and emotional level falls far short of what I just saw on ATWT. My final thought on the whole matter is that the writers and EP were too anxious to find a balance to the anticipated trite “happy camper” denouement of all the other characters; and, therefore, wound up going overboard with the Luke/Reid finale by totally misreading their audience’s potential feelings and reactions who, in the end, felt that they “had a door suddenly slammed shut in their collective faces”! But the acting of Van and Eric over the past several months has been so phenomenal that it supersedes that ill-conceived ending and their iconic portrayals lives on. Cheers.

    Isabel replied

    Great ending–and it’s a happy one! That’s what I wanted for Luke (and Reid).

    Reply

    Lisa replied

    I wanted a happy ending for Luke too. Poor Luke who just wanted to be loved and to givre his love.

    George replied

    Lewis: My GF and me thank you very much for the wonderful LURE ending that you conceived. It gave us a kind of closure after ATWT ruthlessly destroyed the pristine and beautiful LURE love story with the terrible writing leading to the tragic LURE ending making absolutely no sense. We both have Ph.D. degrees and are University Professors. Although we are straight, we never saw LURE as a gay love story, we just saw it as a celebration of pure and genuine love between two individuals. We got interested in LURE because our RL story is somewhat similar. I was a science geek involved with books and scientific research with no social life. Then this wonderful girl came along and taught me that there was more to life than only work. Today, we have an absolutely wonderful personal, professional, and social life. Like you, we are very disappointed with American shows, and we will definitely not watch anything involving CG and JP. The people creating soap stories should realize that their audience is not stupid and that they should never take them for granted. The producers and writers of ATWT have clearly demonstrated that they do not feel the impulse of the faithful viewers and fans at all. If they did, they would never have even thought of the horrendous LURE ending that finally aired. What is most irritating is that every straight couple was given a happily ever after whereas Luke, Noah, and Reid who drove their ratings to unprecedented heights were given sad endings even by soap standards. That appears to be homophobic intent. And even worse, Luke, the most lovable character on the entire show who was looking for true love all his life and had finally found that in Reid after being constantly rejected in the past, was handed yet another tragedy (the worst one) of his young life.

    Reply

    Lewis replied

    Thank you George and your GF for your reply to my post. I did it in order to get closure for myself and thought that others might get some sort of resolution out of it as well. What the writers and EP did to this duo at the end is unforgiveable. It only reveals how out of touch they were with the visceral response to this storyline. And yet, they WERE aware of the audience’s emotional investment in LuRe since so much had been written about it. As for Luke and Reid never “making love”, someone wasn’t looking at their own episodes or script. Luke had already had a 3+ year relationship with Noah and was no longer a “virgin”. Reid certainly didn’t act like one although he also was probably never involved with anyone emotionally given his character’s behavior. At one point, Luke invites Reid into his home when no one else is there so that they can become intimate but Reid declines, claiming he has surgery the next morning. On another occasion, the pizza guy suddenly appears and then Reid gets beeped. Still another time, Reid gets called to the hospital and tells Luke that he’ll have to get used to being with a neurosurgeon. The writers foiled every opportunity while allowing the heterosexual couples to “make love” out of wedlock, not use a condum, act almost adulterous, and practically “make love” to a mannequin clown. Van wondered why Luke and Reid never “got together” and blamed his own desire to wait. But this is NOT completely true. To have Luke and Reid actually be intimate seemed to be too much for the audience as opposed to Luke and Noah who might have come off as being merely in a phase and immature, and therefore acceptable. Janet’s histrionics and indecision, Jack’s and Holden’s back and forth antics, and Barbara’s relationship with Henry were ok to foist on the audience but a gay couple behaving in an adult manner was beyond the pale. And then to kill off one of the most notable characters ever to grace the daytime screen while rewarding all of the infantile behavior of most of the other characters with a happy sendoff was a disgrace! I came up with my own “ending” using the original writers’ scenario as a template in all of three minutes. But with months to plan ahead and a full opportunity to take the pulse of the audience, the writers left us with a veritable trainwreck – literally and emotionally!

