B&B’s Brooke became friends with Anthony last October when she and Stephanie visited Skid Row. In real life, his multi-talented portrayer, Rodney Saulsberry, is an actor, musician, voice-over artist and author. Digest caught up with the busy star, who shares why B&B is his dream job.Soap Opera Digest: How did you end up on B&B? Did you know Brad Bell [executive producer/head writer]?
Rodney Saulsberry: No, I didn’t know him. I auditioned for the role. The script called for the character to be selling CDs, so I brought in my own CD, Better Than Before. The casting director [Christy Dooley] was like, “Wow, you have your own CD,” and took it to Brad. He really liked it, especially my song “Miracles.” I ended up getting this role where I can act, sing and play guitar. It’s great having this job where I can do all of these things I love.
Digest: You recently received an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actor. Did you expect the role to get so much notice?
Saulsberry: Not really. But on the other hand, when I read the scripts for the episodes that dealt with the homeless, I knew that Brad had put together something very special. He has a great vision and is also a great writer. It was his idea for me to sing “Miracles” unplugged, where it was just me and the guitar in the studio. That’s what you heard when Susan Flannery [Stephanie] was in Skid Row talking to the people. What was really nice was that after I got the nomination, I got a call from Brad, who thanked me for being on the show. I still have the message he left for me and I’ll never erase it!
Digest: This isn’t the first soap you’ve been on. What were your stints on CAPITOL and YOUNG AND RESTLESS like?
Saulsberry: On CAPITOL, I played Jeff Johnson [from 1982-83]. That was my first soap. Jeff was an FBI agent who was friends with Tyler. Then on Y&R, I had a recurring role as a cop who was after Danny Romalotti for cocaine possession [in 1990]. My character was called Roy Wilkins, which is interesting because in real life, Roy Wilkins was a civil rights activist. Anyway, my character kept saying, “Danny Romalotti is going down!” [laughs]. I love soaps. I love the format and how much thought is put into the storylines and characters.
Digest: You’re also the Zatarain’s guy, which is very cool.
Saulsberry: Yes, that’s one of my character voices. I was also the announcer for Twix and I wrote two books about the business, Step Up To The Mic and You Can Bank On Your Voice. I was doing a lot of guest spots on nighttime television and then people kept telling me, “You have a great voice, you should do voice-overs.” I didn’t even know what they were, but I got work and enjoyed doing them. I love doing voice-overs because you can make a living at it and I do most of the work at home, in my pajamas.
Digest: Do you consider yourself to be primarily an actor, writer, singer or voice-over artist?
Saulsberry: That’s hard to say. I guess, actor. Or maybe singer … or writer [laughs]. I love doing all of them so I can’t choose. I like doing different things because I never get bored.