Austin Peck reprises the role of Austin for DAYS’s new DOOL App series.
Soap Opera Digest: Let’s talk about the DOOL App series. When were you approached and what was your reaction?
Austin Peck: I had a great conversation with Greg [Meng, co-executive producer]. This is something they’ve been working on for some time. They finally pulled the trigger and they gave me a call. I think within the week, I was flying out to L.A. We shot eight episodes. They told me they wanted to insert me with Abigail and Chad. When I got the script, it wasn’t written normally like Austin. It had a lot of humor to it. I was very excited.
Digest: You hadn’t worked with Kate Mansi (Abigail) or Billy Flynn (Chad) before. What was it like to have new co-stars?
Peck: I loved it. I think any actor likes things to be mixed up a bit. The way it’s always been for me, 90 percent of the time, I’ve always been kind of attached at the hip to other characters, and to kind of be free of that was freeing. I definitely felt like I ran with it. They gave me an opportunity to play in a way I never really got to play at DAYS. Kate was, right off the bat, totally game, and so was Billy. Billy was kind of trying to figure me out the first day or two. I mean, the things he did and how we played off each other, I thought, was great. I hope it translates as good as it felt. It was special. They both are fabulous. We had a good time.
Digest: What was your reaction when you heard Carrie and Austin had split once again?
Peck: Well, I was like, “Finally!” I don’t think the character of Austin has ever fully been explored. I think in the beginning, they established him in a very good way and then all of a sudden, for awhile, he kind of was put into a very small room and not allowed to do very much. Working with Billy and Kate, I felt like I got to explore a little bit more of Austin and what was more possible as far as just his take on things and maybe sense of humor and even his selfishness. That was really fun.
Digest: What was it like to be back on set and see all of the people?
Peck: I did that back in 2016. It’s the same. With our first scene with Kate, they moved incredibly fast. I remember that back in 2016. So the first scene we had they said, “Oh, you want to tape the rehearsal?” I was like, “Let me please at least get my foot wet.” And they obliged me. It was like old territory. It’s like riding a bike.
Digest: How was commuting from the East Coast to film?
Peck: That ended up becoming perfect because it was two birds with one stone. I was already planning to come out to L.A. because my son was graduating from the eighth grade. I was only going be there for two days and then I was going to pick up my older son and then we were going to come back east. So instead of me bringing my older son Aidan back east, I just stayed in L.A., which I think worked a lot better because that way he didn’t have to deal with the time change. I got to spend more time with my younger son, Roman, who was staying there because he was doing a camp. I got to see them in L.A. and they came to set, which they loved. It really worked out nice.
Digest: You’re filming something now. How has it been?
Peck: Great. I’m doing a recurring role on CHICAGO FIRE. He’s a very interesting character. His name is Chad. He’s a character that brings some levity to a very intensely driven show. The crew and the cast couldn’t be better. It’s been a really wonderful experience. I’m getting to play a lot and spend some time in Chicago.
Digest: Are you pursuing other roles? Would you return to DAYS?
Peck: I’m open to anything. I drive into New York all the time to do auditions. The answer is yes to all of the above.
Digest: Tell me what [wife] Terri’s [Conn, ex-Katie, AS THE WORLD TURNS et al] been up to.
Peck: She’s a host on QVC. Quality, Value, Convenience. I know more about QVC than I ever thought I would know. I know more about their products. My wife comes home all the time like, “Look at these pots! These are amazing. Did you know this gem on this ring is from a mine in Brazil? The gem dealer has been holding it in his vault for 20 years and has now released them?” It’s a very interesting world. The amazing thing is there’s a tremendous similarity between the soap world and that world as far as a lot of the people that watch it. It’s a community. It’s a really well-run company. The people that are there are there forever. She’s doing great. She’s killing it.
Digest: How are the girls?
Peck: They’re great! [Keira] is like 6 going on 13. And [Morgan] just turned 4 and is everything that comes with it. They’re precocious and they love the same thing, which makes them want to kill each other every single day. Every single thing is the absolute height of drama. I’m always having to put my foot down and try to give them boundaries in which to operate. It’s very interesting. I’m doing the acting thing and doing the daddy day care thing.
Digest: What does it mean to you that you were a part of the inaugural series on the app?
Peck: I’m very honored that they chose me. There have been times I kind of felt like a little bit of the redheaded stepchild. So the fact that they asked me felt a little bit like you’re watching everybody sitting down at dinner and you’re standing off to the side and someone goes, “Come on, eat with us!” And I’m like, “Really, me? You want me to eat with you?” “Yeah, come pull up a chair.” So yeah, it was great.