Thom Christopher speaks to Soap Opera Weekly on returning to ONE LIFE TO LIVE and those controversial Statesville Prison scenes.
The last time viewers saw Carlo Hesser, he was making life miserable for Cristian at Statesville Prison. In 2005, viewers learned that Carlo had brainwashed Cristian into killing Tico Santi; later, the villain played a key role in the Statesville Prison riot.The scenes pushed the envelope and reminded some viewers of HBO’s OZ. Christopher remembers that stint with pride.
“Frank Valentini [OLTL’s executive producer] said it’s going to be about mind control,” explains Christopher. “I was so impressed. I said, ‘You know, in [prison] life, control of that nature of the mind is gotten via sexuality and violence. Physically violent.’ And I said, ‘It has no choice but to become homoerotic.’ And [Valentini] said, ‘Go for it!'”
And Christopher did, by filling those scenes — opposite David Fumero (Cristian) — with aggression and fear. “Nothing was ever stopped. David Fumero, I love him. Absolutely love him. Nothing, [he] objected to nothing.”
“I got a lot of nice feedback,” he continues. “I’m proud of all the work on that whole storyline, because it was good. Written phenomenally well and, in a sense, almost bizarrely romantic. You could sense the writers were having a good time writing it.”
And now the writers have scripted a story for Christopher which has Carlo ruling over the tiny country that will be familiar to longtime OLTL viewers — Mendorra. Christopher first aired July 7 and should be wreaking havoc for about three months.