AFTER FOREVER, a new series from DAYS alum Kevin Spirtas (ex-Craig), debuts today on Amazon. Here, the actor opens up about the project, which is very close to his heart.
“Have you ever had one of those experiences where you just take a step and everything falls into place?” begins the actor, who co-created and co-wrote the show with former DAYS scribe Michael Slade. “I ran into Michael at the gym one day. I never really knew him; he was, to me, a name on the page of a script. So Michael said, ‘So nice to meet you. What are you doing?’ ‘Nothing right now, I’m just busy working on some rewrites.’ But I said, ‘Let’s write a new story. Let’s write a new soap,’ and he said, ‘No, thank you.’ I said, ‘No, no, no. Fifty-year-old gay man, single, going back into the dating world.’ ”
Slade’s interest was piqued and the two began collaborating. “I was looking for someone who could really help me with arc in story and character development,” Spirtas explains. “Here I run into a fellow colleague from a show that I was on for just a few years; that was just too magical to me. He offered the ingredient that allowed us to move into the full telling of the story in these eight episodes, which are short-form, no commercials and go fast.”
The duo tapped former ONE LIFE TO LIVE Executive Producer Jennifer Pepperman to direct. “She’s great; she’s done this all her life,” Spirtas notes. “Most of us had done some soap work on the show, so we were at a fast-paced mindset. There’s a certain maturity that happens with being on the soap for so long; it’s like a muscle, boom, boom, boom. I loved it.”
The actor also enjoyed delving into the world of his new alter ego, Brian. “I wanted to do a role that I didn’t have to put anything on for, that I didn’t have to twirl a mustache, that I didn’t have to become a new character, I didn’t have to disguise my voice,” he explains. “That was a blessing. There are no roles coming down the pike that have my name on it at the moment, so I thought, ‘I’ll just sort of create one for myself.’ I knew the script, I knew the story, and I knew what I had to do.”
Spirtas assembled a talented group of co-stars, who, he reports, “are superb. Everybody! Mitchell Anderson [ex-Ross, PARTY OF FIVE] coming back from retirement is outstanding. Cady Huffman [ex-Paige, OLTL] steals the show, Anita Gillette and Lenny Wolpe are delicious and they are as vibrant as they were 20, 30 years ago. Michael Urie [ex-Marc, UGLY BETTY] was so sweet to come in and do five lines in two different episodes, but if we do go any further he will be in next season, as well. And Colleen Zenk [ex-Barbara, AS THE WORLD TURNS]! She plays the doctor and she’s great in it, of course.”
The actor is excited for the show to premiere and to see what comes his way next. “It just sort of fell into place,” he reflects. “If you have a story to tell, it will tell itself; if you don’t have a story, then you’re going to be silent for a little while until you find that something that propels you forward. I am doing exactly what I love doing. It’s gone exactly where it’s supposed to have gone, and the roles that I thought were going to change my life and the jobs that were going to give me such exposure and financial gain and responsibility, they didn’t come the way I thought they were going to come. I had to really kind of self-correct my past to focus on where I wanted to go.”
And if daytime came calling again, he would be open to a return. “Absolutely! Yes, I would,” he declares. “I think DAYS would be the most obvious, but I would be very happy if there was something else on another show, a path for me that’s new.”