Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thorsten Kaye Is Still The "Occupant" Of Our Hearts - Part Four

In Parts One, Two  and Three, the outspoken actor discussed his role in the upcoming thriller Occupant, working with Van Hansis, as well as his indelible roles on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, PORT CHARLES, and ALL MY CHILDREN.  In this final part he reveals what "embarrassed" him in his career, struggles of acting on soaps, as well as his future goals.  Is Patrick Thornhart about to rise from the dead in Llanview? Find out below:   

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Why will the fans who miss you on daytime want to see Occupant?
Thorsten Kaye: I hope people go and see it.  Not for me so much, but because the story is so good, and it is written so well.  It’s  a spooky little ride, you will want to get on it.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I remember part of what made Jaws so scary was that we didn’t see the shark.   
Thorsten Kaye: They had a shark but it wasn’t working right.  It would probably look silly by today’s standards.  But your imagination is so much more vivid than anything we can put on the screen.  That’s what Occupant is about.  There is not a lot of gore.  There’s a little bit, but for the most part it is the thought of it that gets bigger and bigger. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: From what I can see in the previews, unlike soaps today, there appear to be a lot of subtlety and nuance. 
Thorsten Kaye: There is.  But you said “unlike soaps.”  I think there is subtlety and nuance, but you have to find the right actors to deliver that.  They seem to be hiring a lot of actors who think bigger is better.  That’s why I’m glad Van Hansis was in there [in Occupant].  He got more passionate with the problems that were coming his way.  He didn’t decide to play it big like some actors on soaps do so it would look good for their reel.  But in those actors’ defense, it’s also about the script.  It helps if you know what your journey is, what you’re supposed to be doing, and how you fit into this project.  In soaps we don’t.  We don’t get to hear the whole storyline.  They say, “I can only tell you this much because this is very hush-hush.”  Well, you’re asking me to do it.  It can’t be hush-hush, you’ve got to tell me what it is.  Otherwise I can’t help you.  If the actors knows as much as the audience does, that is not fun to watch.  You have to know a little bit more because your job is to manipulate something.  You want to have people at a certain point.  That’s what drama is...or should be.  God, I get on this soap box! 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: But I appreciate how you are saying it.  Again, part of what I enjoy about doing these interviews is learning what the actor is thinking and they are approaching their roles.
Thorsten Kaye: I’m thinking that doing independent movies like Occupant is a lot of fun.  There are no divas.  Everyone is at the same level putting it together and trying to make it work.  This is why most actors get into the work in the first not be embarrassed at the end of the day. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Were there times on soaps you were embarrassed at the end of the day? 
Thorsten Kaye: Oh my God yes.   I can’t tell you specifics because people get their feelings hurt.  But there are story lines that just didn’t make sense.  When someone tells me, “Just do it,” I turn into a five-year-old.  Don’t tell me that.  I’m telling you there is a problem that is going to create bigger problems and you are telling me to just do it so we can through the day? That’s not good enough for me and that’s not good enough for an audience.  They will catch on, they will know something is wrong.  I sound like a bitter old man right now.  

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: You sound like someone who cares about his work. 
Thorsten Kaye: I think there’s a little bitterness thrown in as well.  I don’t want that.  ABC was fun when it was.  And who knows, maybe I’ll go back on ONE LIFE for awhile.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: And that is the burning question on our minds.  Is Patrick Thornhart coming back to Llanview? 
Thorsten Kaye: If it’s a story that’s worth telling, sure.  Look, I just like being an actor, it doesn’t matter where it is.  It could be in the living room with the kids or on a stage or a small screen, it doesn’t matter.  It comes down to the people you work with and the script. 

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: It seems ONE LIFE TO LIVE is positioned to bring him back.  They have had a stable head writer for three years, plus Marty is feeling pretty lost now that her son with Patrick has gone to prison. 
Thorsten Kaye: I think a great time for that to have happened was when she was pregnant with another man’s baby.  But she can always have another one in there.  Frank Valentini, the show’s producer, is on the money.  He gets stuff done in an orderly fashion.  He’s a good man.  

