The End Of An Era

Soap Opera Digest: Even before Tony’s demise, you left Los Angeles for life in your native Texas and commuted back for work.
Brad Maule: Yes. Life in Texas is good. I teach [acting] at Stephen F. Austin [State] University, my alma mater, and I work with the film department on their film projects. [Son] Hunter is 19 and a freshman here, and [daughter] Lily is 17. She’s finishing high school and is about to go to college in September. Isn’t that amazing [laughs]? I love this town. Nacogdoches is the oldest town in Texas, so it’s a historic place. I live in a building built in 1884, an old brownstone, just like the brownstone I used to live in on GH [laughs]! It’s a real quality-of-life choice.Digest: You must have been happy that you got to play Lucas’s coming out before leaving the show.
Maule: Yes. I was very happy about that. That was a really nice scene, prior to [Tony] getting sick. I was so afraid they were going to do a conventional thing where, “Dad didn’t accept me and Dad died and now I have to suffer the rest of my life.” But instead they went with what would have been my choice, as well. Tony was like, “Hey, it’s not a big deal. I’m proud of you. I’ve always loved you. I want you to be who you are.” Ben [Hogestyn, Lucas] is a terrific actor. If I had to choose a younger actor who I thought was just dynamite on the show, he would be right up there on the top of the list. It’s not easy to have your first scene with someone be your last scene.Digest: What were some of your personal highlights during Tony’s tenure?
Maule: It’s all like chapters: I’ve loved the people I’ve loved, Tania [Hilary Edson; ex-Eve, GUIDING LIGHT; ex-Stacey, ANOTHER WORLD] and Bobbie [Jacklyn Zeman] were loves of my [on-screen] life and loves of my real life, also. I really did adore them. Jack [Wagner, ex-Frisco; Nick, B&B], I truly have loved and loved working with. Story-wise, B.J.’s death was a highlight. A lot of people remember and have mentioned to me about when Tony went blind. And shaving my head [on-camera], I guess, was a big moment on the show.Digest: That was such a great scene. We could actually feel Tony go over to the dark side.
Maule: I’m a firm believer of “not pretty” acting. I’m a believer in committing to things, and the way they wrote my role was not a pretty kind of thing, but I went ahead and committed to it. I’m proud of it, the down-and-dirty side of acting. I’ve never tried to be a soap hunk. But it actually gave the-powers-that-be at that time the chance to get rid of me.Digest: Tony never had much story after that.
Maule: They painted me into the corner, and I held no words back on that, either.Digest: But once we started seeing Tony less on GH, you popped up on other soaps.
Maule: I still do YOUNG AND RESTLESS occasionally as a minister [Rev. Palmer], and I have to tell you, I adore the people on Y&R, even working just a small role. They are the sweetest, nicest bunch to work for. At PASSIONS [as Dr. Abel], they were the same way.Digest: Despite the trend of going for newer, younger faces on daytime while many beloved vets languish on the back-burner, could we get you to commit to a soap again?
Maule: I am hopeful that another soap will find a place for me. I have my theories. America is aging right now and I believe that the older viewing audience is going to be rediscovered in the next five to 10 years, so I think people are going to be surprised when [the older generation] becomes quite hip again.

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