  64. Elena says:

    there was no need for Reid to die of the train thingy either. people have survived worse on a soap. nope, it was the homophobic writing that killed him. :( i hope Reid haunts Goutman and Passanante in their dreams. :P ghost of gay soap past…

    Reply

    selma replied

    Thanks for giving us your ending, Lewis! Like you said–not a huge block of time out of a writer’s life and so meaningful to the fans of such popular characters.

    Reply

  65. Raj says:

    Great Interview. Van THANK YOU for your gift of your talent. For a non soap watcher, thanks to your flawless acting you had me hooked. Look forward to your future ventures. This is just the beginning for you.

    Reply

    Lisa replied

    I agree with you: Van is giving us gifts through his flawless acting. I’m really looking forward to Van’s next projects because he has to show us more of his beautiful face and of his wonderful acting.

    Reply

  66. UM says:

    “It is hard to image our soap opera viewing consciousness, and our daytime television viewing habits without the character of Luke Snyder. From the minute Van Hansis took over the role in late December of 2005, he infused Luke with a sweetness, a playfulness, sex-appeal, charm, a zest for life, and an impulsiveness. His Luke was also a romantic at heart. Throughout the last five years, fans of As the World Turns have watched as Van time after time, story after story, gave a poignancy and honesty to his performances that long after ATWT is gone, will never be forgotten. … Van’s ability to transcend and melt our hearts, make us cry, and laugh at Luke’s perils and his plights, was something that was universal, and his fans base is international in scope. And for gay young men out there, he gave them someone to relate to, and someplace where they could see a part of their story being played out on the TV screen. ” WOW, that’s beautifully and eloquently written. I totally agree with each word.
    Thank you for this wonderful interview. Van Hansis is one of the best actors in the world of actors. I want him shine on screen forever.

    Reply

    UM replied

    I want Van Hansis *to* shine on my screen forever !!

    Reply

  67. reidstheman says:

    It is so comforting to read all of these comments in support the the LuRe lovestory and to know that it has affected almost everyone who watched it the same way that it has affected me! I am inconsolable about the ending to this story as I was sooo in love with this couple! What I REALLY will never understand is the cruel teasing done by ATWT about Luke and Reid making love…”when it’s right it will happen”..”to be continued”..”all I need is a bed and some privacy”..and we never got our love scene! It is NOT because I wanted to watch more making out scenes (though I certainly wouldn’t complain), but it was because that it the ultimate gift of love and sign of committment and we so wanted that for LuRe. I feel doubly cheated by having both the love scene AND the ending taken from me. I wish ATWT would OFFICIALLY write a happy ending for LuRe and publish for the fans! It would certainly be a great gesture because sooo many were angry, disappointed and frustrated.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    I wish Luke and Reid could have a happy ending.Truthfully , I’m going off the deep end because of this horrible ending for luke and reid.i can’t seem to let it go and move on.It just makes me so angry that the best love story in years was the only one that didn’t have a happy ending.It’s so unfair…i’ve had a headache for weeks because of this and i need to find a way to get over it before my husband puts me in a home because i’m not acting like a rational human being.I loved Luke and Reid and love Eric and Van!

    Reply

    Lewis replied

    mmc, you’re not alone. I keep reading and re-reading these message boards because I can’t shake that ending from my mind either – and I’m not even totally sure why. What I do know is that the fans were cheated by a miserable soap opera cop-out. Also, Luke and Reid transcended the other characters by orders of magnitude. LuRe were REAL! The others were NOT! LuRe were fully fleshed out 3-dimensional figures in every respect – attractive, magnetic, and empathetic with their own individual quirks, foibles, and imperfections – and we loved them for it. Just watching Reid sewing up a torn teddy bear or munching down an overstuffed sandwich was more impactive than Chris getting his new heart. Speaking of which, has anyone even thought twice or been joyous about Chris’s new heart or the fact that he survived? Not to sound heartless (pardon the pun), did anybody really care? And there’s part of your answer. Except for Lily and Holden apparently ready to get back together, Noah going off to LA for a new career in filmdom, and Bob and Kim heading to retirement heaven, the rest barely registered on my radar. Luke holding his face because he had temporary misgivings about telling Noah that he was in love with Reid; Reid telling him that he wouldn’t say “I love you” just so it wouldn’t come across as something Luke expected to hear (even though the audience knew that Reid would have meant it) had more emotional substance and realism by far than Janet’s prolonged screeching birth process, finding out who the real daddy was, Carly being pregnant (no birth control precautions there), Molly’s return to Oakdale (a yawn), Craig making “nice” with his son, a young man who wants to be a policeman (can’t wait to see his hair cut), two people reunited after not seeing each other for more than 20 years, two sisters exchanging homes, and a recovering heart patient still looking more dead than alive making a marriage proposal to someone already married 6 times. That’s what the writers left us with. And that’s why the daytime soaps are falling by the wayside. My final suggestion is to go online and see what DVDs Van and Eric are in (there may be a couple) and check out the worth of getting them.

