Monday, February 8, 2010

Up & Coming Film Actor Erik David On Starting On Soaps

Erik David is the star of the movie thriller Heist, which is being released February 9th on DVD.  We Love Soaps  talked with the up and coming actor about starting in career on ALL MY CHILDREN and THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, and reflections of how soaps prepared him for films.

We Love Soaps: I’d like to start talking about your soap roles.  What was your first soap role?
Erik David: I did some under five work at ALL MY CHILDREN. I did a bunch of different episodes, filled some storylines. 

We Love Soaps: Tell us about the life of an under-five player.  What did you do?
Erik David: I played a bunch of different under fives.  They first started me out to get my feet wet.  I was a photographer at some event and had a couple of lines with Susan Lucci.  The next episode I was a policeman.  I would play these random things.  But they kept bringing me back in the hopes that eventually down the line there would be something long-term with them.  I’ve since moved to L.A. and kept in touch with the ALL MY CHILDREN casting department.  We’re supposed to sit down next week and see if there is anything upcoming.  Everybody there was great.

We Love Soaps: So in one of your first professional experiences you walk in the door into a scene with the legendary Susan Lucci.  Were you familiar with soaps?
Erik David: I was familiar the soaps that my mother and sister would watch, which was YOUNG & THE RESTLESS.  I had never watched ALL MY CHILDREN until I had the potential to work on it.  Then I started to tune in and found out what an icon she was.  Going to the set on your first day of professional work and be opposite of her is not the easiest task in the world.

We Love Soaps: What was that like?
Erik David: It was nerve-wracking.  You grow up in a small little town in New Jersey and then you end up going to ABC studios in New York.  It’s your first thrust into it.  My heart was pounding so fast, I probably am lucky that I am alive and it didn’t pop out of my chest and fall onto the floor.  But everyone was so nice, so sweet, so easy to work with.  The whole process was joyous, and that’s what got me hooked.

We Love Soaps: They were able to help you learn what you needed to know for your next project?
Erik David: Yes. They guided me how daytime works, what’s expected, and what the criteria is everyday, which is a hell of a lot.  More than any other production goes on.  It was a great start.

We Love Soaps: So you moved to California?
Erik David: I drove out to California by myself.  It was an awesome drive.  It was absolutely what I needed.  To get away, on my own, see what was out there.  Within two weeks I had landed an agent and a one line part on Little Miss Sunshine,which ended up being cut out.  But that one line got me into the Screen Actor’s Guild, and I have since worked in He’s Just Not That Into You

We Love Soaps: Where can we see you in He’s Just Not That Into You?
Erik David: Pretty much smack dab in the middle.  Our scene was much longer than what ended up on screen.  I am in the bar with Justin Long and Gennifer Goodwin, where they are exploring the pros and cons of the relationship world. 

We Love Soaps: And your family had watched YOUNG & THE RESTLESS?
Erik David: My sister and mom were Y&R obsessed.  When I first got that part they were thrilled.  They wanted to know who I was going to be with, and told me this guy was married to this woman for twenty years.  They knew every single story line that occurred in the show.  I came on, and played the character of Mason Greer.  He took out Colleen on a few dates. 

We Love Soaps: Unfortunately her character has since died.
Erik David: I heard! So I don’t think I’ll be dating her again [laughs].

We Love Soaps: Daytime has so much going on all at one time.  What was that like to be in that kind of environment this time?
Erik David: You never get used to it no matter how many times you do it.  The fact some of these characters are going through 10, 15, even 20 pages of dialogue a day is kind of ludicrous.  But that’s the soap world.  You have to move quick, you have to keep pounding them out.  Everyone there is just so talented.  You can show up, play off each other, you just trust that who is opposite of you has done their work.  I definitely believe that if you’ve done soaps you can do any media outlet. 

We Love Soaps: Was the feeling on the set similar or different to ALL MY CHILDREN?
Erik David: I would say it was equivalent.  They all kind of wanted me there for longer than we ended up working.  But they were all friendly, they introduced themselves immediately.  I remember Thad [Luckinbill] was very very nice.  They were all nice, I haven’t had a bad daytime experience. 

We Love Soaps: How did all this experience lead you to the movie Heist?
Erik David: I had met the writer and director.  Immediately we took a liking to each other.  He started throwing around the idea that he was involved in some preproduction on Heist.  He simply brought me in to meet with the producers.  Everyone was cool and on the same page—to make a fun action film.  There as no pretending it was something else. They knew what they wanted, they stuck to their guns, and I liked that about them.  It was a blast to work on, it was straight adrenaline everyday. 

We Love Soaps: Tell me about your character Erik in Heist.
Erik David: Erik is the brother of K (Rick Jordan).  He’s a quiet down-to-earth guy who falls into some trouble that was raised by a friend that he dealt with. Due to the friend’s inexperience and bad judgment, Erik gets thrust into this big game.  He doesn’t understand the game at first, so he has to go to his brother K and admit that something’s going down, and he needs help.  Luckily K decides to back him up and sticks by his side.  He gets in way over his head and has to deal with ramifications throughout the whole film.  But becomes a much better person in the end, much stronger, much more streetwise. 

We Love Soaps: Have you ever found yourself in a situation like that?
Erik David: Everyday in this industry! [Laughs].  No, never not that bad, I have never witnessed the death of individuals right in front of me which would freak me out. 

We Love Soaps: After doing this movie, would you take a role on a soap if it was offered to you?
Erik David: It’s definitely something that would interest me.  Hopefully we’ll have this conversation next week when I meet with the casting agent at ALL MY CHILDREN.  I  have always been a fan of daytime.  I grew up with my mom and sister hooked on it.  There’s something about it which I don’t think will ever die.  It’s a great place to train, it’s a great place to be, it’s a lot of fun.  A lot of very talented people come from that world.  I would definitely be open to a long-term role on a soap.

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