October 11th, 2008  |  Leave a comment

THE JACK WAGNER INTERVIEW – THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

By Michael Fairman

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TV SOAP:

Wagnerheadshot.jpgYour dressing room is pretty sparse. Were your other soap opera haunts like this one?

JACK:

I had always visited them, but they were never my own, and all the houses I have owned looked just like this. When a woman would walk into my house, she would say, “Now, I know why you have spent so much time at my house!”

TV SOAP:

How do you like working with Nick’s newest love interest ‘du jour’ Katie Logan, played by Heather Tom?

JACK:

I find Heather very interesting. She is able to do comedy, and obviously, she can do drama! She is always crying, and I say to her, “What are you crying about?” And she says, “I don’t know.” So, she is always crying. She cries during make-up, and cries during rehearsal, and I say, “You know, we are not suppose to cry here.” She goes, “I know I am winning my Emmy or something.” I am just kidding!

TV SOAP:

But Heather has 12 Emmy nominations under her belt.

makingoutwithKatie.jpgJACK:

That’s not bad! Heather did flub a line and she said, “I think after my seventeen years in daytime, I would know better than that.” And I go, “Seventeen years? You must have started when you were 3 years old.” Ever since then she has been really nice to me. I like her a lot and have a lot of fun with her.

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TV SOAP:

Nick has been all over the map with many “B&B” leading ladies. It’s hard to keep up without a scorecard. What are your feelings on Nick’s situation?

JACK:

It’s a little weird! It’s been a very unusual year for Nick to be in love with Taylor. But, as far as I’m concerned it’s “B&B”… “Blondes and Brunettes,” not, “Bold and Beautiful.” (He laughs) It was really good to go through that whole egg storyline and whose baby it was. I thought the way they did that with the two rivals of Taylor and Brooke, was a good soap storyline. Then it branched into maybe its Brooke’s. And when you introduce a new character, like with the Katie character, it can get a bit tricky. You can’t revisit Taylor and Brooke right away. I think Nick’s character was sacrificed this year, I really do. Nick has always been a stand up guy… trying to do the right thing and being a man of his word. This year I named him the ‘seed man’. He just drops his seed in any woman he sees, and what happens, happens! Its kind of what this year’s been like, and to play that has been difficult.

TV SOAP:

How have you dealt with all the changes in direction for Nick in his love life?

JACK:

You have to act as is if you are doing a play a day, and then we wrap and do another one. It’s gotten a little confusing, and the character has been scarified a bit to move storylines. But that’s OK. That’s part of this medium. We do a lot of work, and quick, and sometimes when you introduce a new character you have to sacrifice some other characters. It had not happened at all in five years here. But, to go through a year where there is a little confusion and in what direction Nick is going, is OK. I can deal with that.

TV SOAP:

When Heather came on she seemed to languish on the back burner until the heart storyline, and then Nick came into the story to propel it.

JACK:

It’s a tricky show, because its pretty much core family oriented. So, when you get actors and characters that are not integrated into that family, actors like Heather, you say to yourself, “How do we use her the right way?” So, that is the process here. They mix and match. I think that’s what Brad Bell (executive producer and head writer, “B&B”) did this year. I think Heather will show, like most seasoned good actors that they can fit in everywhere.

TV SOAP:

What about Nick and Bridget’s relationship?

Ashleyjack.jpgJACK:

Bridget, Ashley Jones’s character; you’ll need to go call her about that one. Her character has got that unrequited love all the time. It was all about Nick, and then the heart-transplant. It was almost like courtesy sex with Katie on the beach.
What happened was that it never happened. We were three weeks past that, and Katie was going to be pregnant. They had made love on the beach, and as the actors we were like, “Oh.” So we have been playing three weeks like there was no subtext. So we had to go back and re-shoot those lovemaking scenes. They added them in. That’s because we were playing this underlying sexual tension. But, that was all kind of a late addition to the storyline, which is what made it confusing. That’s why I think the audience was thinking, “Where is Nick’s core here? Where is his heart? Where has it gone?”

