INTERVIEW

Best In Show - Bryan R. Dattilo

Best Thing About Getting The Job: “Back in 1993 when I first got this audition, my grandmother, Mary O’Connor Harbour, rest in peace, was the biggest DAYS OF OUR LIVES fan ever. So when she heard I had the audition, I called her and she immediately said, ‘You’re going to get it,’ and I said, ‘No, you don’t understand how it works. I have to go through a lot of auditions. This is just the first one.’ And she said, ‘No, God wouldn’t do that. God wouldn’t give you the opportunity to be on my story and not give it to you.’ So after auditioning and making it through the whole process, I called her up and I said, ‘You were right! I got it,’ and she said, ‘I told you! God works in mysterious ways.’ She basically called the whole thing and then for the first five years I was on, she recorded every episode I was on on VHS tapes and labeled them, and in her handwriting, wrote out each episode number and what it was about. And then she kept a huge scrapbook of me with every article I’ve ever done.”

Best Thing About The Early Years Of Playing Lucas: “Well, the best thing about the early years of playing Lucas was the money. I was working so much off the bat, I didn’t think it was going to be any other way. I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll always have this amazing storyline. I’ll always be working three-to-five days a week.’ It was just taking over my life. So that was very rewarding, but also because I worked so much, I didn’t get a chance to enjoy my hard work. Although I did go to Vegas quite a bit on a Friday and come back on a Sunday. In the beginning, the dialogue was specifically hard for me to memorize. I grew up in special education. I’ve had a lot of learning disabilities: dyslexia, audio perception problems, ADD, so studying the lines, for me, was so difficult. At the time, Steve Wyman was our producer and he would call me in to try to help me. He was so good about having Deborah Adair [ex-Kate] help me. Deborah was so good about running lines with me. Her big thing was pace. Even if you don’t know the lines, keep the pace, say something, don’t just be a deer in headlights. If you have to, ad-lib. Because then you’re not thinking about the words specifically; you’re thinking about the point behind the words. Thank God Steve Wyman was patient with me and kept me around.”

DAYS

NBC

Best Thing About The Carrie/Austin/Sami/Lucas Quadrangle: “The best thing about that was the laughter in between scenes. We used to make fun of each other, so Ali [Sweeney, Sami] and I would make fun of Christie [Clark, Carrie] and Pat [Muldoon, ex-Austin], and Christie and Pat would make fun of me and Ali, and then Christie and Ali would make fun of Pat or Austin [Peck, ex-Austin] and me, and Pat or Austin and I would make fun of Christie and Ali. We would go upstairs and steal our audition tapes and then play them for each other in the dressing rooms and be like, ‘You suck! That’s the worst acting I’ve ever seen! I can’t believe they hired you after that!’ So we loved rousting on each other, but when it came down to do the drama, we were so available to each other that it made for really good drama on screen. And then Austin Peck and I became friends. That was cool. I grew up with Christie Clark in acting class, so having her around was fun. And then Sweeney and I were building our relationship, so it was just the golden age of my career, I think.”

DAYS

NBC

Best Thing About Being A Horton: “Oh, the best thing about being a Horton was having scenes with Frances Reid [ex-Alice], because I actually felt like I was with my own grandma. When I would work with Frances, she would also teach me a lot. I was really insecure when I started, so I would handle that by being goofy and funny in between takes to try to ease the pressure of being out there. And she would say, ‘No, no, no. As an actor you need to take advantage of your time between takes to rehearse and get in character, not to stop getting into character.’ So she actually taught me a lot about prepping, and staying in character on set even when you’re not taping. But then to have the heritage of the Horton name, the main staple when the show first started, for me, I felt a strong connection to the roots of the show by becoming a Horton. Tom and Alice were just the icons of the show and of daytime, I feel like.”

 

Favorite Thing About Lauren Koslow: “Lauren Koslow has all those elements that Deborah Adair has, very classy, very distinguished, very polished, but also, she’s a huge David Bowie fan and I’m a David Bowie fan, so my favorite thing is the fact that we’re both David Bowie fans. Lauren and I get along very well. Outside of Sweeney, I don’t think I’ve had such natural chemistry with someone I’ve worked with. Lauren and I have a weird understanding. We might have been brother and sister in another life; I feel like there’s a connection there.”

Favorite Thing About Deborah Adair: “My favorite thing about Deborah Adair is her dedication and her professionalism, and she was just such a classy actress.”

