We Love Soaps: I am sitting here today with Scott Evans who plays Oliver Fish on ABC’s ONE LIFE TO LIVE. We are looking at the picture of the “Suds Stud” on the cover of Instinct Magazine. Scott, when you see this picture, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Scott Evans: I’m happy with it, I’m happy with how it turned out. All of my friends who see this say, “You look so serious, you are so brooding.” It’s very fun. It’s not me, obviously. There’s a picture inside where I’m making a goofy face. That’s more my style.
We Love Soaps: You say this isn’t you, do you mean the seriousness?
Scott Evans: It’s very serious. The whole interview thing, the whole photo shoot thing makes me all uncomfortable. Whatever the camera guy said to do, I did.
We Love Soaps: That’s interesting you say it makes you uncomfortable. Because this past year of 2009 has been quite the year of Scott Evans. Did you ever imagine last year at this time that so much would happen?
Scott Evans: No. I had no idea. Especially since this part I play ONE LIFE wasn’t such a main story line. It started off as a very small thing. Then it grew and grew and grew. Next thing I knew I was involved with other people.
We Love Soaps: In more ways than one. This week on the show there is a pretty huge scene between you and Kyle. What can you tell me about that?
Scott Evans: There’s been a lot of drama with the whole Nick storyline - him coming between us, causing a big problem between us. There’s been a lot leading up to the whole Kyle and Fish story. New Year’s Eve is a breaking point for us. We get in a huge huge fight. But then, the resolution, is fantastic. I’ll leave it that.
We Love Soaps: Sweet, that's good to hear. When you were first hired on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, was it just as a recurring role?
Scott Evans: It was for five episodes back with Antonio and Talia. She was being transferred out because of their relationship. So I was her replacement for a couple of episodes but then they got me transferred out. But then I was a like this tech nerd, tech geek, so they brought him back him to do some computer stuff with McBain and then after that I was there helping him solve the KAD murders and then I just stuck around.
We Love Soaps: This was the around the same time that your brother [Chris Evans] started giving some interviews in the press, and mentioned that you are gay.
Scott Evans: Yes he outed me, well outed me publicly. I outed me when I was nineteen. He outed me publicly.
We Love Soaps: So in your personal life, your family, your friends, everyone knew.
Scott Evans: There was no shock. I didn’t get any phone calls like, “You’re kidding.” They knew.
We Love Soaps: What was it like for you to learn that your brother had put your personal life out there like that?
Scott Evans: It was in The Advocate where he said it and told my story. When that article came out, he took a lot of flack from a lot of his friends who said, “I can’t believe you did that.” Immediately I got a phone call from him. He left me this message freaking out, “Are you okay with this? I didn’t mean to this, I didn’t mean to hurt you.” I was like, “Dude, I don’t care. It’s as if you said Scott Evans has blonde hair and blue eyes.” It’s who I am, I don’t really care. He was relieved to hear that, but he still comes up and says, “Dude, I’m sorry about that.” I’m like, “I don’t care.” I’m glad that he’s comfortable enough to talk about it and he’s not ashamed.
We Love Soaps: It’s such a refreshing and unusual stance in the acting profession to be so open.
Scott Evans: I think I’m lucky to feel that way. I think there are a lot of people who got famous and had success at an early age before they were able to deal with their sexuality and so now they feel to have to hide it in this industry. It is tough. It’s a hard business to be in with that. For some reason, which is beyond me in 2009, it’s still not universally accepted. I think it’s tough, and I think I’m lucky that I was able to be out before it started. Yes, I have bridges to cross and things to deal with being an out actor. But it’s fun so far.
We Love Soaps: Do you think your being publicly out lead to an increase in time for Oliver Fish?
Scott Evans: I don’t know. I have no idea. My character was not always gay. I was with Stacy and Layla and all that stuff. Then they made the story around this person struggling with it, which I really enjoyed playing. There are so many people like that, and it was not my experience in real life. It was nice to be able to play that. They knew I was gay, so I don’t know if they used that. It happened, and I’m so thrilled with my story.
We Love Soaps: A lot of the summer Oliver struggled who he is and how he presents to others. Did you get a lot of fan reaction from people that had the same struggles?
Scott Evans: Absolutely. And I still do. It’s my favorite thing ever. I’ve been getting letters, most recently from an inmate. He was talking about how he was struggling with it before he was incarcerated. But people have been writing letters saying that watching the story has been helping them and giving them the courage to come out to their families. I never expected that. I never thought this would reach so many people in such different ways. It’s been really really awesome getting those letters. I read them all.
We Love Soaps: Some would go so far as to call you a role model. Do you see yourself that way?
Scott Evans: I don’t know. I don’t think I was ever a great role model for my little sister. I’ll be a role model, or a gay icon, or whatever.
We Love Soaps: You’re on the cover of Instinct Magazine, and you are very public in a field where most people are afraid to be out. What does the term “role model” mean to you?
Scott Evans: It means I have to use big words in interviews. [Laughs] I don’t know! It’s great, I was just able to do help out with some fundraising for Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Foundation, I’ve been doing stuff with GLAAD, and the auction with OUT Magazine. It’s nice to be involved, especially with what’s happening with gay marriage, especially in places like New York and California. People in entertainment are very important in getting the word out because they have that public image and can reach more people. So when you’re vocal about issues that are important, I think that is what important. Especially in 2009 with how little progress we have made with civil rights in the GLBT community.
Continue reading... In Part 2, Scott discusses Oliver's evolution on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, and the real-life protesters that inspired his performance during the gay-marriage episode. Also what does Scott think about Rupert Everett's recent comments about gay actors?
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