    Lewis replied

    reidstheman: see my comments above re Luke and Reid not “getting together”. ATWT was unwilling to take that final step. Why not I don’t know for sure given the fact that the show was already cancelled.

    Reply

    mmc replied

    Lewis, I think the writers wrote for a “nice’ gay love story, but when eric and van were on screen they sizzled and i think TPTB didn’t know what to do with these wonderful characters.They missed the opportunity of a lifetime because they had the love story of the ages at their fingertips.They also never really listened to the fans, if they had they would have let them live their happy ending.But i’ll go back and read your lovely story again….you showed TPTB , that’s how it should have been done!!!!

  68. reidstheman says:

    I have a comment to make on the “happy endings.” IMO, even NOah got a happy ending because he DID get his dream career. He said it had always been his dream to break into the film business and now, he was able to do that. He probably will start dating Ricky Martin in LA and live happily ever after. Only Luke and (definately) Reid got the horrific ending. Poor Reid, got NO LIFE, NO COS job, NO LUKE. Luke got cheated out of being with the love of his life. LuRe made the fans feel there could NEVER be another love for Luke after that perfect match made in “heaven.” IMO, it would have been better to let Luke go with Reid and die in the train accident along with him than to leave him behind alone.

    Reply

    C.B. replied

    I loved Reid and LuRe, but never for a moment thought Luke will not find love again. I didn’t get a sense that his life was over. He’ll go through his grieving and get on with his life, just as he encourages Lucinda to do. One of the reasons why I admired Van’s overall performance (not only the tragic scenes) is because he showed a character who grew up from a young boy into a strong, self-assured man. Even Noah points out how focused Luke is at the end. I am most definitely happy that Luke didn’t die in that train accident.

    Reply

    Li replied

    I totally agree with you C.B. Van’s amazing performances are on the tragic scenes and also in the scenes of Luke showing what a great, generous, intelligent man he is. Van plays Luke with a deep beauty, a deep humanity. We saw Luke growing up and he is definitely a strong self-assured grown-up since Noah’s accident last fall. Luke had to go through a lot of horrible situations and they made him understand that life goes on despite the disapparition of the loved ones. And I wouldn’t have loved at all to see Luke die in the train accident too! I am happy Luke is there at the end of the show to remind us that life goes on for him despite his sadness and that he’ll work on projects and built a great life.

    Lewis replied

    A very interesting notion about Luke going with Reid and dying with him. But then the writers wouldn’t have been able to waste a couple of days looking for Reid’s uncle and poor Lily would have had an even bigger mess to clean up. And the LuRe fans would have really stormed the Bastille in their outrage.

    Reply

    Lisa replied

    Oh no, not a good idea! I want my Luke Snyder alive forever!!

    Lewis replied

    Lisa, I hope you realize that I was being sarcastic. I didn’t want EITHER ONE of them to die and my final comment was meant to emphasize that point.

    Lisa replied

    Thank you for clarifiying. Yes, I understood your sarcasm here and I agree with you on that, but I just wanted to make my love for the character of Luke VERY clear.

  69. Li says:

    Van Hansis rocks !! I love his wonderful portrayal of Luke Snyder and all his beautiful work that made Luke my favorite character. I am looking forward to his new film Occupant !!

