Tuesday, June 18, 2013

INTERVIEW: Rob Gorrie On ONE LIFE TO LIVE's Early Days And Rolling With The Punches

Rob Gorrie stars as Matthew Buchanan in The OnLine Network's ONE LIFE TO LIVE, currently streaming on Hulu, HuluPlus and iTunes. We Love Soaps recently caught up with Gorrie to find out how the show's launch has been for him, and what he's doing on his summer hiatus. Read our exclusive new interview below:

WE LOVE SOAPS: We spoke in early April on the ONE LIFE TO LIVE set and you were excited about the show premiering. What has the past six weeks been like for you in terms of getting fan feedback, and dealing with some backstage changes? A lot has happened during that time.
ROB GORRIE: It's definitely been an experience for me to see myself in a leading role and having an arc starting in one place and going somewhere in my acting. That's been really cool to watch. I've been watching my performances to try to learn from them and try to improve upon them going forward. I've been studying the other actors on the show as well especially some of the veterans...Erika [Slezak], Robin [Strasser], Bob Woods, Hillary [B. Smith]. These are all phenomenal actors, and I've been trying to learn from them. And I'm happy with the way the show looks. I think it looks great and so far, from what I've seen and heard, the fans seem to love it.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You've been in the acting game for quite a while at this point. Have the backstage changes - new writers, moving to two days a week, the early hiatus - been upsetting for you at all or is everyday just another day in the entertainment business?
ROB GORRIE: I've learned to roll with the punches. When everybody signed on to this project we knew it was a pioneering endeavor as far as trying new things and trying to make this industry shift. We knew there were going to be some hiccups, and bumps and bruises, along the way. But I think we can all stand behind the product that's out there and be very proud of it. I'm not surprised, I'm just kind of rolling with it.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Let's talk about some of Matthew's experiences on ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Are you seeing the feedback on Twitter and Facebook.
ROB GORRIE: A lot of people are upset with Matthew and his character right now and it's easy to understand where they're coming from. But I think it's important to remember he's growing and going through a shift in his life in taking on responsibility and becoming an adult. Like the show itself there's definitely going to be some bumps and bruises along the way and some learning experiences.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Last week we saw Snoop talking with Matthew. He was smoking and he gave him some parenting advice. It was kind of surreal to watch. How was it for you as an actor to shoot that scene with him?
ROB GORRIE: It was surreal for me to act in to be completely honest with you. I've been a fan of Snoop for as long as I can remember. I had his first album. I love his music and love it when I get to see him make a cameo on TV. I think he's great and love what he stands for as far as being himself and his laid back attitude. Sitting there on the couch with him in the middle of that scene I was thinking to myself, "Is this really happening?" It seemed like a dream. I was impressed by his acting abilities and his ability to take direction. He brought a lot of stuff to the table and was super professional and nice.

WE LOVE SOAPS: We heard life in Llanview was going to be sexed up a bit but I wasn't expecting so much heat between Dani and Matthew. That peanut butter scene made me a fan. And you've had so many shirtless scenes. Did you know that going into it?
ROB GORRIE: I didn't. The first day I went in for a costume fitting I was showing some of the writers the outfits I came out with and one of them joked, "I think this is the most dressed we're going to see Matthew in the show." I looked at them and said, "Really? Did I hear your right?" [Laughs] They were being truthful.

 I definitely have a lot of shirtless scenes. I was lucky because I had been working out steadily for a year and a half so I was ready for that to happen. I'm totally not embarrassed at all and the crew was cool with it. The peanut butter scene was so out there and so disconnected from who I am as Rob that it was easy for me to just play it and have fun. Kelly was super nice and helped me have fun with it. That might have been the most fun scene I filmed because I got to be so wild and out-there.

WE LOVE SOAPS: We won't see Matthew's online girlfriend for a couple of weeks. What has it been like to work with Amber Skye Noyes?
ROB GORRIE: She's terrific. She really just fits right in with the rest of the cast. From the first day on it felt like she belonged. We all hang out so we got to know her pretty well. She's a good friend of mine I can say now, and she's a terrific actress. I'm looking forward to the fans getting to see what Michelle and Matthew go through. It's going to be a wild ride.

Photo: TOLN
WE LOVE SOAPS: Do you have a favorite scene from ONE LIFE TO LIVE that you've shot so far?
ROB GORRIE: I'd definitely say the scene with Snoop is by far not only the highlight of the show for me but the highlight of my acting career thus far.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Outside of ONE LIFE, what has been your favorite role?
ROB GORRIE: I did a pilot for The CW called I'M PAIGE WILSON starring Jaime Ray Newman. Will Lyman was in it and it was directed by Rod Lurie. I got to play a senator's son, not so different from Matthew Buchanan, a privileged young adult. That was really fun to film because it was in my home state of Rhode Island so I got to stay at home and go to work at the state house. Other than ONE LIFE, that was my favorite role so far.

WE LOVE SOAPS: You told me before that you would love to get into film. Are there any actors out there you would really love to work with?
ROB GORRIE: I like so many. I'd really like to work with Will Smith. I really enjoy his work just because he has such a tremendous range in his ability and can do comedy and drama effortlessly. Johnny Depp would be surreal as well. And Jack Nicholson. Those are my top 3.

WE LOVE SOAPS: How are you spending your summer hiatus away from ONE LIFE TO LIVE? Will you be working or just going to be beach?
ROB GORRIE: Hopefully a steady of combination of both! I hope to do some more work over the summer auditioning for roles in TV and film. We'll see where that goes.

WE LOVE SOAPS: Do you know if you'll still be shooting five weeks on, five weeks off when you get back [to ONE LIFE TO LIVE]?
ROB GORRIE: I don't know the schedule going forward, just that we are slated to come back after Labor Day. ALL MY CHILDREN comes back first in August and we will go in after them.

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.

1 comment:

  1. Roger, what a fantastic interview! Rob Gorrie is such a delight to watch twice-weekly on the new OLTL (which is such a gift to have back, along with AMC). Thanks for the wonderful read.