You’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard about the controversy surrounding ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Brett Claywell (Kyle) and Scott Evans (Fish), who were let go the week of March 8. On March 13, OLTL received a GLAAD Media Award for its honest portrayal of Fish’s coming out and his love story with Kyle, which amassed a slew of “Kish” followers long before their first kiss aired in August 2009. After a few misconstrued Twitter updates and rumors of the actors’ bad behavior scattered the blogosphere, Claywell gave Soap Opera Digest a call to make a few clarifications. A portion of his comments appeared in our Breaking News section and will be included in our April 6 issue, on sale next week. Here’s what else he had to say….
Soap Opera Digest: Can you take us through what happened the day you were fired?
Brett Claywell: It’s kind of ironic; the same day I was told that our storyline was being ended is the same day I submitted my Emmy reel [to be considered for a Supporting Actor nomination]. I could look at that day as I was getting fired or I was submitting my Emmy reel, and I chose to look at it as the day I was submitting my Emmy reel. I just kind of ignored the other part of it, but I was proud of the work I did last year. We’re proud of the story we told and at the end of the day when all of this fades away, that story will still be there.
Digest: Were you given any explanation about why your story was over?
Claywell: Kind of the same explanation that everybody else is getting. I don’t quite understand it, but this isn’t the first job I’ve had and it definitely won’t be the last. There’s no story that you’re ever going to tell as an actor that’s going to last forever. Every story has an end. And we put our heart and soul into this story. I understand why people are upset and I understand why maybe I could have a right to be upset or Scott has a right to be upset, but I still respect and applaud the network that I worked for for telling this story and for being brave enough to tell this story truthfully. I just want to go on record to say I’m very appreciative of all the support I’ve gotten from ABC, ONE LIFE TO LIVE and [Executive Producer] Frank Valentini through this whole story.
Digest: The statement released by OLTL said there are no “immediate plans to advance their story, [but] the door is always open for a return.” Would you return?
Claywell: I don’t think either of us are ruling out anything. We worked our last day together and we didn’t even know it was our last day. I’m losing somebody I really enjoyed working with, so if just to say I was going to work with Scott again, yeah, I definitely would consider it.
Digest: There are rumors that one of you was partying too much and the other was so busy that scenes were being rescheduled. Is there any truth to this?
Claywell: Absolutely false. It’s amazing how people can just throw words out there that are 100 percent false and spread them to the world like a plague. And that’s exactly what it is.
Digest: Knowing that your story was over, what was it like going to the GLAAD Media Awards, where OLTL won for Outstanding Daily Drama?
Claywell: It was definitely an awkward red carpet! We actually saw our trophy backstage when when we were going to present. We were like, “Wait, are we getting this? I think we won.” I Twittered that and that ended up in some articles. It was funny.
Digest: So what’s next for you?
Claywell: I’m going to L.A. for about a week and then I’m planning to move out very shortly. All my best friends are there and in a lot of ways it feels like home. New York is much too expensive for me to stay here without a job. Why did I get two winters and one summer? From now on, when I come to New York, I want two summers and one winter. That’ll be in my next contract [laughs].
Digest: Have you lined up any auditions?
Claywell: I’ve had so many meetings over the last week or two. The greatest thing about this is that it did allow us both to show our potential and show the type of work we can do. Scott’s doing really, really well. He’s had a lot of auditions and tests and callbacks and we’re just hoping with the work we did that somebody actually saw it who can give us a job.
Digest: Is there anything you want to say to the “Kish” fans, who have been so vocal from the beginning?
Claywell: The fans are what made this such an important story to me. Scott always says that I have no idea the impact I’ve had [on the gay community]. I don’t Twitter much or do much of that to communicate back as much as they might like, but all of their voices are definitely heard and appreciated, and Scott and I are both moved and immensely grateful for all of the support that we’ve gotten. And I completely believe and hope that these people will be with us the rest of our careers.