Q Fans are very excited about the upcoming John and Marlena wedding. What’s it like to be continuing this epic love story from 1986 all the way to now?
Maria P. in NYC
A You’re going to like this story, Maria. This is a good storyline. It’s challenging. It’s got all the elements of a good soap opera. The other day I was sitting in Deidre’s [Hall, Marlena] dressing room and we were running lines and she had a large piece of dialogue she was working on, and I just took a moment and I thought about 32 years, and we’re just in such a good place right now. I thought, “I’m sitting here with Deidre Hall, an amazing woman, an amazing talent, sharing a special part, and a million people would love to be sitting where I’m sitting right now just taking in this moment and sharing this moment.” I even told Deidre that the other day and she looked at me kind of funny. We’ve been together for so long in a work capacity and we know each other so well that it’s very comforting and I know that she’s always got my back and I’ve got her back.
Time After Time: Hogestyn knows that longtime scene partner Deidre Hall (Marlena) always has his back.
Q Fans have really embraced your transition to gray hair. How did your family react to the new “silver fox” look?
Dee P. in Alabama
A Oh, that’s funny! I’ll be honest with you. Rachael and Ben were fine, but Alex and Whitney? I think it made them really stop and think about the aging process. I think the others wanted Mom and Dad to be the same and look the same all the time. I could just tell there was some apprehension there, but then I heard someone ask Whitney about Dad with gray hair and Whitney goes, “No, Daddy went platinum!” I laughed. They asked me, “Why did you decide to do that?” and I said, “I don’t know. I think maybe two traumatic brain injuries might have knocked some sense into me.” Seriously, for me, it just seemed like the portrait didn’t match the frame anymore. Something had to change there.
Q If you could have a conversation with anyone, from anytime in history, who would it be and why? And what is one habit of yours that your wife dislikes?
A My conversation would be with Dad, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth. As far as a habit my wife dislikes, I don’t know. I was with my grandchildren at dinner last night and Avery, she’s 9, said, “Papa, you snore!” and I said, “What?” She said, “You snore! I can hear you all the way down the hall!” I said, “You can really hear me all the way down here?” and Victoria said, “How do you think I feel being right next to you?” I was like, “Wait a minute! Do I do that all the time?” and she goes, “No, but you did last night!” I must have been so exhausted from having the grandkids. They take a different energy out of you. I don’t want that to become a problem. I’m gonna have to look into what that’s about! That’s not a bad habit, but I’m sure Victoria’s gonna let me know about it if that keeps up because she needs her sleep.
Q I know John carrying Marlena was a part of the romance. What was your reaction when you first saw the long, curved staircase in the penthouse set? That had to be daunting, no matter how fit you were.
A Oh, that’s even longer foreplay, Lu! Let me tell you something about that. Deidre, she’s professional, and I’ll tell you why. Physically, light as a feather. What she does is when you go to pick her up, she puts her arm around your neck, then she says, “Where are you shooting?” and “How tired are you?” and they say, “We’ll get you from the waist up,” and she says, “Perfect.” So when you go to grab her, she will lift her leg and kick really hard so you can get your hand right underneath her knee, and then she will take her other arm and put it over the back of your neck and press down really hard. You lift her up so seamlessly and she’s supported behind your neck and she like crosses one of her legs over her other leg and you’re carrying her and it looks so ladylike. Seriously, she becomes part of you. I have picked up other actresses before where they don’t give you that support and you’re like, “Oh, my God!” You’re almost stumbling. You’re struggling. Carrying Deidre up the stairs was a pleasure.
Carry On: Lifting Deidre Hall has never been an issue for the actor.
Q What is one of your favorite scenes with the Horton family?
Laura W., Park Forest, IL
A I never really worked with the Horton family at all. There was one scene, though, that we had when I was Roman Brady, and Ma Brady was going to have a surgical procedure done. It was the only thing that could save her life. Dr. Horton was going to do it, so he had us all gathered around the hospital bed and he explained what the odds were of her surviving and he had this big, long speech about all of this and said, “I’m going to leave it up to you all.” I’m there with Bo and Kayla and Kimberly and we turned around and said, “We’re gonna go ahead and let you do the surgery,” and Mac [Carey, ex-Tom] just laughs and just coughs out the words, “Oh, you fools!” We just totally lost it. We’re dying laughing and crying. It was so crazy and so genuine. And then all of a sudden you get the giggles and you can’t stop. No one can stop, we can’t do the scene, we tried four, five times and [then-Executive Producer] Al Rabin says, “Guys, we need to take a break here. We’ll come back later on in the day.” That was one of those precious, spontaneous moments. Mac, of all people, God bless him.
Q Hi, Drake. My name is Annie and I have been watching you since the ’80s and my question for you is, do you ever wish you were Roman Brady again?
Sincerely, Annie B.
A It’s a soap opera so they could do anything they want to do, but I don’t see the power in that. I think they went down a pretty long road of establishing Roman and John Black as who they are. I hold those years very close to my heart, and I’m very proud and protective of my interpretation of Roman Brady.
