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Catching Up With Brian Gaskill

(David Michaels, MODELS INC., 1994; Bobby Warner, ALL MY CHILDREN, 1995-97; Rafe Kovitch, PORT CHARLES, 2001-03; Oscar “Ozzy” Marone, B&B, 2003-04; B.J. Green, AS THE WORLD TURNS, 2005; Dylan Lewis, GUIDING LIGHT, 2007-08)

Your big break was Aaron Spelling’s MODELS INC. What was that like? “Linda Gray [ex-Hillary; ex-Sue Ellen, DALLAS et al], I’ve been recently in touch with her and I’m at the age now that she was when we did that show [laughs]. She made things so comfortable for me then. I was out of my comfort zone doing that show, but there were good people there.”

You got your daytime start on AMC. What do you think about when you look back? “I grew up with ALL MY CHILDREN. That was the top show my mother watched. For me, it was summer vacation, snow days, knowing all the characters, so being on the show was surreal. Susan Lucci [ex-Erica] actually invited me into her [dressing] room. She didn’t really know me but she wanted to sit and talk to me because she liked the work I was doing so we were very friendly. I loved the writing. I’m still friends with some of the writers. I really felt a part of the family for a couple of years.”

On PC, you made a huge splash playing an angel named Rafe. “That was a gift from the gods. I came in for one story arc and when that was done, they did this short little arc for Christmas called ‘Miracles Happen’, and that’s when it really kicked in for me. I was in heaven, literally — well no, figuratively. I’m sad that they were canceled. There was something really special about that time.”

What stands out about your next soap gig, which was on B&B? “I was actually offered to go back to ALL MY CHILDREN after PORT CHARLES, but then B&B came in. I had fun in the beginning. They gave me a lot of freedom and they probably regretted it [laughs]. It was a good experience. I’m still friends with Katherine Kelly Lang [Brooke]. As far as the work, I remember there was one time when I just started laughing in a scene and that was how they went to commercial, and they were like, ‘We didn’t like you doing that but we are moving on,’ and they kept it! I really enjoyed that show. That was some of my favorite work I’ve ever done.”

Then you were briefly on AS THE WORLD TURNS. “B.J.! [Executive Producer Christopher] Goutman called me to do it. He had directed me on AMC. We always had a great relationship. The character was weird and quirky and over-the-top and strange. I had fun doing it. I recently wrote a song with Jon Hensley [ex-Holden] and I just [illustrated] his album cover.”

After that, you played one of the many Shaynes on GL. “I never wanted to be a recast because there is so much responsibility there, but I didn’t really have a choice. I tried not to think about it. The thing was, I was commuting from Alabama. They didn’t know; they thought I was in New Jersey. I needed the job really bad. When they invited me to the Emmys in L.A., I was happy to go but I had to fly myself to New York to fly to L.A. I went from Alabama to Chicago to Newark, got a cab to Battery Park, where I was staying with a friend, got my suit, ended up sleeping at the airport waiting for everyone to show up, got on the plane, and the casting director sat next to me and said, ‘Well, it was easy for you to get here.’ I was so tired, I almost told him everything but I just smiled and said, ‘Yeah, it was.’ When they found out, they dropped me.”

You have a new film coming up, A BACHELOR’S VALENTINE, where you play the titular character, Paul Bachelor. How did it come about? “The director, Lana Read, we became friends on Facebook and she was like, ‘Would you like to read this script?’ and I was like, ‘Sure.’ I’m not great at reading scripts [but] I was totally drawn into it. I really like this character. He’s an introvert. His wife has died. He doesn’t like the way his life is going. We really poured our hearts into this. It’s a great story. In this movie, I actually wear the pendant that I wore as Rafe on PORT CHARLES, and that was truly representative of me. I’ve had parts here and there, but I haven’t had a substantial role since GUIDING LIGHT, which will be 15 years, and it feels like a snap of the fingers. I’ve been to hell and back since then but acting-wise, it feels like yesterday, and I’ve become a totally different human being.”

Would you be open to doing another soap? “I had an audition for GH earlier this year. I usually don’t audition for soaps because they seem to be looking for 25-year-olds [laughs]. But I’m not in a position to turn anyone down who wants me. I love the medium and I think I have a lot to bring to the table. If the part was right and if I was right for it, I would love to do it.”