TV SOAP:

So Nick sleeps with Katie!

JACK:

He sleeps with Katie. Nick gets wrapped up in the moment. It’s her dying moment. She wants to die. She does not want to take her pills anymore. Nick has basically been hired by Brooke and Bridget to go and take Katie out on the Marlin. They want to give her last dying wish, which is to feel happy. No one makes her happier than Nick. The Logan sisters say, “You make her laugh. When you come into her hospital room she lights up, so please do this for our family.” Nick is with her and she is dying, and smash-cut, they start making out and….what can you say … it happens! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Now, what about poor Bridget? Nick has hurt her again!

JACK:

We are not going to tell Bridget until she has to be told, because something is going to happen where she has to be told. And guess who has to tell her… Nick!

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Lesley-ADown.jpgTV SOAP:

What happened to those great mother/son scenes between you and your amazing on-screen mom, Lesley-Anne Down? (Jackie)

JACK:

There has not been much, because if any real mother watched what went on, she would be taking Valium and Xanax throughout the day! I think she is going to wait in the wings to find out what real direction Nick is going and then play the matriarch. She has been out of the loop because Nick has been so busy being the ‘seed man’. The ‘seed man’ has very busy days. He does not work or make money anymore. I think Nick now plays the stock market from the cell phone of his car. He was a seaman, and then an entrepreneur, and ran a fashion company, and was able to sell that. Now he apparently is able to live off of his million! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Are there any other women you would like to be paired with on “B&B” that you haven’t been with?

JACK:

Please, I am tired. Look at me; I am actually 27! (He laughs)

TV SOAP:

Are you finding time for some celebrity-pro golfing tournaments?

JACK:

We are not golfing, because I have an 18-year-old and a 13-year-old, and this is my last leg here. I am on the back nine with these kids. So, I have abandoned a little bit of ‘Jack time’ to focus on really being there for them. I am a busy man!

TV SOAP:

Is fatherhood every thing you expected it to be?

JACK:

When you have a child, nobody tells you what its like. And by the way, you and everyone go away, I am a single parent. When I have my children, it’s about how to combine my needs and schedule with theirs. Mine really has to adjust to what is theirs. It’s kind of a part of parenting. It’s selfless.

LocklearWagner.jpgTV SOAP:

Is it still hard for you to go out in public because you are so recognizable?

JACK:

LA is not bad at all, and that’s where I live. So, I can kind of go around with a golf hat or something, and it’s not so big a deal. When you are out of LA, it gets goofy. If I am out with my girlfriend, Heather Locklear, it’s different because she is so popular. It’s insane! They follow us everywhere. If I go out on my own, it’s cool. If Heather is along and it’s a happening restaurant, it’s insane, but we will duck in and out of low-key places… no problem.

TV SOAP:

How is your relationship with you and Heather working out?

JACK:

We have good times, and things are good.

TV SOAP:

Jack, what would you still love to see Nick do story-wise on “B&B”?

JACK:

Something a little more substantial in terms of his power. I think they really exercised that in terms of his shipping company, and trying to have him in the fashion business was a nice attempt. But, this show is grounded in families and relationships. It’s about that core family. For Nick to have a son and Brooke be the mother, that is a pretty good foundation, and where that goes to in terms of power. When you branch off into professional parts of his life, like taking over Forrester Creations, I don’t know how many legs that really has. (Unless, it was like Spectra, where it was a competing fashion house). “B&B” is such a relationship-driven show, that you kind of have to really stick with what works on the show, and what makes these people laugh and cry.

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TV SOAP:

What can we tell Nick fans to look forward to in the coming months?

JACK:

Nick will be in search of the never-ending process of ending the confusion! (He laughs)

Katherinejack.jpgTV SOAP:

I want to get your immediate response, to say a few words to describe your leading ladies. Let’s start with Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke)?

JACK:

It is a treat everyday, because I get to laugh and
be stupid.

TV SOAP:

Heather Tom?

JACK:

Not only challenging…but very rewarding. She is one of the best actresses I have ever worked with.

TV SOAP:

Ashley Jones?