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: And it’s here in New York, and with Susan Haskell.  Are there ever any drawbacks to working with your life partner?
Thorsten Kaye: Yeah, there always is.  It’s hard because there is too much other stuff going on in your life.  I think it’s very difficult and that’s part of the reason I haven’t pursued it.  I don’t know if you’re with somebody, but to think that you would be with them all day and then when you get home.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I do have a partner and I could not imagine us working together.   
Thorsten Kaye: Right, so who knows.  I’m ready for Spielberg to call me today.  I waited yesterday but maybe he got the number wrong.  

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Going forward for you, what would be the ideal next step in your career?
Thorsten Kaye: The ideal would be for me to get six numbers right and retire. 
WE LOVE SOAPS TV: What would you do with yourself if you did retire?
Thorsten Kaye:
Well I wrote a children’s book.  That’s making money for charity and my daughter and I are writing another one.  I like doing that.  If I could find someone to give me a lot of money to write books and watch hockey and drink beer then I’d be very happy.  If anyone’s reading this, I’m available.    

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How about theater in New York? 
 Thorsten Kaye: I talked to my agents about that as well.  But it can be tough.  You are gone nights and your kids are here.  It’s hard but I will figure it out.  

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I know whatever you do you will have a passionate fanbase that will support you. 
Thorsten Kaye: Yes, if I don’t wait too long.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Well I think this loyalty to soap actors is different than movie stars.  Soap fans tend to stay loyal and passionate about the actors they love even if they don’t see them for awhile. We still have readers asking us to do interviews with soap actors who haven’t been on screen for over 30 years!  
Thorsten Kaye: Why do you think that is?

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: I think the emotional connection viewers make with actors who are in their living rooms five days a week, year after year, who have been with them through deaths, births, graduations, illnesses, these are the bonds that do not go away.  They’ll remember exactly where they were the day Patrick walked into that pub and kissed Marty.   
Thorsten Kaye: It’s like family.  I have made a lot of friends with some of the audience members and I am grateful for that.  There are some good people out there.   

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Did you ever think when your career started that you would have this kind of soap career?
Thorsten Kaye: When you start you don’t think about what your career is.  You think about that after.  I still won’t think about it.  I’m just trying to get through the week and hopefully do something that will be fun to do.  We will talk about my career when I’m done with it.  

Damon L. Jacobs is a Licensed Therapist now accepting new clients in New York City.  He is also the author of the popular book "Absolutely Should-less: The Secret to Living the Stress-Free Life You Deserve." For more information about scheduling an appointment, please email him at [email protected].


  1. Excellent, excellent read..all four parts. Thanks for taking the time to speak to Thorsten and sharing his thoughts with us.

    Love you, Thorsten!

  2. Thanks for your wonderful interview with Thorsten, Damon! I can almost hear his dry, witty voice in all 4 parts!

    Have A Happy Holiday Weekend, Damon! :-)

  3. great interview but I will be one of those diehard Zendall fans waiting for Zach to return if Alicia (Kendall) should every leave PV. Nobody was found

  4. Thorsten is such an intelligent and thoughtful man. I wish the AMC writers would listen to his thoughts about the actors having to be ahead of the audience. It's what works best, especially regarding foreshadowing, so I can look back after a reveal, and go, "Wow! That makes so much sense." Soaps might be popular if they followed the outlines of primetime dramas, and clued their actors into upcoming storylines.

    Thanks so much for this interview. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and gained more respect for TK.

  5. Great interview! Thanks so much for talking with Thorsten and for allowing him this forum to speak his mind. He has really had a big impact on a lot of lives out here. He really is the way he comes across - smart, funny, and sweet, and we love him for it.

  6. Thanks, Damon. Great interview. I hope you'll get a chance to interview more AMC actors in the future.

  7. Thank you so very much for this insightful 4-part interview. Thorsten is such a great writer, actor, and person. I do hope he continues his up close fan events as he seek new opportunities. I will faithfully support his next endeavor because he is FAMILY.

    His insightfulness about stories, writing, and proper planning did translate during his last ABC role.

    Please share with Mr. Kaye our comments to his interview to let him know that he is in our thoughts and hearts. On to next one...Mr. Kaye!