We Love Soaps traveled to Peapack, New Jersey to speak with the cast of GUIDING LIGHT before the show finished taping. We spoke with Lawrence Saint-Victor (Remy) about landing his GUIDING LIGHT role, how he dealt with the cancellation news and what he has in store for the future.
We Love Soaps: On April 1st the news came down [about GUIDING LIGHT's cancellation]. How are you doing with that?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: It’s weird, I’ve never gone through this, so it’s weird. That first day we were out here [Peapack]. Some people were in the studio. But we were out here shooting and we got the news during our lunch break. We still had more to shoot.
We Love Soaps: Do you remember which scenes you were shooting when you found out?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: It was the scene where Dinah got the information who Henry is but she hadn’t opened the envelope yet. It was kind of raining outside. It’s sad because you get to know these people, you see them every day, and to know it is 72 years on the air. It was after a high of being Orlando. I overheard Frank [Dicopoulos] say they, “Procter and Gamble sent us out there, they were showing support.” So that day I was in make-up saying, “We’re not going to get canceled, it’s not going to happen.” And then boom. It was a blow. Now I look forward to the days we still have shooting. I try not to think about the end. I’m like, we’re not canceled until this day. So up until this day I’m not acting like we’re canceled. When that day comes I’ll worry about it. For now, I’m here.
We Love Soaps: What did you do before GUIDING LIGHT?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: I was in college actually. I did a reenactment for the History Channel, and a lot of plays. But I was in college and I booked GUIDING LIGHT my senior year. So this is kind of my first job. It’s weird because I graduated college while on this show. I got engaged and got married while on this show. I moved out of my parents house while on this show. This show has the beginnings of my adult life.
We Love Soaps: How has it been portraying Remy?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: I love Remy because he’s one of those characters that can fit into any story, with any person, and it’ll work. He could be this belligerent jerk mourning Tammy, or two and a half years later he could be doing comedy with Christina. He’s the kind of character that can go both ways and that’s fun to play somebody who’s kind of limitless. When I first came on I didn’t have much story so I had that privilege of getting to work with so many people. I got to work with almost everyone on the cast roster.
We Love Soaps: What was it like to start on the show and not really have a story or a focus?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: It was hard at first because coming from theater you’re used to have a beginning middle and an end. And you played it as the beginning, the middle, and the end. And I’m getting here and I’m floating like, “Where do I go, what I supposed to do?” [They’d say] “It’s just a day in the life.” Okay, so, it took me a little while to figure out exactly how daytime works and that there isn’t an end, it keeps going and the show’s stories shifts. At first I was just trying to get bearings. And I went to a college that frowned upon doing any outside work until graduation. I had to keep it a secret while I was shooting. So I’d be waking up at 4:30 in the morning going to GUIDING LIGHT, shooting, making it back in time for rehearsals at 11 o’clock at night, go back to GUIDING LIGHT the next morning, and do it in secret. People did find out around May, but that was near graduation anyway. It was kind of crazy at first.
We Love Soaps: Did they give you a hard time about that?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: By the time they found out it was too late, [laughs], there was nothing they could do.
We Love Soaps: What has the fan reaction been to Remy?
Great. Especially now. People are really liking the Remy/Christina stuff. I noticed huge fan support starting around the Baby Matt storyline with Bill, when we were fighting for the baby, and the baby died, and just how that whole thing was handled. That’s when they cemented a character who seemed to be kind of floating. [They] grounded him in a real situation. In the midst of all this turmoil, with Jeffrey being gone, you have Remy and Christina bringing light to this canvas. We’re in dark times on this show, so it’s nice to see a couple that’s kind of fun.
We Love Soaps: Speaking of fun couples, I have said on our We Love Soaps podcast how much I enjoy the friendship between Remy and Cyrus.
