Characters Question & Answer

April 2nd, 2006
A MichaelTyloOnline Exclusive

1981-1985, 1996-1997

What was your favorite storyline (ie. St Croix, Nola's kidnapping, Rebecca)?

Falling in love with Nola was my favorite. Putting up with her fantasies, all leading to a wonderful wedding.

Are there some individual scenes that you still remember vividly and consider your favorites?

The film fantasy with Mrs. Danvers "Rebecca". I love doing scenes from the old movies. It was great. Doug Marland was the best writer I ever worked for.

How much did you know about Quint in the beginning? The viewers were first led to believe that he may be involved in a murder or a kidnapping. Did you know the character would develop into a heroic and romantic figure, or did you see it unravel as the story was played out?

I knew nothing of Quint and Doug kept it that way for about six months. He wanted to see how it would work and how the audience would take to it. Smart man, smart writer. No one but Marland knew, and he kept that a secret. I just did the Cagney thing, "Learn your lines, plant your feet, look the other guy straight in the eye and tell the truth." In doing so, I opened all avenues for Marland, and he took advantage of it and wrote one the best stories in the history of Daytime. I just felt honored to be a part of it. The truth be told, any decent actor with that kind of material would have succeeded, I was just lucky to be in the right spot at the right time.

Do you think the gothic mystery element Quint had could be repeated in today's soap?

I don't think there is any writer out there that could write it. I look at "Passions" and the word 'cheesy' comes to mind. There is no one out there that could write a Quint/Nola story without it being cheesy, cheap or corny.

If you had to name three most important things that made Quint enjoyable for you personally to play, what would those be?

There is a poem written by the cavalier poet Sir Richard Lovelace that captures the essence of Quint. I used this poem as an outline for my approach to the role. It's called "To Lucasta Going to Wars". As I look at life as a daily war of sorts, the poem means a lot. I also use the poem as my personal set of standards.

What do you think made Quint appealing to the audience?

Those qualities which are sadly lacking in most characters on daytime: honor, honesty, loyalty to those you love and those who love you. When they tried to bring the characters back, they gave them a typical story of coming off a break-up of relationship, which nobody could buy into. As hard as we tried, it didn't work. Anyway enough!

Do you recall some funny stories/incidents/events on the set?

In my twenty-five years, there have been a lot of incidents, funny stories, and events which happened on set. In St. Croix, while shooting for GL, we shot scenes between Helena and Quint which seemed to be a romantic location but was in reality a shark breeding pool at high tide. Fortunately, we shot at low tide. Also a camera operator came back to the hotel and crawling out of his bathing suit was a centipede (poisonous). When someone pointed out the centipede, the guy took off his bathing suit, shirt and hat, was completely (naked), then proceeded to run through the lobby while onlookers mumbled under their breath, "look, another drunken tourist". He, of course, was alright, otherwise I wouldn't tell the story.


What was it like to make the transition from playing the intellectual, composed and mystical Quint to a more radical, loose cannon type like Matt?

There are many sides to a human being, and Matt had some of Quint in him, as Quint had Matt's sense of adventure. Both were men of action. Quint was more deliberate, whereas Matt acted first, asked questions later.

What are the main differences between Matt and other longer term characters you've played?

Matt was more primal, more carnal than all of the other characters I've played. I think this made him very appealing to the audience


I remember reading that this has been your all time favorite character to play. Looking back now, do you still feel that way?

Luis Ramone was the most fun for me to play, because he was the first character, outside theatre where I played a guy the audience loved to hate. People actually tuned in to see what that rotten Alcalde was doing to the people this particular week. People have told me that he was like J.R. on Dallas. I played him straight, and that he believed he was always right and not a bad guy.

We saw a flash of Ramone's softer side in at least one episode (when he was attracted to a woman everyone and their uncle seemed to have a crush on). Would you have wanted the softer side to come forward more, or did you enjoy keeping him tough like we saw him?

Softer side or harder side always depend on the imagination of the writer. I love these characters because the writing was good. The Alcalde always had a soft spot for Sgt. Mendoza. He always had a crush on Zorro's girl and wanted to be loved. He just couldn't figure out how to do it. That's why I love this character.


How would you characterize these two? How were they different? What did they have in common?

They were the two side of the same coin. The things they had in common were the edges of the coin. They both loved Ashley. They both grew up on the streets, but went different ways. Blade was more artist, left brain if you will, and Rick had more of a hard living practical side that lead him to his mercenary life.

Can you verbalize how you were able to make these two characters so distinct and whether it was difficult to do so?

When you play both sides of the same coin, making distinctions are easy, because they are clearly defined by the writer. In this case, Bill Bell. Mr. Bell (he will always be Mr. Bell to me) was not only a great writer like his mentor Irna Philips, but he was a gentleman who was concerned for those who worked for him. Yes, he was a businessman, but the decisions were based on his astute perception of human nature. Anyway, he clearly defined both boys early on and had a clear concise way he wanted them portrayed. In these ways, it was easy, because there were no questions of who, what, where, why or how.

Attitude made the distinction easy in the manners and voice. Rick had never left the street and Blade worked to hard at having it out of his life.

Which character did you enjoy playing more? Why?

It's always more fun playing a character who gets away with things you don't do in life, and therefore, I enjoyed Rick. He did things that the normal person would reject out of fears, morality, and/or a sense of honor.


What makes a character interesting/exciting/challenging to play? How does it make you grow or develop as an actor or a person?

All characters force you to explore yourself as a person and explore your psyche, therefore they have an affect on you as a person. You always bring your truth to the role, and sometimes that can be cathartic.

Each character in and of itself is, by definition, unique and individual in nature. Like leaves, snowflakes and fingerprints, they are all different, and the challenge is to find those things different and those things that are you.

How does playing a villainous character (Alcalde Ramone, Rick) differ from playing a more of a good guy character (Quint, Blade)?

Again, people have good and bad in them. There is always a conflict of the two, it's just a question of which one comes to the surface at what time, and why and how long does it stay in the forefront. Both kinds of character take the same energy and time to get into.

Is there a character that most resembles your own personality (either now or then or both)?

I like work. I'm an artist, and I love the work period. All characters are my favorite at the time I play them.

Have you collected any particular mementos related to the various characters you have portrayed over the years?

I have some mementos, clothes and program, magazine covers etc. I will always keep them because they were an important part of my life.