Interview

Don Diamont Shares His Soap-Hopping Experience

Hopped From: DAYS (Carlo, 1984) to Y&R (Brad, 1985-2009) to B&B (Bill, 2009-present)

When I first walked into the DAYS studio … “it was nerve-racking … so nerve-racking. For the screen test, I felt inappropriately confident because I didn’t know what I was doing. I remember I was introduced in a group scene and was just nervous and tight. I was 21 and had no acting experience to speak of and Al Rabin [then-executive producer] pulled me off the set and in front of everybody, said, ‘I can take an actor who is nervous. I can’t take an actor without energy. Now, get it together!’ He was very stern, and everyone could hear it. I played a lot of sports so I could certainly be coached but I did not appreciate that in front of the cast and crew, and it set the tone for the rest of my relationship with him during my time there.”

When I joined DAYS, I got the warmest welcome from … “I suppose Gloria [Loring, ex-Liz, who he dated] was most welcoming [laughs]. That’s the funny answer but on DAYS, everybody was really cool.”

When I joined Y&R, I got the warmest welcome from  “Wes Kenney [former executive producer] and Ed [Scott, then-producer]. They were both incredibly warm and welcoming.”

The co-star who I consider my most influential mentor is  “Beth [Maitland, Traci, Y&R]. She was so accomplished and even though I had been on DAYS, I was still really green and she really taught me a lot. She was really supportive. Some people were unintentional mentors in a way — maybe by some poor behavior, but I learned a lot from that, too. But I have to give it to Beth. I was absolutely blessed to work so closely with her for such a long time — so talented, so kind and so present. I was incredibly fortunate. And Jerry Douglas [ex-John, Y&R], as well.”

Of all the shows, I became the closest pals with … “that’s hard … Peter [Bergman, Jack] was certainly my closest pal on Y&R, and he’s still one of my closest pals.”

I would love to catch up with  “Josh [Morrow, Nick, Y&R]. I haven’t seen Josh in a while.”

My best dressing room was … “I did love my Y&R room — and I love my B&B room. I don’t remember anything about DAYS. I don’t even know if I had my own room or if I was moved around there. I spent a lot of time in Gloria’s room [laughs], but my favorite rooms were in CBS Television City.”

The most memorable wedding I had on a soap was … “the first wedding was Traci and Brad on Y&R. It was a big deal because it made the cover of Soap Opera Digest, and my character was joining the Abbott family. Then, on B&B, it was Bill and Katie, of course, at the park in her old neighborhood. She looked up at the window of her old bedroom where she used to pop her zits. For Katie to look up at the popping window and now, here she is marrying Dollar Bill…. That was a big step for both of our characters. Coming in third would have to be the B&B wedding that didn’t happen, which was not marrying Brooke in Abu Dhabi, along with the punch and the helicopter. A lot of story evolved from the wedding that didn’t happen.”

Of all the stories I’ve played, the one I’m proudest to have been a part of is … “on Y&R, even though it was kind of out there, the reliquary story. I thought it was nice having Brad — and people don’t really think of him as George Kaplan … ever! — but suddenly discovering he is Jewish and we even observed a holiday on the show. I don’t think that had been done before so acknowledging my own Jewish heritage and doing something like that on the show, that was unique.”

The most memorable location shoot I took part in was … “on B&B, but each one has its own thing: Monaco, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Australia, which I’d never been to before, but I believe Aspen was the first one I went on. It was the hot air balloon ride, which was a big part of Brooke and Bill’s experience together.”

My greatest on-screen rivalry was with … “Jack on Y&R, and Victor as an offshoot of that, and on B&B, it’s obviously Ridge — and still is.”

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