JACK:

Ashley Jones is not only about having a great friend, but someone who is beautiful and talented. I get the best of the best everyday.

Hunterjack.jpgTV SOAP:

What about Hunter Tylo as Taylor?

JACK:

I found Hunter to be so interesting. With her process, you don’t know if she is with you or not. She rehearses different. Hunter has a whole different line set up; it’s never really the script. But boy, I tell you, when they say action, it’s there. It’s really kind
of cool. I think to myself, “I just want to know, when you are going to stop talking, because I really don’t know.” I love that, but we are in such time restraints. I found working with Hunter challenging in a good way, not in a negative way. She just works differently than all the other girls on the show.

TV SOAP:

What would these ladies say about you?

JACK:

“Jack who?”

TV SOAP:

You are known to be very funny on set.

JACK:

I am funny on set. I really find that with actresses there has to be chemistry, and women and actresses respond to laughter. It tones down tension. If we have to laugh, and we can laugh at ourselves, it makes the day go by a lot easier. We are all more relaxed. All the way back to “Melrose Place”, it was so crucial. When Heather Locklear and I worked together we really had a good time, because it really opens you up. If you have a good relationship, and if you have some tense serious stuff, you do have to focus. But, 9 times out of 10, even if you are at a funeral, laughter eventually breaks out. It’s really true. I find that to be a formula that works for me, and especially for the actresses I work with. I will say, “Let’s check in and see what we have to do today, and you know what, let’s make sure we find it along the way,” it makes the process so much more enjoyable.

TV SOAP:

Have there been moments or scenes where you felt you ‘hit it out of the park’?

JACK:

There are a handful of days. The majority probably has been with Lesley-Anne Down, as Nick’s mother. I, like most men, are connected to that mommy or mother syndrome. Lesley is so above and beyond anyone I have worked with in terms of being able to capture things that are unexpected. It usually taps into something, or some emotion with me, as Jack and as a man. I am usually able to play that as Nick, because, lets face it, it’s not like we are doing Arthur Miller here. It’s not like we have a long time to rehearse a play; we need to do this in a half hour. So, the key to acting in daytime is to basically know your lines in a short amount of time and be available. With Lesley, it’s not that romantic thing I play with Katherine Kelly Lang, or Ashley, or Heather, or Hunter. This is a mother. Everyman that I know, who I have ever talked therapeutically to or anything, there is always some sort of mother syndrome. So, most that are memorable for me are with Lesley-Ann Down.

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TV SOAP:

What about favorite moments in your career?

JACK:

Memorable was the last scene of “Melrose Place” for Amanda and Peter. To fake our death, buy an island, and walk off into the sunset having gotten married, is not just a romantic storyline… it’s just such a fairytale. You ended this amazing series with Heather, who is a television icon and star of the show, and then be the guy beside her and to walk off with, was amazing! I walked off thinking, “How grateful am I? How lucky am I to have been in this nighttime series and to have also directed it. Now, here I am in love with this woman in real life, ten years later.” Literally, it’s her birthday today, and we were talking about it today, and that is a memorable moment for me. Also, I got to play “Jekyll and Hyde” on Broadway. This play is an 1880’s gothic tragedy, and I was able to play, Jekyll and Hyde dual characters. We all have a dark side and another side, the good side, and that’s a role I love. Also, Frisco Jones on “GH”, where I got my initial fame and my recording career, started on television. Those three moments, Frisco, “Melrose Place”, and “Jekyll and Hyde”, are the most memorable.

TV SOAP:

Will you be playing any more music concerts?

carpert-Jack.jpgJACK:

I just finished performing at the Mohegan Sun. I do that venue once a year now. For me to chase after that on weekends is too much. It’s got to be financially rewarding for me to do, and rewarding for me to do as an artist. You know, I don’t quite know where I am going to go with that. I am just letting things happen right now. Maybe I can go out and play a few acoustic sets with a couple buddies of mine, and play a few places. I might do that. The full production of flying, band, lighting, and crew, beat me up over the years, and I don’t chase it as much as I used to.

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