Thursday, February 2, 2012

INTERVIEW: Bryan Dattilo on Chandler Massey, Joe Mascolo, Acting Drunk, the Super Bowl and more

It won't be long now. Bryan Dattilo is returning to the role of Lucas Horton on DAYS OF OUR LIVES in late February, so WE LOVE SOAPS TV spoke with him earlier today to ask about returning to DAYS, seeing Chandler Massey's Will grow up, finding Lucas a new father, acting drunk and more. Plus, we got him to admit to his Super Bowl pick.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: How do you feel to be back at DAYS?
Bryan Dattilo: Daddy's home again! [He laughs.] Daddy's home!    Look out.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Was there a part of you that always thought you might return?
Bryan Dattilo: I actually thought that time was it. I didn't anticipate coming back, or I didn't think it could be possible, but thank God it was, because I thought I was going to have to do construction for the rest of my life. [He laughs.]

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Tell us about working with Chandler Massey, and watching him grow as an actor?
Bryan Dattilo: First of all, that boy can act. When I first started he was just coming on the show; we only had a couple scenes. But I tuned in when I was off for two years and saw how good he was doing--and he kept improving the whole time.

When I got back he was one of the people I was really looking forward to working with, and we had some really good scenes when I came back.  He's great, he gives a lot. Good listener, always knows his lines. Good looking little chap. Kind of reminds me of myself when I was that age. [He Laughs.]

He's a really cool guy and really talented too. He can play the piano; I think he plays the guitar. Really cool guy.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: As an actor, what do you draw on to portray something as complex as Lucas's alcoholism?
Bryan Dattilo: Well, I have had some experience with AA, and I did some research, and I've been to my share of meetings, so I wanted to be able to play all that honestly, because I think it represents a huge community, and a huge struggle.  It's really hard for an alcoholic to fight the urge every day. I think, with Lucas having so much history with it, and having so many other things going on in his life, it's almost forced him to do that, just like in real life.

It's something that I tried to make as real as possible, and tried to do enough homework on, to really do it justice and not play it casually.  And not play it lightly. . . it's hard to play drunk. The tend to pull you back a little and say, "Oh, um, don't act too drunk."

It's a hard thing for people in real life, and I honor people who have taken that step (toward sobriety). It's a challenge and it's something I've tried to apply in my own life. It comes with a lot of time, a lot of healing; a lot of regret. So it does come with things you can use in your work, those aren't wasted moments: everything happens for a reason in your life. Thank God I've been given the chance to have the outlet to show it, and hopefully make other people feel comfortable with their struggle.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Do you ever wish that it could turn out that Stefano DiMera was Lucas's father instead of Bill Horton? Wouldn't that be interesting if that was the secret in Alice's safe deposit box?
Bryan Dattilo: I think Joe mentioned that two years ago, before I was let go. Joe  Mascolo is an insane actor and he's great to work with, so I would love to have those scenes with him. We were actually talking about it last time--two years ago, before I was let go for (I think?) the fourth time--we were talking and he was like, [he uses his Joe Mascolo voice] "You should be my son. We'll have wonderful scenes together."

And I said "I'd love to, Joe, talk to them." And I think he went to them and he asked or talked about it with somebody and they sort of hinted that I wasn't going to be there, and he said [as Moscolo again] "You're going to let him go? What are you crazy?"

Now that I'm back he hints about it all the time. "We have to get on this father/son thing." So I hope it happens.

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Are the writers treating your character any different this time?
Bryan Dattilo: Definitely. I think in the past, Lucas turned out to be something of a victim, and kind of not in-the-know about a lot of things, and playing both sides of the fence, and really not standing for something as strong as a character like Sami would stand for something.

I think they're really good about honoring his strength, his maturity, and the things he's been through--his history.  I really think they handled the whole situation where--when I came back I had a storyline with Will--about him maybe being gay.  Will doesn't admit it, so Lucas has some good scenes with him.

I really think the writers did it justice in him accepting his son through anything, loving him no matter what, and not being the main focus,  I think they've done a great job in adding a lot of maturity and strength and some dignity and some morality.  It's just my job to make all that believable. [He Laughs] Because a lot of people know me and know I have none of that in my life!

WE LOVE SOAPS TV: Can you give us your Super Bowl prediction?
Bryan Dattilo: I like the Pats this year, I think the Giants ruined their perfect streak a few years ago& and the Patriots have never forgotten that. They have something to prove and I think they're going to do it.

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Kevin Mulcahy Jr. is a Harvard alum who is currently working as a staff contributor at 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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