Sunday, April 21, 2013

INTERVIEW: 'One Life to Live' Star Tuc Watkins On Playing David Vickers The Past 19 Years, And His ISA Nomination

ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Tuc Watkins - Photo: Sue
Coflin/Max Photos
Actor Tuc Watkins is reprising the role of David Vickers in ONE LIFE TO LIVE when the show returns (April 29 on The Online Network; available on Hulu, HuluPlus and FX Canada).

We Love Soaps spoke with Watkins about the return of ONE LIFE TO LIVE, playing David for the past 19 years and his Indie Soap Award nomination in a brand new interview from the set in Stamford, Connecticut. Read it below:

WE LOVE SOAPS: Congratulations on your Indie Soap Award nomination this year for WHERE THE BEARS ARE.
TUC WATKINS: I'm honored, and worthy of your praise. [Laughs] My friend Ben Zook and I went to college together. We did a horrible production of "Waiting for Godot."  He came up with the idea for WHERE THE BEARS ARE with his partner Joe Dietl. Joe and I had been in many plays in Los Angeles together, and we play volleyball on the beach, so when they came to me and asked if I wanted to do this web series, I said, "Absolutely." It turned out to be really funny and a huge hit, so kudos to Ben and Joe.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You've been playing David in ONE LIFE TO LIVE on and off for nearly 20 years now!
TUC WATKINS: You're right. March 21, 1994 was my first day. I was horrible and thought I'd get fired. I had to redo my scene like three times and I didn't even have any lines. I just had to pick up a telephone and put it down but I didn't do it correctly. I'm very lucky to have survived not only 19 years but also that first day. Susie Bedsow Horgan was the executive producer when I was first hired.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Were you excited when you heard she was coming back [as head writer]?
TUC WATKINS: Yes, absolutely. We hadn't seen each other in a long time. There must be a portion of her growing old in her attic because she looks exactly the same as she did when we met in 1994. But obviously she knows the character of David. What's great about what she and Thom [Racina] have done is that it's great to play David and Dorian (Robin Strasser) together. Dorian and David work best when they are together working against the other people in town, as opposed to if they are working against each other. Susie and Thom realized that because as we began this incarnation of the show, Dorian and David were together, working together, against everybody else. That's a lot of fun to play.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Susie Bedsow Horgan has since stepped down, but Thom Racina remains head writer.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What is your favorite thing about playing David?
TUC WATKINS: David is my favorite kind of character, an idiot who thinks he's a genius. Those characters are my favorite to watch. My favorite actors are people like John Cleese.  And Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda, whose that buffoon who thinks he's smart. I've based a lot of David Vickers on Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda. When you get to play a character where you not only love the character but the dynamic of that character it's easy to play for a long time.

WE LOVE SOAPS: What is the biggest reason to watch you would give fans who are thinking of tuning in to the new ONE LIFE TO LIVE?
TUC WATKINS: I think it's the same reason they would watch any great television show:  compelling stories. My favorite TV shows - LOST, BREAKING BAD - are shows that are layered. ONE LIFE TO LIVE is nothing if it's not layered.

WE LOVE SOAPS: How much are you like the character of David Vickers in real life?
TUC WATKINS: There's a lot of Tuc Watkins in David Vickers. I think on television actors are usually hired to play themselves within a few degrees here or there. If you get caught acting, the game is over. In film there's a little more leeway, and you get to play more character. The way TV has evolved, on a lot of what you watch, it doesn't seem like anybody is acting. If it looks like somebody is playing too much of a character, we don't buy it and the right person wasn't hired. So to answer your questions, there's a lot of Tuc Watkins in David Vickers, but the volume is turned up a little bit.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I just watched a bit of Vicker Man last night with David Vickers Buchanan starring as David Vickers Buchanan. So hysterical.
TUC WATKINS: [Laughs] I am an actor, after all. I got to play God once in a TV movie and that does wonders for an actor's ego.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Like Brian Frons! He played God once on SANTA BARBARA.
TUC WATKINS: Interesting. Then Brian Frons, Max von Sydow and Tuc Watkins have that in common, we've all played God professionally.

WE LOVE SOAPS: I usually think of the three of you together.
TUC WATKINS: [Laughs] Don't you? Think of Brian Frons, Max von Sydow and Tuc Watkins in the same breath?

WE LOVE SOAPS: [Laughs] Every time!

- INTERVIEW: Erika Slezak On The Return Of ONE LIFE TO LIVE
- INTERVIEW: Catching Up With ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Kelley Missal
- INTERVIEW: On the Set of ONE LIFE TO LIVE with Rob Gorrie
- 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 Shenaz Treasury On Landing An American Soap, and Rama's Roving Eye
- INTERVIEW: Robert S. Woods On Coming Out of 'Retirement' For The New ONE LIFE TO LIVE
- 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.