Longtime GUIDING LIGHT star Robert Newman took a few minutes out to speak with We Love Soaps while helping to raise money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS at the recent Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in New York City. He shared details of his current show, "Sessions," the joys of sleeping in late, and what the real final words spoken on GL were.
We Love Soaps: It’s very nice to meet you, Robert. How are you doing with the change [of not working on GUIDING LIGHT]?
Robert Newman: I’m doing fine. I really am. I’ve been through a period of some ups and downs but I think that’s to be expected. I would say the last month has been tricky. But I’m very thankful that I took on this thing with “Sessions” about three months ago, so I’ve got this overlap happening. I extended with them through the end of the year.
We Love Soaps: What is this you’re working on now?
Robert Newman: The Off-Broadway play, “Sessions,” where I’m playing a therapist on stage. Seven performances a week. It’s given me something to focus on and be connected to with this monumental thing I’ve been doing for 28 years suddenly going out of my life.
We Love Soaps: How are you adjusting to not having GUIDING LIGHT in your life?
Robert Newman: On a daily basis it’s great! I don’t have to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning anymore. On top of that, because of the play I’m doing, I’m not going to bed until like one o’clock in the morning, so my body’s trying to figure out what’s going on. As far as not going to the studio, or not going on location to shoot, I don’t find myself missing any of that, I really don’t. But the people, having that community for so many years and then just having it go away, it’s a little bit of a trick emotionally.
We Love Soaps: How did you feel about the way things happened for Josh?
Robert Newman: Fine. It ended with Josh and Reva driving off in a truck panning up to the lighthouse. I tried to encourage them to pan up to the lighthouse with the truck in the foreground and then have the truck just explode. And then go to a black screen, and have the fans go [makes a screaming sound]. But they didn’t go for that. [Laughs]
We Love Soaps: No, this isn’t THE SOPRANOS. Now, a little controversy here about who had the final word on the show. Reva said the final word “always” in the truck, but it appears Josh said something right after that and finally got the last word over Reva.
Robert Newman: [Laughs] I would have to go back and look at the scene. “Always” was the last scripted word. I might have said something like, “Here we go...” But the lasted scripted word was “always,” as it should have been.
We Love Soaps: What did you learn from Josh?
Robert Newman: That’s a complicated question. Because there’s 28 years of doing soap opera work that you learn certain things from that I think make people better actors and challenge you in ways that are important. You’re dealing with so many different levels of quality when you’re doing a soap. It’s just a fact that there are some scripts better than others. Every single day you have to go in and give your 100%. It’s like doing a one act play every day. And the tools that become part of your arsenal give you some good things to go into any other medium. I come from a background of theater, and that served me extremely well on the soap. Now I find that the soap opera is helping me as I re-enter the world of theater.
We Love Soaps: Would you ever considering doing an internet soap opera?
Robert Newman: Well, I think that the internet is where everything is going. I’m not sure I’m gunning for soaps at this point. I feel like I’ve sort of done that. Now that’s with an asterisk because I don’t know what going to happen a year from now or five years from now. I don’t know if I’m looking to do another soap. But the internet is where everything is going, so I need to consider doing internet whatever because that’s where the business is going to be.