Tuesday, January 31, 2012

INTERVIEW: Randy Wayne Talks THE LYING GAME & His Burgeoning TV & Film Career

Born and raised in Moore, Oklahoma, Randy Wayne is a familiar face on national television. He was a series regular on the 2007 ABC sitcom SONS & DAUGHTERS, where he played Jeff Fenton, the oldest sibling in a dysfunctional family. He has also guest starred on NUMB3RS, THE CLOSER and NCIS.

In addition to being a rising TV star having appeared in numerous independent films, including The Haunting of Molly Hartley, Grizzly Park, and Dream Boy and in the role of Luke Duke in Warner Brother's Dukes Of Hazzard 2.

He is now starring as Justin Miller on ABC Family's hit Tuesday night soap, THE LYING GAME. We Love Soaps spoke with Randy last week about his latest role, his career and more. Read a transcript below.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: If it were up to you, what would you like to see happen to Justin in the next few months?
Randy Wayne: That’s a good question. And I hate to answer it this way, but if you want me to be honest I will. I think that Justin’s always played the nice guy, whether his intentions were not, so he’s always come off as a nice guy except for maybe a couple of scenes. And actually the scenes where he was a bad guy I enjoyed doing so I don’t know, I wouldn’t mind playing a bad guy on the show. I wouldn’t mind, if they did break up, Laurel and Justin, he’s in this town and he’s going to cause some controversy. I think I’d like to see that happen.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: This is from one of our readers: What is it like being surrounded by so many beautiful and talented women at work every day?

Randy Wayne: Well, it’s amazing. It’s not tough. The thing about the girls on the show is that yes, they’re all really beautiful, but they’re also really cool, so there are no egos on set. And it just makes it so easy. You know that they’re beautiful, but it’s not intimidating at all and it’s just fun. It’s like living the high life.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: It’s only January and you already have this great guest appearance on HOT IN CLEVELAND. What other projects have you been working on? Where else are we going to see you in 2012?
Randy Wayne: Actually, it’s surreal a little bit, so Monday was THE LYING GAME, Wednesday was HOT IN CLEVELAND, and I also did a movie that was on SyFy last night, and then I did movie called To Save a Life, it’s a teen drama, and it premieres Sunday on the GMC channel. Also coming up I have a movie called Honey 2 by Universal. It’s the dance sequel to the original Honey with Jessica Alba. That comes out on DVD. [EDITOR'S NOTE: Honey 2 is out on DVD on February 21] So Honey 2 and then I also have a film that’s coming out called HARDflip. It’s a skateboarding family drama.

When you first learned that you had landed the role in THE LYING GAME, did you have that moment of intimidation because of the success of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, which was also inspired by the books of Sara Shepard?
Randy Wayne: I was not too intimidated by the success of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS. I thought it would only be helpful. And I knew that I wasn’t the lead of the show, so that pressure was not on my back, on my shoulders. But I had worked with Alexandra in the past and I knew that she was a very talented actress, so I knew that she could handle the pressure and I would just go along with it.

Now that everything is out in the open about Justin’s real motive for tracking down Ted, does that open a door for Justin and Laurel to pick up their romance again?
Randy Wayne: Yes, it definitely does. I think that Laurel gets a sense that Justin is actually 100% being honest with her. And not only does she get a sense, but she really wanted to believe him and she wants to trust him, so it’s a big moment for their relationship. I guess the big question now is, I don’t think Ted’s going to accept them being together now after what his motives are. You don’t want a kid around that wanted to come and get revenge on you, dating your daughter, even though it’s out in the open now. So I think that’s the big controversy now is how is he going to deal with the kid dating his daughter that wanted to get revenge on him.

What’s next for Justin? Is he going to continue to dig into Ted’s past, or is Justin ready to let the past stay in the past?
Randy Wayne: Love conquers all, and in this situation I think he just wants to forget about it and just focus all of his attention on Laurel. As far as I know, Justin just wants to focus on her to make it work.

Originally you guest starred in an episode of HOT IN CLEVELAND, you played a blind character. How did you prepare for that role and what was it like working with Jennifer Love-Hewitt and Joe Jonas?
Randy Wayne: You know what’s funny, I actually had to leave the set of THE LYING GAME and fly straight to LA and get to the set, I left the airport and went straight to the set of HOT IN CLEVELAND, and I missed a day and a half of rehearsal because of THE LYING GAME, so I was a little bit behind and I was scrambling and there wasn’t too much time to prepare. And it was cool because when it comes to playing a blind guy they just said look off, don’t look too much at her face, and when you’re doing a scene just focus on where to go. They said he’s used to being blind so play it normal, just don’t look at her. And working with Joe Jonas and Jennifer Love-Hewitt was cool, because Jennifer Love-Hewitt actually is extremely funny and a naturally gifted comedic actress, and Joe Jonas, for all the fame he’s had, he’s a really down-to-earth guy.

Betty White’s also in that show. Is she as funny off-screen as she is on-screen?
Randy Wayne: Oh my God, she is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met in my life. If you have a joke she pays attention and she’ll laugh at it and then she’ll always come back with her own jokes. She’s definitely up there in age, but you would never know it by just talking to her. She’s brilliant.

