One Life to Live just wrapped up its first season online. At the epicenter of season one, seemed to be the perils and love life of the character of Matthew Buchanan played by Robert Gorrie.
In On-Air On-Soaps’ final interview for season one, we chatted with Rob to talk all things Matthew, including: who is truly the gal that Matt should be with … Dani, Destiny, or Michelle? What he thought about all the ups and downs the production faced, and the changes in the amount of episodes delivered to the fans each week? And, what was it like being front and center in the show surrounded by such beloved veteran performers? … and much, much more.
We think you will find Rob’s answers candid, refreshing, and sincere as we take a look back, and take a look forward as to what might befall Matthew in season two. When we left him; his Uncle Clint was at the clutches of Allison Perkins in the psyche ward, Matthew’s friend, Jeffrey is not all he appears to be, and is now out on a date with Destiny! And, Matthew’s date at the Man of the Year, Michelle, is turning out to be a manipulating bitch! So here’s what Rob had to say, about Matthew’s expansive and exhilarating first season of story!
So, as fans have just watched the season finale, do you think deep down Matthew is feeling the pull and love for Destiny? Were you and Laura Harrier (Destiny) intentionally playing that into your scenes?
ROB: Absolutely, there is a love there for Destiny, 100%. I have not spoken to Laura about specific choices that she should make in scenes, but I have started to make those choices. I feel like that is where Matthew’s next logical step should be. I think he should be fully learning that becoming a man means fulfilling your responsibilities, and facing your emotions. This whole thing with her falling for Jeffrey, and most recently the incident where Drew got sick, I think it started to wake him up to, “This is his family!”
When One Life to Live returned in its new incarnation online, you debuted as a recast and a more mature Matthew. At the beginning of the season, he was a jackass! But for me, and for the fans, we could never exactly figure out why he was acting out this way! How do you feel about that?
ROB: I definitely think there was a harder edge to Matthew when the show first launched, and they did not really explore it. I listened to your episode of TOLN Soaps Live with Jennifer Pepperman (EP, OLTL) the other day. I think she hit the nail on the head that I don’t think they took the time to really explain where Matthew was at, from the beginning of the show. I sort of went with the way the writing was. I definitely felt he has this anger towards Destiny, but I am not even sure if Matthew knew why he was angry with her. It was misplaced; his anger was with his folks, and a bit on himself, and he unfairly projected that on Destiny.
Now at the end of season one, Matthew is with Michelle (Amber Skye Noyes)! He accepted her awfully quickly after all the crap she put him through! How many women can this guy have in his orbit?
ROB: Can the guy just pick somebody? I hear what you’re saying! It’s definitely a challenge for me as an actor. It’s hard to divvy up all these feelings for all these different girls! (Laughs) I don’t think they know where they are going with Matthew right now, which is why I have taken it upon myself to start to play up his feelings for Destiny. I think it’s the next logical progression, and I think he is uncovering those right now.
Do you see the endgame for Matthew truly being Dani (Kelley Missal)?
ROB: Wouldn’t that be a twist? I have not read any of the scripts they have planned for season two, but I can’t wait, to be honest.
How is working with Kelley Missal?
ROB: I enjoy working with Kelley, because she brings something new to every scene. I feel she is one of the strongest actresses I have ever worked with. She keeps it fun on set, and she is really good at her craft. She brings a fiery energy to Dani that the show desperately needs.
You have had great scenes recently with Jerry verDorn (Clint)! Especially, when Matthew tried to sober up Clint before the Man of the Year meltdown!
ROB: I enjoy those scenes because Jerry is a wonderful actor, and so generous. He is very present in his scenes. I learn a lot from him, and how he carries himself around on set. I definitely think the work he has been doing now should be considered for an Emmy nomination. He is fantastic! What I like a lot about his relationship with Matthew, and where it is right now, is Clint has always been the person to slap Matthew in the face and say, “Wake up, kid!” And now Matthew can return the favor and say, “Uncle Clint! You’ve got to get yourself put together here!” I think Matthew has two fathers on the show, Bo and Clint. And, I am sure he is so upset knowing Clint ended up in the Psyche Ward!
And, now Matthew is in the dark that his roommate and best friend, Jeffrey King (Corbin Bleu) is really part of the cult! Jeffrey is a very bad man! What does Matthew think of Jeffrey at this point?
ROB: Right now, Matthew is in the dark. There is some tension there, because Jeffrey is starting to date Destiny. How Matthew responds to Jeffrey is dependent on his plans for Llanview, and what he has in store for the people he seemed to have lied to this whole season. I am sure Matthew will stand up for his friends and family, first and foremost.
