Digest chatted with Aaron D. Spears, who plays Donna’s former high school beau Justin, as well as dad to their love child Marcus.Soap Opera Digest: How would you sum up your B&B experience so far?
Aaron D. Spears: Oh, man, absolutely fabulous. They’re such a welcoming group of people here and it’s a conducive environment to perform, which allows you to bring out the best in what you’re doing. It’s been a crazy pace but it’s all great.
Digest: Have you worked on a soap before?
Spears: Not as a contract player. I did some recurring work on GENERAL HOSPITAL and SUNSET BEACH, so I had some experience at doing a soap. I remember my very first scene on SUNSET BEACH was with Lesley-Anne Down [ex-Olivia; now B&B’s Jackie]. She was very helpful to me then.
Digest: So after those parts, were you chomping at the bit for something more substantial?
Spears: Oh, yeah. I remember seeing the contract players doing so many pages of dialogue and I said to myself, “I don’t know how they do it.” And here I am, doing it.
Digest: How was the audition process when you were trying out for Justin?
Spears: It was kind of lengthy. I auditioned with Texas Battle [Marcus] and Jennifer Gareis [Donna]. They got the sides just before the audition and they already knew them. I was like, “How did they do that?” But everything along the way just felt right. When it was down to just three of us, I remember telling myself, “I’m getting this job.”
Digest: What was your reaction to your first B&B script?
Spears: I was a little surprised at the number of pages for the first day. I think I had five scenes and I got the lines the night before.
Digest: You have four daughters (Nayali, 16, Aiyana, 7, Henna, 3, and Kaaria, 2) and you and your wife Estela recently welcomed your first son Riaz (on September 9). How’s that?
Spears: I call them my 401k plan. I always wanted to have a large family. I wanted four but got five out of the deal. Had the fourth one been a son, there probably wouldn’t have been a fifth. But after four girls, I told myself, “I’m cool if I don’t have a son.” With all girls, you don’t have to buy any clothes or toys. It’s all hand-me-downs as long as everything’s in good shape. When my wife told me she was pregnant, I took a breath and went, “Okay, I hope this is boy.” But I got over that quickly and just wanted a healthy baby.
Digest: Did you know the sex of the baby before he was born?
Spears: Yes. I don’t know why, but I really felt we were going to have a boy. I remember the doctor asking, “Do you want to know the sex?” My wife wanted to know but I didn’t really care. I already knew we were going to have a boy.
Digest: Reportedly you had a crowded delivery room the day Riaz was born.
Spears: We were all at a wedding and my wife was having contractions so we knew we had to get going. As soon as the couple got the kiss in, we went right over to Cedars Sinai hospital. We were all still in our nice clothes and blessedly, the hospital staff allowed all of into the delivery room. All my kids got to see the baby being born and I think that helped them to bond to him even more so. It was a great experience.
Digest: How are the teen years going with your 16-year-old?
Spears: So far, they’ve been magnificent. It seems that all the things we’ve been telling her for years kind of clicked with her. She’s really come into her own. She excels in volleyball, academics and even at home. I’m just tickled pink over the transition she went through. We’re keeping her busy, even with her sisters. She has played such a role in helping to develop them and being there when we can’t be, in terms of babysitting and helping around the house. She’s absolutely wonderful.
Digest: Haven’t had to kill any boyfriends?
Spears: No, not yet. But I’m sure they will be coming.