INTERVIEW: Robert S. Woods On Coming Out of 'Retirement' For The New ONE LIFE TO LIVE

ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Robert S. Woods
- Photo: Sue Coflin/Max Photos
When ONE LIFE TO LIVE returns on April 29, Emmy winner Robert S. Woods will once again be playing Bo Buchanan, a role he originated in 1979. We Love Soaps spoke with Woods about the return of ONE LIFE TO LIVE, his work on THE GROVE, coming out of "retirement' and more in a brand new interview from the set in Stamford, Connecticut. Read it below:

WE LOVE SOAPS: Before we get to ONE LIFE TO LIVE, I have to say I loved you in THE GROVE!
ROBERT S. WOODS: Did you see that? It was a pilot and Crystal [Chappell] is shopping it around.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You were voted our Indie Series Actor of the Week that week.
ROBERT S. WOODS: Wow! It was fun.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I really liked that character.
ROBERT S. WOODS: He was an Irish guy who likes to have a little whiskey. [Laughs] Maybe the fruit doesn't fall too far from the tree. It was fun to do. The location was amazing.

WE LOVE SOAPS: So now we're getting close to the premiere of ONE LIFE TO LIVE. I'm an eternal optimist but had doubts this would happen. Did you think the show would come back at some point?
ROBERT S. WOODS: No, I didn't. But I knew from what I heard about [Prospect Park's] Jeff [Kwatinetz] and Rich Frank that they were really committed. I think it's a blessing in disguise that we didn't go from Friday on ABC to this on Monday. I don't know where we would have done it unless they could have leased the studio from ABC. That year and a few months gave them enough time to really get a good group together, and find the space.

WE LOVE SOAPS: One of the Dutch soaps we sometimes cover takes three months off every summer. It seems to be a good thing for them creatively. But with daytime there's always been a fear fans would tune out if they ever broke the viewing habit.  So you guys never got a break.
ROBERT S. WOODS: Now we have a break every five weeks and they can focus on fine-tuning things. And it's great for us. I was retired, but now I'm just semi-retired.

Robert S. Woods & Hillary B. Smith - Photo: TOLN
WE LOVE SOAPS: You weren't retired, I just saw you in THE GROVE!
ROBERT S. WOODS: When Hillary [B. Smith, who plays Nora in ONE LIFE TO LIVE] called me about that I said, "Hill, I'm out of it. I'm just here fooling around with plants and chopping wood."

WE LOVE SOAPS: You live in upstate New York? Is this a good commute for you [to Stamford]?
ROBERT S. WOODS: A couple of hours. It's pretty. But I miss staying at home with my family.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You're too young to retire!
ROBERT S. WOODS: [Laughs] I'm right at the age, 65.

WE LOVE SOAPS: But we don't allow soap legends to retire. You have to work forever.
ROBERT S. WOODS: Legend? [Laughs] I do think I can go a lot further than I thought because of this schedule. I don't know if it will ever change. I'm excited about this and I think it's got a real chance now that we're not locked into seeing it at a certain time. I'm a dinosaur, but talking to all the young people, like Shenaz [Treasury] over there, she doesn't own a television. She watches everything on her computer.

WE LOVE SOAPS: People watch shows so many other ways now.
ROBERT S. WOODS: This is golden. We're going to be in on the ground floor of this. It's almost like the transition from radio to television.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I watch many of my favorite web series with my laptop connected to a 52" TV in the living room. That's how I watched you on THE GROVE.
ROBERT S. WOODS: I heard someone say something like what's your television anymore but a monitor that can bring you programming from all these different sources.

WE LOVE SOAPS: They days of having a set schedule for shows is becoming outdated as more and more people watch things on-demand.
ROBERT S. WOODS: I really enjoy what they call "binge viewing." Like with DOWNTON ABBEY. And I loved the series RUBICON. Billy Warlock was telling me the other day he was watching this new show on Netflix that Kevin Spacey is in called HOUSE OF CARDS.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Weren't the two of you on DAYS OF OUR LIVES at the same time in 1987?
ROBERT S. WOODS: Yes, barely. For six months we were together and we stayed friends.  We're neighbors now.

I think [Prospect Park] wanted to started with something that was already successful and running and be able to bring that to the web.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What do you think is the biggest difference between ONE LIFE TO LIVE before and now?
ROBERT S. WOODS: It could be in what you can say that you couldn't say before because of standards and practices on broadcast television. They're really counting on the loyal audience that we had being excited it's coming back.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I've heard DAYS does well on Hulu thanks to Hulu's built-in subscriber base. And that show airs on NBC and SOAPnet first. ONE LIFE TO LIVE will only be airing there and iTunes [in the U.S.].
ROBERT S. WOODS: Hulu could end up being king of the hill. And then you could watch everything you wanted instead of watching one show and missing another that came on opposite us, like back in the heyday.

WE LOVE SOAPS: ONE LIFE was up against AS THE WORLD TURNS and ANOTHER WORLD for a long time.
ROBERT S. WOODS: Who knows, they might resurrect those one day.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I've always thought THE EDGE OF NIGHT would be an easy daytime soap to bring back because it's been so long, and the mystery serial format.
ROBERT S. WOODS: I love the title THE EDGE OF NIGHT. When I started at ABC they had five soaps, starting with RYAN'S HOPE and ending with THE EDGE OF NIGHT. And what about GUIDING LIGHT, it started over 75 years ago.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Soaps are never going to go away.
ROBERT S. WOODS: It's all changing, and what we're doing now is so cool.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I agree!

EDITOR'S NOTE: ONE LIFE TO LIVE returns April 29 on The Online Network, available on Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes in the United States, and FX Canada in Canada.

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- INTERVIEW: ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Laura Harrier Is Excited To Be In Llanview
- INTERVIEW: Josh Kelly Loves Being Part Of ONE LIFE TO LIVE's 'Beautiful Family'
- INTERVIEW: ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Tuc Watkins On Playing David Vickers The Past 19 Years, And His Indie Soap Award Nomination
- INTERVIEW: ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Shenaz Treasury On Landing An American Soap, and Rama's Roving Eye
- Prospect Park/TOLN News Hub

Roger Newcomb is a producer and writer in New York City. Aside from co-hosting WE LOVE SOAPS TV, he has written and produced a full-length indie film, Manhattanites, and two radio soap operas, SCRIPTS & SCRUPLES and ROCKLAND COUNTY. He has also made acting appearances in indie web series IMAGINARY BITCHES and EMPIRE. He has consulted on numerous indie soaps, worked as a producer on the first two seasons of Emmy-nominated THE BAY, and is executive producer on the indie short May Mercy Lie, which is currently making the rounds at film festivals.  He appeared in FRANCOPRHENIA and the documentary SOAP LIFE in 2012.

3 comments:

  1. Robert S. Woods = class act.

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  2. Love you Bob!!!!! Can't wait to see you!

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  3. I had the honor and pleasure of having met him in Newark at the OLTL fan event in the summer of '11 where he shared with me some of his memories of his friend, the late great Hugh Carey aka Asa Buchanan. Dave above nailed it - "Woodsy" as he is known is a "class act", a true gentleman, and a known practical joker on the set with a renowned sense of humor. Welcome back, Mr Woods. Bravo. Long Live OLTL!

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