Soap Opera Digest: So, how did this all happen?
Ingo Rademacher: It’s kind of a cool story, actually. I did a little bit of work when I first came back [to Los Angeles from Hawaii]. I worked on a Starz series called COUNTERPART. I did a couple of episodes on that, and then it was really quiet for a while; we traveled a bunch in our van and did some stand-up paddleboard races up in Portland. My managers were like, “You can’t leave now; it’s the busy time of the year.” Well, not really. There are a lot less roles for guys my age and there’s a lot of competition out there, as well. The whole reason for coming to L.A. was for my wife [Ehiku] to work on her clothing line [Mahiku], because she makes it here in California, and I was like, “Great, I’m too young to retire and I’ll get on a show.” I did GENERAL HOSPITAL in March and came back in a great storyline. Just a few weeks ago, I did a Christmas movie, and then my agents called me up and were like, “Hey, BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL wants you for like 11 episodes,” and I’m like, “Great, let’s do it.” I didn’t really plan to look into being a series regular on daytime.
Digest: What changed?
Rademacher: I was supposed to go right into BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL and play this character, Mateo, which didn’t really sound right. They were casting a groundskeeper for the Forrester family and it sounded like he would be Hispanic, that’s how the character was written, and then I guess Brad [Bell, executive producer/head writer] got ahold of it and said, “Why are you using Ingo Rademacher for this role?” My manager told me they were looking for this role for a really long time. He was supposed to be in his 30s, which is a bit of a stretch [laughs]. Anyway, I guess Brad said, “No, I don’t want you to waste him on that; can we make a deal real quick?” I was supposed to start shooting literally the next day, and I said to my managers, “Don’t put this kind of stress on them, just have them recast it, even if the full-time contract doesn’t work out for us. It really doesn’t fit me at all, and I want to hear what Brad has to offer.” I’ve always heard great things about B&B. People have loved working there, same with YOUNG AND RESTLESS, too. So I was happy to hear what the offer would be and happy to say that we worked out a deal, so I’m stoked to come on the show. I’ve been reading some of the comments, and of course, it’s sad because people are like, “You’re Jax, you’ve been Jax, and why didn’t ABC offer you a role?” I can’t speak for ABC.
Digest: Did you mention to GH that you were taking this?
Rademacher: Frank [Valentini, GH’s executive producer] knew I was available. I’m not going to say anything else beyond that. I’m not going to go begging for a job, and that wasn’t the plan anyway for me. It was basically to come [to L.A.] and see what happens.
Digest: Were you hoping to land back in daytime or was it behind you?
Rademacher: You know what? I was always changing my mind about that. Because I did it for so long, I was a little bit burned out. GENERAL HOSPITAL’s schedule was tough. It was a lot, especially when I first started. My goodness, we only got vacation over Christmas and that was it, and forget about asking for time off. This was one of those things where I wasn’t looking for a job because we weren’t sure how long we wanted to stay in L.A. because our residence is still Hawaii. So we came in January and I said, “We’ll give it a year.” It wasn’t like I came here and said, “I don’t want to do daytime.” I never said that. I kept an open mind to everything.
Digest: How did you feel when you heard you were replacing Winsor Harmon?
Rademacher: I wasn’t aware that he wasn’t officially off the show and that he was still on it, because it said 2016 on his IMDb and I thought, “Okay, I guess the character has been gone for a while then.” I didn’t quite realize that he was still basically playing the part until I saw his tweet and I said to my wife, “Oh, I feel bad now.” You meet people over a period of being in daytime and I’ve got to say, Winsor was one of those guys who came up to me and we hit it off in the late ’90s. We both started around the same time, 1996, with our roles, and he was a cool guy. I haven’t seen him in a long, long time, but he was just always a cool and happy guy. As far as recasting, that’s just the way it goes. I can’t make those decisions. That’s Brad’s call, it’s his show, and I’m pretty sure that Brad has seen my work over the years, and he probably felt that I could slip right in there and bring something to the character that he had in mind. He seems like he’s excited to write for me and I’m excited. I’m nervous, to be honest with you. It’s a little bit nerve-wracking to go into a role. You’ve got to bring yourself to the character and then the writers see you on-screen and they’re going to start to adapt and write for your personality. You can’t try to make the character what somebody else was trying to do with it because you’re never going to survive like that.
Digest: Are you ready to dive in?
Rademacher: Yes! I do like my free time, and the schedule on this show? I don’t think you could ask for a better schedule. You get to concentrate on doing good work, and you have more time off, so for a couple who homeschools their kids [sons Peanut, 9, and Pohaku, 5] and does a lot of sports and activities with them, it’s a dream job for me. w