    Reply

  70. mmc says:

    Since i’m such a fan of the Luke /Reid love story I’m devastated that the clips and won’t be available on You Tube after mid October. This means we won’t be able to see any more of ATWT anywhere.Is there a way I can purchase these clips or any videos or dvds somewhere?I’m only asking about Luke and Reids scenes together and apart, but mostly together.I’d be so grateful for any help you can give me as i love these characters and loved their story.I hope someone can help because mid October will be here before too long!

    Reply

    Valier replied

    I didn’t know about that! I am also devastated we won’t have the opportunity to watch the ATWT scenes, especially the Luke’s story, on YT. I will be very happy if we could purchase the Luke’s Story on DVD!

    Reply

    Aisance replied

    I want the Luke story on DVD too! I want all Van’s scenes and work on DVD!

  71. Valier says:

    That is a wonderful interview and I love Van’s insightful answers. I am already missing Luke’s adorable face on screen on a regular basis, but I am looking forward to ‘Occupant’ and to Van’s other projects.

    Reply

  72. Lewis says:

    afterelton.com interviewed Passanante about the Luke/Reid ending. She gave the most awkward, tepid, and vapid responses and was totally oblivious when it came to fully understanding ATWT’s audience reaction to Reid’s demise. It wasn’t merely a question of “killing off the gay guy”; it was a matter of destroying a beautiful evolving romance between two complex and fully 3-dimensional adult characters who just happened to be gay. She never got it. And when this heart-wrenching ending (pardon the pun) is contrasted with the shallow kum-by-ya reconciliation of all the other characters, it only adds insult to injury. On afterelton.com, the last episode was covered in blocks of time with appropriate commentary. When Luke goes to see Chris and listens to his heart and mentions the fact that Chris will now become COS, Chris only waffles over the subject. Luke balls him out and tells him that he “has to take the job after all that Reid did”. Chris says “he’ll think about it”. The reporter then adds a great one-liner: “Go to hell Chris.” I’m still laughing (which is a nice change from the other alternative due to that horrendous ending)!

    Reply

  73. Lewis says:

    I meant to say “bawls” [Chris] out. Sorry about that. LOL

    Reply

  74. VICTOIRE says:

    Dear Van, I am so missing you on my TV screen on a regular basis! I loved your awesome portrayal of the beloved Luke Snyder and I am missing him too! Sweet, generous, gorgeous, charming, impulsive, determined Luke… Your phenomenal work has to be rewarded! You’re the most deserving actor!!

    Reply

  75. VICTOIRE says:

    Happy Birthday, beautiful Van !!

    Reply

    Aisance replied

    O yes, Happy Birthday to our gorgeous Van Hansis who is 29 today!

    Reply

  76. D says:

    Van’s Birthday is tomorrow, 9/25: you can still donate to his alma mater, the Walnut Hill school: http://www.walnuthillalumni.org/s/116/index.aspx?sid=116&pgid=371&gid=1&cid=1016&ecid=1016

    Reply

  77. D says:

    And yes, Happy birthday, Van Hansis, my fav actor!

    Reply

  78. june says:

    Van Hansis, I never cared much for soaps or the characters….recycled storylines/similar characters are my opinions about soaps..until the day you came onto ATWT… you were very noticeable…well, you were sooo cute (still are!). But I really took an interest when your character turns out to be gay! Hey, here’s something diffferent, I thought. And then you continued to mesmerized me with your acting, like Michael said, you infused Luke with playfulness, sweetness, sex appeal(oh yeah), charm and all things nice. I was hooked, well and truly ensnared. You, my lovely Van, are a *wonderfully* *talented* person and I thank you, thank you, *thank you* for being *you*, beautiful person that you are!
    I do love you and I will follow your career..whatever, wherever and whenever..even though I am far, far away in South east asia. Thank you and Happy birthday ! May all your wishes and dreams come true

    Reply

    selma replied

    Michael and Van, thanks for the interviews along the way. Van and Eric, Congratulations on a ‘chilling’ final scene–such ‘heart’wrenching symbolism. I made a final comment by way of a tribute and my own happy ending on Eric’s final interview if anyone is interested. You are obviously both worthy of the highest recognition in your profession. I’ll be watching! Good Luck in the future!

    Reply

    Aisance replied

    june, that’s a beautiful message you wrote for Van and I totally agree with you!

    Reply

    DAL replied

    Beautiful message! I hope Van read it!

