Matthew Ashford Plays His Last Note as OLTL's Music Box KillerBy Kathryn Walsh Posted: Mar 22, 2004
Soap Opera Weekly: I was very impressed with your work as the Music Box Killer. You were so creepy.
Ashford: Thank you very much. I didn't think so, but my wife was telling me I was being creepy. I said, "I'm not doing anything. I'm just talking to people." And she said, "It's still creepy." You never know what music they're laying in, what the final shot is. This is very much like shooting a movie. It goes so fast [and you shoot scenes] out of order. You try to keep up with it and hope you're on the same page as everybody else. Even within the last week and a half I started seeing things in the script and said, "Okay, that's giving me ideas."
Weekly: So you have to watch the show to know what's going on?
Ashford: Well, yes, exactly, or in the script, too. It kept me on my toes the whole time, that's for sure.Weekly: Was it more fun once you could play Stephen as the killer?
Ashford: Well, I also was getting to do more. But even so, there wasn't that much time face to face with Michael Easton or Bob Woods (John and Bo). I had a little more time with Linda (Dano, Rae) and very little time with Hillary (Smith, Nora), and I had some time with Bree (Williamson, Jessica). If I had been allowed to go on for months and months, people knowing who I was and watching how I adapted, that would have been more fun for me. But the way this story was crafted, you weren't supposed to suspect me until the very end, so then it moved pretty quickly. I think Stephen was looking for a way out, or a part of him was. He was looking to John McBain to help him achieve that.Weekly: Were you sorry to see it come to an end?
Ashford: Oh, yeah, I was really having fun. Like everything, the more you're on, the more you're going out with other actors, that's always fun. That's great. You want to get into it, and I enjoyed it.Weekly: Was it fun working with Michael Easton again? (They were on DAYS OF OUR LIVES at the same time as Jack and Tanner).
Ashford: Frankly, Michael and I had very little time that we actually were working together. Those phone calls were shot at totally different times. You think we're all on the phone with each other, but it's not being shot that way anymore and it's sad, because we hopefully give things to each other that we can all play off of. It's great to get that other actor's rhythm and feeling. I had some final scenes in the jail cell with Bob which I was so glad to have. It was nice. They were three or four lines, but it's something, and that's what I think it's all about, is the exchange between people.Weekly: They never explained how Rae was able to escape that fire?
Ashford: Linda and I both think that Stephen helped her escape or part of him did. I think he had multiple personalities and there was a part of him that was trying to do things behind the other's back. That's what we play toward the end.Weekly: It's a shame they killed Stephen. It would have been nice if he could have just gone to jail so you could return.
Ashford: I thought, since I was so brilliant, why didn't I just engineer somebody faking my death and get me out of there in an ambulance and be gone.
Weekly: Yeah, well maybe it will turn out that way.
Ashford: I don't know. We'll see. Also, at the end, who's working on me but Nathaniel (Marston, Michael) who recently left Al behind. He touches my hand and says, "Why doesn't Al just go into you?" So I become Al. They looked at me for a second just kind of stunned and started laughing because they realized, well, why not?
Weekly: Exactly, it's not ONE LIFE TO LIVE anymore.
Ashford: For me it was two lives to live. So, I've got to go for three now. It was delightful. They're great people. It's a fun working environment. And although it's really crazy, everybody is doing their best.Weekly: Have you heard anything from DAYS about returning?
Ashford: No, no. Not at this point. They're in the middle of this whole other thing right now.Weekly: Do you have anything else in the works?
Ashford: Just auditioning. I like to do it all. I'm wide open. I'm auditioning for anything and all at this point.