Matthew has really been the lead on the show in season one of One Life to Live. He has certainly had more airtime than most of the characters, and a lot of the action centered on Matthew. Did you feel a huge weight on your shoulder, knowing you were carrying so much story on a show that was beloved for its veteran performers?
ROB: I have been on a lot, and other people have said that to me, as well. I have read some articles that have said that, and it definitely feels like it when you watch the show. I have worked almost every day. I had no idea how it would be showcased in the final product, though. But I wouldn’t call it a weight. I enjoy working, and Matthew is genuinely connected to all of these different story points. It makes sense he is there, and I enjoy it. No complaints here.
Did you originally think this Michelle story (that came out of the blue) was going to turn into a “catfishing” storyline for Matthew, and the cautionary tale of it?
ROB: Initially yes, and then it wasn’t until a couple of weeks after we started playing it, that I spoke to our casting director, Alison Goodman, and she is like, “We casted Michelle!” And I am like, “She’s real? She’s a real person?” (Laughs) So I was excited. I thought it was a cool little twist, and everybody thought it was headed towards a “cat-fishing” storyline, and then she ended up being real. And, we don’t know what her true intention is, either! I can say I did peek ahead for what they have planned for her, and I think the fans will be really excited.
Your on-screen parents are played by Daytime Emmy winners, Hillary B. Smith (Nora) and Bob Woods (Bo). In season one there were just not enough scenes between the three of you. I hope for more of them!
ROB: I do, too. I hope we get to see more of that in season two. I guess Jen Pepperman also alluded to that in your TOLN Soaps Live broadcast.
There was a huge learning curve for many soap fans trying to get adjusted to One Life being online and watching on Hulu. The goal was to bring in the younger generation, who understood that process, and yet retain the older and steadfast viewer. There were lots of twists and turns with the way episodes were being posted, and behind the scenes shifts. How was the cast affected by all the changes?
ROB: Of course, we were concerned and affected by all the changes, but I also think we were all a little more understanding than some of the fans. We understood what we were up against. We knew going in there was going to be some trial and errors, and bumps and bruises. It’s a whole new undertaking, and a new production company for this show. There were a lot of new people on board, and at the end of the day we were all just happy to be on the show, and to be able to tell these stories. Once all the kinks are ironed out, we are going to have a tremendous show. I think the direction the show is headed now is great, and I can’t wait to get back to work.
So up on your Twitter account, who do the fans want to see Matthew with the most, Michelle, Dani or Destiny?
ROB: Not too many people want him with Michelle (laughs), but a lot of people are torn between Dani and Destiny. The majority would say that Matthew needs to be back with Destiny.
Many have felt that Laura Harrier has really come into her own in the role of Destiny, as she was a very new actress with not too much previous experience. Since you have watched Laura work, what can you say about her progression?
ROB: I think she has grown so much in her role, and she brings a unique innocence that Destiny has always had, and she has that in her look, and the way she speaks. Laura is a sweet girl. I think she is learning by watching by everybody. I am proud of her. I think she is great.
Did you watch soaps growing up, and think that perhaps this was a medium you always wanted to act in? You previously were on As the World Turns before One Life to Live.
ROB: When I was growing up I distinctly remember my grandparents and my mom watching Days of our Lives with John and Marlena, and the whole devil possession storyline. It captivated me in a really weird way. So, I would say soaps have always been in the background of my life and on the TV. I never thought I would have a prominent role like I have now on a soap. I would never have thought of that in a million years!
How do you feel now when people call you “heartthrob” or “sexy”?
ROB: Oh, I defiantly express my appreciation, and thank who ever says that. I am not one to avoid a compliment and I will take it. It is something I am getting used to, as it never really happened to me growing up. I never thought of myself that way! (Laughs)
One Life to Live faced so many obstacles to get this show back up and mounted. What can you say you learned, in general terms, from the season one experience of being part of this show?
ROB: I think honestly, the one big takeaway is, I had to appreciate every day I get to be on set. I remember when we learned about the labor strike and we were working that day. I remember walking off the soundstage. I had a moment to myself looking around wishing I had taken more time to appreciate each say playing Matthew, as we did not know for sure if we were coming back. I have taken away being more mindful that this is an amazing privilege and opportunity. I enjoy playing Matthew, and I want to keep playing him.
So OLTL fans, what did you think of Rob Gorrie’s performance as Matthew in season one? Do you feel that Matthew’s attitude at the beginning of the series wasn’t properly explained? Who do you want to see Matthew end up with season two? Do you think Rob was an excellent choice for the SORAS’d Matthew B.? Share your thoughts on our final One Life interview of the season below!