Interview

ICYMI David Gregory Interview

Credit: Getty

It has been just over five years since David Gregory appeared on daytime and his new project has brought him back to the small screen. The actor is appearing as Zach Devine on THE GOOD FIGHT, which can be seen on CBS’s new digital programming channel, CBS All Access. The show picks up one year from where THE GOOD WIFE left off after it ended its CBS network run in 2016.

CBS

Gregory was a fan of THE GOOD WIFE long before being cast on the spin-off. “I loved that show. It’s probably the show I auditioned for most in New York,” he shares. “In 2011, I was cast in a guest-starring role, but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts with OLTL. Fast-forward a few years to auditions for THE GOOD FIGHT. The producers had a rule that if an actor had appeared on THE GOOD WIFE, they couldn’t be cast in THE GOOD FIGHT unless it was in the same role. So it actually worked out that I never got to do the show that first time around! Sometimes, you never know why things happen.”

Zach was not the role the actor originally tested for. “I initially went in to play Colin [Justin Bartha was cast in the role],” he recounts. “I figured I may not have enough clout to land something that high-profile, but I loved the script, went in, and had a great time. A week later, they asked to see me for Zach. I think it was between me and 20 [other] guys. I found out I got cast last Halloween.”

His new alter ego is a personal trainer who is involved with Lucca Quinn, played by Cush Jumbo. “The relationship is pretty casual, maybe a little dangerous,” he teases. Gregory is thrilled to be working with his new leading lady. “First of all, she has this delightfully disarming British accent in real life. And, of course, she’s beautiful and enigmatic. But, after speaking to her for five minutes, I felt like I had known her for years. That’s a gift. When people are as well-rounded as that, they are truly the most talented of actors.” As for series star Christine Baranski, “Christine could not have been more lovely and gracious,” he praises. “She is regal in person.”

Although he was not part of the ahead-of-its-time online reboot of OLTL, Gregory is thrilled to be moving into the digital frontier. “It’s so cool!” he enthuses. “Especially because the new STAR TREK is also launching [on All Access]. I’m such a geek. The subscription is so cheap — only $6 a month. So many things are done through platforms like this, like Amazon, Hulu, Netflix — it’s the future!”

Speaking of OLTL, Gregory says he learned a great deal from his time playing Ford. “Any daytime actor will tell you that the job makes them fearless,” he notes. “When I shoot prime-time shows, most of the time the workload isn’t too heavy. On OLTL, I would sometimes shoot 50 pages a day. So compared to that, nothing seems too intimidating.”

ABC

The actor is still very close to former on-screen brothers Lenny Platt (ex-Nate) and Nic Robuck (ex-James). “The Ford Brothers is an entity that I know will never go away,” Gregory smiles. “Nic and Lenny are my brothers with different last names. I’ve traveled with them. Worked with them. Laughed with them. Shared darkness. Been a part of major life events for both of them. They are family. I love them both
infinitely.”

In addition to THE GOOD FIGHT, Gregory is wrapping up his audio series, Powder Burns: A Western Audio Drama (www.powderburnswest.com), with three new episodes that will be released this year. “I could talk for hours about what this show is for me, but I can tell you that the next three episodes explore some issues that are intensely personal,” says Gregory, who is the writer and producer. “Our sixth episode will focus on my character’s father, an aging cowboy who’s battling memory loss. In real life, my dad was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s at 58 years old. Powder Burns is the only way I knew how to work through that.”

Powder Burns has reunited Gregory with former on-screen father John Wesley Shipp (ex-Eddie, OLTL). “When I pitched it to him, his response was, ‘Whatever you need. I am in,’ ” he relays. “He was so exuberant that I asked him, ‘Would you want to play the lead instead?’ He readily agreed. I was so jazzed, I couldn’t see straight. Every once in a while, I get to work with an actor that it pains me to stop working with. John is one of those people. He is the most warm and giving man. And will stop at nothing to make sure everyone on set is getting what they need to perform at their best.”

Steven Bergman

Gregory can also be seen in the upcoming Lifetime movie, THE STRANGER INSIDE, which he shot last year while in L.A. “It’s one of my favorite projects. I’m so proud of it. Kelly Sullivan [ex-Sage, Y&R] stars in it [as well]. She is one of my favorite people on the planet and she knocks it out of the park.”

On the personal front, Gregory is still with his girlfriend of nine years, actress Jen Noble. “Due to the nature of our profession, we’ve had to spend a considerable amount of time apart, which means the only thing you really have going for you is communication,” he reflects. “So distance forced us to reckon with sharing how we felt. That breaks some couples. It’s not always easy, but it makes the time together so much more tactile. And that, my friends, is exciting.”

COURTESY OF DAVID GREGORY

As is the support he still gets from soap fans. “Actors are always looking for some form of validation,” he points out. “I spent many hours on the steps to the studio talking with fans about the show and why they loved it, and getting to know them in the process. Years later, when I’m at my lowest points, that lifts me up. It allows me to remember that people care about these shows and the work that goes into them. I am a big fan of our fans!”

New episodes of THE GOOD FIGHT are available every Sunday on CBS All Access.

Burn This

 In Powder Burns, Gregory got to work with the late Robert Vaughn (THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E. et al), who passed away in November last year. “We all have this idea of our idols when we meet them,” Gregory says. “I wanted him to have that spy swagger and that cowboy gait. He was 8 feet tall in my mind. He lived up to all of it, even at 82.” When it came time for shooting, “What a joyous day that was. We read the script, he told us stories. He loved to rehearse! He worked on his lines the whole car ride in from Connecticut. I was so honored by that. I wept like a child when he passed away. I don’t think he ever knew how much he blessed my life. He was magnificent.”

Birthday: August 19

Hails From: Fairbanks, AK

Must-See TV: “THE GOOD FIGHT, ARCHER, GRACE AND FRANKIE, BROOKLYN NINE-NINE. I love bingeing my favorite shows on Amazon/Hulu/Netflix: SONS OF ANARCHY, RESCUE ME, JUSTIFIED, FRASIER, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW — I’m all over the place.”

Puppy Ciao: I need a puppy, stat!”

Educational Tools: “I was homeschooled for part of my life. This was so I would have more time to do plays, choir, dance classes. I was a busy kid.”

On Ford’s Llanview Demise: “In a weird way, that made me feel like I ‘owned’ him, like we both were going down with the ship. Also, a death on the show in its last week was a good move story-wise and I was glad to be part of that. I supported it 100 percent.”

Inspiration Station: “I’m an old soul. I’ve always been drawn to the performances of actors long gone, even when I was a kid. Jimmy Stewart, Jerry Lewis, Jack Lemmon — these were my role models growing up. I’ve always wanted to be an actor. It’s never not been a part of my life.”

Wine, Not? “I like wine now. That’s new. Is it because I’m in my 30s? Is that something that happens?”

Comments