    Reply

  79. Aisance says:

    Van, you’re a wonderful actor and the sweetest person ever! I love your work and I love your beautiful and perfect acting! You make emotions so palpable and vivid that I feel them too when watching you play your characters. You’re my favorite actor and wish you the best!
    Thanks for this awesome interview!

    Reply

    Valeria replied

    That’s so true: Van’s acting makes emotions real and palpable, as if I was the one feeling them. Van makes compassion raise in me when watching him emote. Van Hansis is a wonderful artist!

    Reply

    DAL replied

    I totally agree with you: I cried when Luke was crying because Van Hansis conveyed the emotions with perfection!

  80. Valeria says:

    Michael, please, do an interview with Van when “Occupant” is released. I want to hear Van’s thoughts about his first experience on the big screen. Thanks!

    Reply

    DAL replied

    I would want that too.

    Reply

  81. mmc says:

    Does anyone know where we can write to Van and how we can follow his career?I hope the world will appreciate his talent and he’ll find a lot of work.Michael Fairman if anyone would know it would be you can you help? If so I’ll say thank you…It means a lot!!!!

    Reply

    MGG replied

    VAN has a FB page. You can keep contact with him through that page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1488016478

    Reply

  82. Li says:

    Watch Van Hansis in the new trailer of ‘Occupant’ :
    http://vimeo.com/15409080
    http://vimeo.com/15426117
    http://occupantmovie.com/play.html

    This movie looks so intense and excellently done! Van Hansis shines in it! WOW

    Reply

    MGG replied

    That is very amazing!

    Reply

  83. Lance Krystopher says:

    I was so saddened at the ending of ATWT and how Luke was left alone and greiving for Reid. My only hope is that I feel in my heart that Luke and Noah shall one day be reunited. I know the love between them will spark and reignite and that they will evemtually have the proverbial “happy ever after” ending that we all dream of for ourselves and for our beloved Luke and Noah.

    Now that Van Hansis has moved to L.A., perhaps the character of Luke has moved there with him so that he can now reunite with the character of Noah, who we know moved to L.A. at the end of ATWT. (Funny how life imitates art, and vice-versa!) I like to think that now that they’re both in L.A. (Luke and Noah) that they are together finally.

    That’s a happy thought, and one that will keep me sane. (How I miss these characters, it’s like a piece of my heart was torn out when ATWT ended!)

    Thanks, Van, for such a wonderful “final” interview. It gave me some closure on Luke, and opened up my mind to what the future may hold for you as an actor! Good luck in L.A.! Hope to see you soon on something new!

    LK

    Reply

    mmc replied

    I would never be happy thinking Luke would ever be with Noah as more than friends.Their time has passed…i think we should all think of Reids death as a horrible nightmare and have him back with Luke so they can have their happily ever after.I wonder if there will be a screening of “Occupant” and if fans will be able to go .I hope so.Does anyone know?Also Erics film” Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty”I hope Van comes back to NYC to do some fan meets.I miss him , he’s such a sweetheart!!!!

    Reply

    Lance Krystopher replied

    Reid is dead. Stone cold dead. It’s not a nightmare. He was hit by a train and it killed him. He died on the show. END OF STORY! No one was having a nightmare except you.

    Everyone with a brain knows that Luke was merely infatuated with Reid because he paid him some attention when he needed it. Luke was too intelligent to be in love with a man he didn’t even know. And he didn’t know Reid. They even had Luke say that to Noah on the show. Luke mentioned all the things he and Reid had never done, (including having sex together, BTW). Luke couldn’t possibly be in love with someone he really didn’t know. DUH!

    It was also spelled out on the show that Luke and Noah would get together again. You must have missed that part while you were having your alleged “nightmare”. DUH!

    I’m sorry, but you couldn’t even stay focused when you posted your brief comments, so how can you expect anyone take your comments seriously?

    Luke + Noah = FOREVER!

    *** NUKE RULES! ***

    Reid Oliver = Rest In Peace

  84. Jo says:

    I totally agree with you lance! i honesty dont understand the infactuation with reid. where’s the loyaly!. Luke and Noah made that show. Reid was just an after thought!!!.

    Reply

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