Lawrence Saint-Victor: I love it! I love it because I never really worked with Murray before. We had no idea how it was going to work or if the story was going to be funny or not. We get the scripts as they come, and I was reading it, and I thought this is playing like a Lethal Weapon / Rush Hour type story. And we totally played to the fact that we’re different. He’s more serious and smooth. Remy’s more bumbling and kind of clumsy and innocent at heart. We just played to that. And then we had a scene where we were diving for diamonds in sewage. We were hosing each other off in our underwear and like, there’s no way to play that but for fun. That’s just comedy, that’s just fun. I love that dynamic because you don’t usually see two guy friends. Usually if it’s two guys they’re at odds, fighting over a girl, or they’re enemies who will never get along. But to see two guys, forced to work with each other, that was cool.
We Love Soaps: One is one side of the law, the other is on the other side.
Lawrence Saint-Victor: And then, well Remy’s not so much, he had the diamonds the whole time. So no matter how much he was looking at Cyrus he still stole, he still was a thief. So yeah, they kind of had each other’s backs, that was fun to play.
We Love Soaps: What would you like to see happen in your career next?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: Movies. Television. I’m starting my own production company. I believe that media is the most powerful thing. Being able to change people’s thinking through visual and audio is so important. If I can create great story but with the intention of uplifting and changing someone’s thinking, the end result is like changing the world. So my focus is on that, on top of being a movie star [laughs].
We Love Soaps: Is there someone doing this now who you look up to? Someone who is inspiring you to go out and change people’s minds?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: I think a lot of them, or try to. I love Will Smith’s work as far as how involved he is in the films. He’s a producer, he will rewrite, he takes control, and how he does it through his strategy I really admire. George Clooney is kind of the same way. He’ll choose a script because it does something to him.
We Love Soaps: What would you have liked to have seen for Remy if there was more time?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: I think I would have liked a real strong story between him and his family. And we’ve done amazing for the last eight to ten months, brining his family in more. He retreats from his family for such a strong reason and I think we kind of see how his family really affects him in a negative way. We allude to it, but you don’t really see it. It would be great to see him confront that, and really deal with that. And you know, Christina is supposed to come from the wrong side of tracks as far as 5th street and not of privilege. How does a family of privilege look at someone like that? And we got married at a casino? How would Remy’s mom look at this girl? Is she trying to get his money or money she thinks he has? I would like a lot more family stuff.
We Love Soaps (Newcomb): I like Remy’s relationship with his dad. What was it like working with two different actors in the role?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: First, they’re both great, it was really amazing. But it was weird because they are so different. Their energies, the way they interpret the role was different. So when I was with Peter [Francis James] I had to phase out of my mind the work I do with Montel [Williams]. Not the story, but the work. Peter’s approach is so different as Clayton. Peter is more astute, like “I’ll never show you a feeling because I’m too proud,” whereas Montel is like, “I’m gonna slap you if you don’t get yourself together.” It’s too different dads. It was weird, but it was great, because those are two different aspects of Remy’s personalities. Remy can slap somebody, but he still comes from a place where education is the highest priority. He comes from a place where getting a “B” is getting an “F.” His sister is a doctor and a lawyer because of their household.
We Love Soaps: What have you learned from this experience on GUIDING LIGHT?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: I’ve learned so much. First thing is pacing. I couldn’t believe how fast this thing was. They said “action” and “cut” and I don’t even know if I said the right lines. I learned so much, especially in this new model. Like I said, I want to start a production company and in this new model I get to see what they do and how they do it. Before they were in their booth, and you had cameras on the other side. But here I get to really see what a producer does and how they set up shots and seeing how different directors are different in how they shoot it. It’s great for an actor because being aware of those things you can start using them to your advantage. You know there’s a close-up here, or Rob likes to get it this way, and I know how to play it for his shot. You start paying attention to the little things. It was Tom Hanks or someone who mentioned they know every lens. If a certain lens is on the camera, they will adjust their performance so the specific lens can capture it. If you have a lens that’s getting it close you can be so simple and detailed. But if you have a lens that’s wider and more big then you have to adjust your performance.
We Love Soaps: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers/listeners who are going through a devastating phase of losing you and GUIDING LIGHT?
Lawrence Saint-Victor: Thank you guys. Thanking you for being there with us, for staying with us when maybe the story wasn’t what you wanted it to be, or if you didn’t like the new model at first. Thank you for your patience and your love. We love you guys, we really do. This is a rough time for everybody. Just remember there is always tomorrow, you will always get through. We’re goi