Q Truthfully. What was your reaction the first time you read a script and saw that Marlena was possessed by a demon?
A That’s interesting because I have to answer like this: It wasn’t any big surprise in the script where you picked it up and went, “Oh, my gosh!” because we kind of knew what was going to happen. It was probably one of the most challenging storylines. All of the priests on the set had to go in and bless all the sets and bless you because of the subject material. You understood that seriousness. There were obviously some people joking around a little bit and then all of a sudden, it’s like, “This isn’t joking around.” That storyline got heavier and heavier and heavier; it was like this wet blanket just was pulled off of everybody because it was that heavy. But the audience loved it, obviously.
Demon Seed: Marlena’s possession didn’t come as a big surprise to the cast.
Q Drake, could you please share with us your secret to such a long and happy marriage?
Linda B., Ontario, Canada
A Stay married! You just stay married. And then you just fall in love with that same person over and over and over again. There are reasons why marriages don’t work. I am certain there are a lot of marriages that would have survived and been very successful if you’d just stay married and work through the problems. I really believe in the marriage vows and what they stand for. We raised four really amazing kids. I’m out here in Malibu, a lot of kids have had problems out here, as everywhere, but the only times we’ve ever had any issues have always been surrounding the kids. It’s what it is. It’s parenting. That type of thing. I fell in love with Victoria when I was 15, she was 12, on the baseball field. She’s on the handlebars of her girlfriend Lisa Miller’s bike, I’m playing center field, go figure. That moment she just shocked me and I just screamed, “No! I have too much to do with my life,” and from then on that was it! I look at her, I see her, I can see her when she was 12, when she was 13, when she was 14, 15, 16 … all the moments.
Still The One: Hogestyn has been in love with wife Victoria for most of his life.
Q I’m curious: Do you miss your character’s catch phrase, “That’s a fact!”? And do you ever say it in your own life? I heard John say it recently and I bust a gut laughing because I hadn’t heard it in so long.
Cheers, Chantal R.,
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
A Yeah, I do say it all the time! Every once in a while they will write that into the script and that’s usually when I don’t say it [laughs].
Q Which of John/Roman’s careers (cop, priest, private eye) was your most favorite to play and why? Thank you, SOD.
A You know what? Whatever I’m doing at that moment is my favorite. What I’m doing as John Black, private eye, is what I did as Roman, only I don’t have to work at the cop shop!
Q First I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed your portrayal of John Black over the years. Now I want to know what has been your favorite story on DAYS that you were a part of and why is it your favorite? Also, is there a story that you wish had gone on longer?
A There are a couple of my favorite arcs or moments or people that I’ve worked with, but what sticks out is in the beginning, when I first came on. Everybody knows the story that I was reading a Jason Bourne book when I auditioned for the show; they actually took one of the books and that’s how we started. I think the excitement of the quickness of daytime, it was all overwhelming right in the beginning of just how fast the show was produced, and I was wondering, “Can I do this?” But it was a foolproof storyline. If there was a storyline that actually got short-changed and had a lot more legs to it, it would be the Diana Colville storyline.
More Than This: Hogestyn feels Roman and Diana’s (Genie Francis) story was cut short.
Q How do you feel about Christopher Sean [Paul] leaving the show?
A I’m really sad about that. I love that kid. I had a close relationship with Christopher. Christopher Sean really made an effort to come to my dressing room at different times just to talk, and I thought that was really neat because his dad was in the Navy, my dad was in the Navy, we were kind of raised a little bit the same way in a lot of respects. It’s kind of like with Deidre, you spend time getting to know someone so well that it translates over to the screen. Not only that, but Christopher is just so amazing and fluid with his instrument. He’s one of those natural actors that can turn any line into his own. I can’t do that! I have to change a line to make it mine. But he’s just the opposite. He’s just so natural and just an all-around great guy. I think that our natural chemistry came from the rapport that we have with each other. He’s just a really good kid who is excitable about the business; that was very infectious. He sees the horizon and it’s boundless. He has so much that he would like to accomplish and I’m his biggest cheerleader.
Son Shine: Hogestyn shares a strong bond with Christopher Sean (Paul).
Q Hey, Drake. I just wanted to know if you have any hobbies.
Carla B., Dallas, TX
A Yeah, I guess I do. I have a bunch of hobbies. As I’m sitting here in my truck right now looking out at hedges … I fell off the ladder and took the first loss of consciousness and the first traumatic brain injury cutting those. I’ve got to get up on that ladder again and cut my hedges. I have a much better ladder and a much better cutting tool so it’s okay. I do my own gardening. I’ve never had a gardener. I’m saving a lot of money, absolutely, but it’s also good physical labor and I like getting my hands in the dirt. I love working out. I always have since I was a kid. The gym is where I go; it’s my sanctuary. You can find me out in the garage at night with my shop lights on and I’ll do nothing but clean up my car, change the spark plugs, change the oil and just give her a lot of love and sit in there. I love her. She’s beautiful. Just a great piece of American motorcar. Those are pretty much the things that I do. And obviously talking to the kids every single day.