Interview

Catching Up With Nathan Purdee

Soap Opera Digest: You have a new film out, Killian & The Comeback Kids, written and directed by your son, Taylor A. Purdee, who also stars.

Nathan Purdee: If I were to brag about Taylor, it’s that he keeps his word. When he said he was going to make this film, I said, “I’m not giving you any money but anything I can do to support you, you’ve got it.” So, he took me up on that offer. He used the house, the property. We provided everything he might need, short of cash. He’s done a great job with the film. I play his father in a town that’s struggling economically and all the kids he went to school with find themselves back home, and when the town’s music fest is threatened with cancellation, they form a band to bring the community back together. It’s a great family film.

Digest: Describe your working relationship with Taylor.

Purdee: I’ve never been more nervous than having to work with my son and having him direct me and boss me around. He called me Nathan, and I said, “Dude, don’t call me Nathan.” He called me Nathan up until the last crew member left for the day. He was fantastic. I’d work with him any day of the week.

Digest: Your former ONE LIFE co-star Kassie DePaiva [ex-Blair, et al] plays Taylor’s mother in the film.

Purdee: My son asked me if I would talk to Kassie and I said, “No. You can’t pimp me out, so you have to do what you can.” Fast-forward, Kassie heard from Taylor and she said yes. Kassie flew from Los Angeles on the day of shooting to New York, got on a bus to Easton, Pennsylvania. She came to the house, saw these young actors go through their “I’m a star” thing. She said, “Let me tell you how this really works,” and then she made dinner for everyone. She spanked them with love [laughs].

Purdee

Digest: Speaking of ONE LIFE, Bo and Nora had a huge fan following, but I always loved the dynamic between Hank and Nora.

Purdee: Hillary [B. Smith, ex-Nora et al] and I feel the same way. We had a great chemistry but what actors want is not always what producers or the network gives. We had a great time but we realized there wasn’t going to be a Hank and Nora story, and there was so much they could have done. We remain friends to this day. I stay in touch with Hillary, with Bobby [Woods, ex-Bo], with Timothy Stickney [ex-R.J.] and obviously with Jim [DePaiva, ex-Max, OLTL et al] and Kassie.

Digest: Prior to ONE LIFE, you were the first Nathan on Y&R. Now that the character’s son, Nate, is grown on the show, any talk of perhaps appearing as a vision?

Purdee: No, and I don’t think there will be. When I left, it was not on the best of terms. It was weird. I was released, then they brought me back and then I was on the fence of being released again and I was about to have a family. We were pregnant and while I was on the East Coast, I got an audition for ONE LIFE TO LIVE and I thought, “God, if you get me through this audition and let them see who I am, I will pack my bags and move because I’m getting ready to have a family now and I just need security.” So, I left. Y&R put me on the map; ONE LIFE TO LIVE gave me a road to travel.

Digest: Any regrets?

Purdee: No. When I left Y&R, they were recasting Nathan and for whatever reason, they weren’t happy with the character. He contracted AIDS. They hit him with a bus. It wasn’t me in the role but I took that personally because he was such an important character. It made me feel like, “I’m glad I didn’t stay for this,” so I can’t see going back. I feel like they took something that Bill Bell [the late executive producer/head writer] created and destroyed that character, and thank you for giving me the opportunity to say this because this is the first time I’ve expressed that to anyone other than my son. It broke my heart.

Y&R

CBS

Digest: You also briefly appeared on SANTA BARBARA.

Purdee: This opened doors for me. I had signed for a 13-week contract, when I was going between being at Y&R and not being at Y&R. During this time, I was asked if I was interested in doing The Return Of Superfly. They flew me to Paris to shoot the end of the film and the producer was stealing shots everywhere. He didn’t have a permit so we were changing clothes in cars, behind cars, under cars. So, we’re at the Eiffel Tower and the French gendarmes saw us and were shutting us down. I walked up to them and before I could open my mouth, one of the cops said, “Jed! SANTA BARBARA!” and they allowed us to shoot. True story.

Digest: Would you ever come back to daytime?

Purdee: I stopped chasing the money. Yes, I would like to have a steady paycheck but it is not going to make the difference of whether I’m going to keep my house or not. It would have to be something really interesting because I learned my lesson. There were opportunities on OLTL and Y&R that just didn’t happen for whatever political reasons. I don’t need to open that can of worms. I ended up just fine.

For more on Purdee’s film, check out www.killianandthecomebackkidsmovie.com.

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