Now that Justin and Laurel are kind of back together, Allie actually revealed in a different interview that things are going to be rocky between the two of them for a while. Where do you see their relationship headed for the rest of the season?
Randy Wayne: Well, there are several ways to go, things with their relationship now. Ted obviously is not going to want them to date and they want to date, so they have to start hiding their relationship. And that’s going to be a whole new thing, where Justin doesn’t want to do that anymore. He wants to be honest, but now he has to still hide a relationship and still, in a way, lie about it. And that means that Laurel’s being brought into the lies, which she hasn’t really been involved in yet. And also she’s in the band, and so being in the band causes a big distraction from Justin and I’m sure Justin will start getting a little jealous of the attention that the band’s getting over him.

Trust is a big issue for every character on this show. Who do you feel has the most to lose for the rest of the season?
Randy Wayne: I guess it’s really a toss-up between Justin and Emma, because if Justin doesn’t have Laurel he doesn’t have anything. He moved to Arizona for a certain reason and then that reason’s over, and now he’s only there for one more and that’s Laurel, so if he doesn’t have her I don’t see what his reasoning would be to be there anymore. Then obviously Emma, because without Ethan or without a family she has nothing to go back to, just like Justin, so they’d both be on their own.

How do the fans react to you when they see you? When they run into you on the street do they come up and start talking to you and treat you like you’re Justin, or are they finding it easy to separate Randy from Justin?
Randy Wayne: That’s a really good question. It’s so funny, because on Twitter people would be like, "I love Justin, or IamRandyWayne," (@IamRandyWayne is Randy's Twitter handle) yada yada, they’d go on about that, but then when the episodes came up where he was being rude to Laurel and making her cry, people turned and they were like, "I hate IAmRandyWayne. I want to slap you ..., why are you so mean," just not separating the character from the actor. People I don’t think would come up to you in general because of your character , but in person it’s nice and respectful and there’s separation, there’s a curiosity about what’s going to happen next, but online and in the Twitter world there definitely is not much separation sometimes.

Yes, is it a little concerning to you? When you go out in public are you a little, oh, I wonder if I should really go out incognito?
Randy Wayne: No, I’m not worried about that. I actually appreciate when people get frustrated with the character because that’s the point. If they’re not frustrated then I’m not doing my job. The beauty of acting is making people like you and then dislike you and then like you again, because you can write something a certain way, but if you don’t bring that to the character then it’s not going to work. To see people change their mind about you and your character, it’s entertaining and I love to hear it. I actually like when people approach me in public. I’m not so famous where it’s annoying. So it’s actually kind of fun.

I watched Alexandra Chando in AS THE WORLD TURNS and I really enjoyed watching her. I was just wondering what she was like to work with and how is she off set?
Randy Wayne: She’s brilliant to work with because she takes her work very seriously. She’s not the kind that actually comes to set and goofs around when she does a scene. She has no problem piping up and asking the writer and director and the producer and saying how can we make this work. She’s very, very professional and very talented, of course. Then off set once she’s separated from the two she’s just a fun young girl and just loves life. She’s always high on life. It’s great.

If you could have anybody on the show as a guest star who would you pick?
Randy Wayne: In the fantasy world, let’s see, we could have Paul Giamatti play my dad; that would be interesting. But in the realistic world, I don’t know, I think it would be fun to have someone like, I forget her name, the girl from Glee, the pretty blonde girl.

Have you read any of "The Lying Game" books? And if so, who do you think is behind the Lying Game?
Randy Wayne: I haven’t read the books. But I was also told it wasn’t really that important to read the books because it’s so different from the show.

I know that you’re a big Tebow fan, but who is your Super Bowl prediction?
Randy Wayne: Yes, I’m a big fan. I know that Brady’s hot right now, but I’m going to have to say the Giants 28-23. I think they look unstoppable right now.

You’re originally from Oklahoma, correct?
Randy Wayne: That’s right. I’m actually here right now.

Is your accent something you have to be conscious about all the time to get the Southern accent out of your character?
Randy Wayne: You know I’ve actually played a lot of Southern roles and it makes it really easy for me. But when I moved to LA I realized that I had an accent, I didn’t know that before, and yes, I had to focus on basically just enunciating and articulating instead of mumbling so much. But I’ve been home for about three weeks now, so the accent is definitely creeping back up on me. When I go back to LA in a week ... I’m going to have to work on it again.

You recently had a brief encounter with Helen Slater’s character and she was telling you to leave the party, so I’m feeling like she has the most to lose because she seems the most clueless out of everyone on the show. Would you like to work more with her
Randy Wayne: I would love to work with Helen a lot more. She’s a very, very talented actress and she comes from such a genuine heartfelt place when she acts that it would be interesting to see, let’s say it didn’t work out between Justin and Laurel, there’s already friction between Ted and Kristin, so if Justin went back to his original plan, Kristin’s the first place to start. I would love it. I would love to work with her. I’d love to make her character question her relationship a lot more, and to be the instigator would be fantastic.

You recently had some type of knee surgery. Can you tell us about that and how you’re doing after the surgery?
Randy Wayne: I was in Thailand over Christmas, and actually on Christmas I rented a motor bike with my girlfriend and it was my first time to drive one and I thought I could handle it, and about 45 minutes into my drive I bumped the curb and it threw me off. She was fine, but I broke my leg and tore my ACL and my meniscus, and so I had surgery two days ago and now I’m on the rehab train. It’s not fun.

Kevin Mulcahy Jr. is a Harvard alum who is currently working as a staff contributor at welovesoaps.com writing theater and web series reviews as well as other in-depth features. Read all his Web Series reviews here. To contact Kevin, email [email protected].

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