Soap Opera Digest: How much input did you have in creating Carlo?
Thom Christopher: The whole concept of him was [former OLTL Producer] Paul Rauch. He was extraordinary. He and the writers at the time created the character. I only went in to do one day, and it just sort of evolved. It was fed by the writers. It always goes back, in any medium, to that written word.
Digest: What is it that you think fans find so appealing about Carlo?
Christopher: Not allowing him to be totally bad. Creating a character in totality in the sense that he’s all good or all bad, it’s kind of dull. It’s showing the vulnerability, the humanity, whether it’s perverse or otherwise, that there’s a humanity there. I think that’s what becomes attractive and exciting for an audience to sit and watch. This is what the writers did then for Carlo. They gave him children, and that kicks off something, and it’s always worked within the structure of the story.
Digest: You certainly seem to hold writers and what they do in high regard.
Christopher: How writers can produce this much is beyond me. What’s happening with Cristian and Carlo, it’s really good. The writing is fantastic. It’s very, very clever. It’s about control, and that opens a lot of doors when you start talking about control, particularly in the confines of a prison. The dialogue that [Cristian and Carlo] have is so cinematic. The writing is just feeding us, like more and more and more.Digest: What was it like playing on GL from 1999-2002?
Christopher: Ah, Colonel Dax. It was funny, because some days I’d come in and wouldn’t know if I was gonna be bad that day or good that day, whether he was being a little nefarious or was good. It was fun. Eventually, he was deported to an adjacent island, and that’s where he lives. He’s exiled. They didn’t kill him, though.
Digest: What is it about the daytime genre that still motivates you?
Christopher: The wonderment of daytime is that it’s five days a week that these writers have to produce these words, circumstances, situations and characters and keep them driving forward. It’s just amazing. [Former OLTL Director] Peter Miner once said to me that what we do in one day is like the first small paragraph in the longest book ever written. Just one short paragraph each day. To get that concept in your head, it’s really exciting. There is no beginning, middle and end on daytime. We’re not doing a feature or a play.
Digest: What actors throughout history do you most look up to?
Christopher: I actually don’t think we have today anyone on the level of [Laurence] Olivier…. I think he was probably the greatest actor in the English-speaking world, ever. I mean, talk about the collective imagination. Heathcliff [from Wuthering Heights]? That was one of the greatest romantic characters ever put on film. You don’t allow that today. There’s no space for that now. It’s just about getting a person that looks a certain way.