Favorite Thing About Alison Sweeney: “We were definitely husband and wife in a former life and I screwed it up and now she’s making me pay for it. I have never met someone who is so good at pace and so good at having a scene arc; her range is so vast. To feed off of her, it’s so easy to act because she gives you so much, so for me, I feel like Lucas wouldn’t be as strong a character without Alison Sweeney playing Sami. If somebody else played Sami, Lucas wouldn’t have the legs he has. A lot of his strength and his good qualities come from my acting with her, so I think the character would be totally different if someone else played Sami.”

Favorite Thing About Arianne Zucker (Nicole): “Zucker is hilarious! I can’t keep a straight face. In between scenes, it’s hard to not joke with her because she says so many funny things under her breath, and then she’s able to go right back into character, so that part is kind of cool. But she’s always done up with the heels and the dress and I’m always looking, like, 10 feet up at her because even with my lifts, she skies me. When we had love scenes, it would be ridiculous because she was just taller than me, and every time I would look up at her, there would be a whole head in between us, so I was always like, ‘Damn, she’s so tall.’ She reminds me of the hot blonde I never got in high school. And she’s not a dude, but she’s cool like a dude.”

Favorite Thing About Nadia Bjorlin (Chloe): “She’s my favorite person to travel with. Traveling with Nadia is the best. Nadia is very worldly, and when she travels, it comes out, so she has a certain way that she likes certain things and she’s not afraid to say if it’s not the way she likes it. Not only is she so fun to drink with because she loves to have a good time, she takes care of me, almost. When I travel with her, it’s like, ‘Nadia, what time do we have to be there?’ ‘Nadia, is that something we should do?’ I use her as a travel guide.”

DAYS

JPI

Favorite Thing About Chandler Massey (ex-Will): “He’s so cool. He’s always got this secret smile on his face, and you always feel like he has an inside joke going on in his head. But he’s just so happy to be alive. I’ve never met someone so happy to be in their own skin. I’ve never worked with someone that age who was so good and prepared. He never went up on a line. He always knew his lines, he always acted perfect, he got three Emmys. For someone that age, he was so ahead of the game.”

Best Story You Ever Played: “I mean, it’s tough to beat Will showing up as a ghost and going to the church and sitting in the funeral and all that as far as an actor. But at the same time, I feel like I didn’t do it to my best ability. So even though it was my favorite storyline, I maybe did like an eight out of 10 when I should have done a 10 out of 10. As far as the personal bar I set for myself, I feel like I learned a valuable lesson to where you don’t let your emotion be the focal point. Your emotion has to be there but it has to have some grounding first. To stay that high in emotion felt like it was distracting.”

Favorite Thing About Frances Reid: “Well, I used to give her a kiss every day in the makeup room when I saw her and she would let me. I would tell her, ‘You’re the only woman whose cheeks I kiss besides my own grandmother.’ And then also working with her was so rewarding.”

Dattilo

JPI

Favorite Thing About Lindsay Arnold (Allie): “That smile is golden. I feel like Lindsay is going to be a huge star off the show someday. I feel like one day, she’s going to get something and she’s just going to blow up and I can say, ‘I worked with Lindsay Arnold when she was young.’ She’s so good at what she does; I feel there’s no limit to what she can do.”

Best Thing About Playing Lucas: “I feel like Lucas is the voice of the audience, so when I say something, I’m actually bringing up a point of view that a lot of people want to know about. I do ask a lot of questions, but Lucas is kind of the relay between the audience and the show. It’s very rewarding to travel as Lucas. In L.A., they don’t care who you are. But if I travel outside of California, I’m huge! People love Lucas! And I think it’s because he represents what they feel.”

Best Thing About Still Being On DAYS: “Qualifying for health insurance is huge. I’m a dad with kids, and my wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last three months and it’s been a tough situation. To have the security of health insurance through it has been a godsend, I’m not going to lie. I was joking when I said that, but in a way, it’s also true because if I wasn’t back on contract, I probably wouldn’t have had the advantages of health insurance, so for that, I am extremely grateful. And the biggest reward is knowing that I can still do my job at a fairly high level. I don’t feel like it’s slipped that much. I feel like I’m getting back into my old, comfortable ways of handling the job. It’s a stressful job, and there’s a lot of pressure, and the anxiety level could increase to the point where it takes you out of the job. You have to make sure that you get past all that so you can enjoy, study, be prepared and then just fly when you’re on set. So just being back made me realize that I haven’t really lost it like I thought I did.”

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