This interview originally appeared in the October 23, 2007 issue of Soap Opera Digest.
“It’s crazy,” grins Lawrence Saint-Victor as he shakes his head in disbelief at his upcoming nuptials, which were, at the time of this interview, less than 48 hours away. “I’m exhausted and frustrated,” he sighs. “It’s great, but it’s a lot! Everything’s down to the wire. Let’s just get this sucker over with and let’s go party!”
Needless to say, he’s feeling a little overwhelmed. Making those early GUIDING LIGHT call times and moving out of his parents’ upstate New York home while planning a wedding with college sweetheart Shay Flake hasn’t even given Saint-Victor a chance for a night out with the guys before plunging into matrimony. “I’m thinking about so many things. I don’t have time for a bachelor party,” he laughs. “I have too many things to do!”
If the 25-year old has any reservations about married life, he certainly doesn’t show it. “I’m settling down,” he concludes with a smile, “but no kids!” Well, at least not yet. In a few years, he’d like to have three and maybe even adopt. For now, he’s just excited — especially about his new wedding bling. “I love jewelry,” he says, pulling out his PDA to flash a snapshot of his diamond encrusted ring. “It’s all iced out around the rim!” he adds with a grin. “It’s filthy!”
Indeed life’s pretty sweet these days for Saint-Victor. His first television gig as a GUIDING LIGHT extra back in 2000 turned into a full-time, contract job as the show’s third incarnation of Remy Bodreau — about six years later. “I was a bar patron at Company,” he recalls. “I just sat there. I gave Michael O’Leary (Rick) a look. That was my big moment [laughs]!”
It was a moment that set his soap career in motion…and one he credits to a higher power. On the day he was hired as an extra, “I got into a bad car accident,” he explains. “I was driving home — and that’s how I knew it was God — I was driving home and I was going through a phase where I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. Something just said, ‘Lawrence, put your seatbelt on.’ In five minutes [I hit] a telephone poll. Bam! A car cut me off and I hit my brakes, but it was raining, so I spun and tried to get back on the other side of the road and hit the poll. I was shaken and I called my mom. She’s like, ‘Oh my God! Are you okay? [GL Casting Director] Rob Decina just called.’ I was like, ‘Are you kidding me? I’m going to be on TV [laughs]?’ And then six years later….” he trails off. “That’s weird. I didn’t think about that until recently.”
Saint-Victor has always been, on some level, eager for an audience. He showed off his Michael Jackson-inspired dance moves for the family video camera at age 5 and told his mom that he needed an agent when he was 12. “That was the end of that conversation!” he grins. For the most part, he was a rambunctious kid with so much energy that “My parents said I’d walk on my toes just because I couldn’t sit still.” So he took up sports: basketball, track, tae kwon do, even gymnastics. (“Jack-off-all-trades, master of none of them!” he jokes.) But he didn’t apply that effort to schoolwork. “There was nothing I wanted to do, so I bare minimumed it in school and if I had to, get good grades.”
It was Saint-Victor’s childhood passion for reading Batman and Superman comics that nudged him into performing. “It’s the fantasy of it,” he admits. “There’s nothing cooler than reading something and believing that you can fly or have the power to save people. I merged from wanting to be them to wanting to play them,” he explains. “That’s when I first started to act.” He still fancies himself a comic-book geek. “It’s almost creepy!” he laughs. “I didn’t grow out of it.”
Saint-Victor was eventually accepted to SUNY Purchase College’s Acting Conservatory, but his parents (both teachers) weren’t thrilled. “They were cautious. My mom was like, ‘You need something to fall back on.’ But if I have something to fall back on then I’m wasting my time. When GUIDING LIGHT happened they were like, ‘We always knew it [laughs]!”
After a year and a half of portraying Remy, Saint-Victor’s storyline has slowly edged to front-burner status. Still, the absence of other Bordreaus on the canvas isn’t lost on him. “It’s upsetting in a lot of ways,” he says. “Being the only African-American on contract [and] as a black actor, I do feel sometimes limited. Remy’s going through a lot of issues and his mother is a psychiatrist. What could come of that?” he muses. “It’s not even a black or white issue, but soaps are made up mostly of families. How come we don’t share these same stories? At the same time,” he continues, “[They] pay me to do a good job. I do my best and that’s it.”
Sure, his life is crazed right now, but Saint-Victor’s looking forward to tomorrow….and the day after that. “The transition from being [my parent’s] son, their little boy, to bring a man happens in one day, one moment! Everything changes.” So is he ready? “If I can survive college and three guys turning a white bathtub green, I can survive Shay!” he grins. “I can survive anything after that!”
After tying the know on September 1, Saint-Victor gave us an update on his big day. Thankfully, there weren’t any mishaps at the altar. “The day of, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding. Everything fell into place and we didn’t have to worry about a thing,” he says.
The newlyweds honeymooned at a swanky resort in the Dominican Republic. After swimming with the sharks, the couple decided to enjoy a romantic horseback ride along the beach. “[Shay] loves horses; that’s why I chose this resort, because they had free horseback riding,” Saint-Victor shares. The adventure didn’t however play out as smoothly as hoped. “It was like City Slickers!” he laughs.
Did You Know?
- As a youngster, Saint-Victor was called “Bam-Bam” because he was bigger than most kids his age.
- Saint-Victor’s father is from Haiti. His younger sister is currently studying to be a midwife.
Just The Facts
Birthday: June 14
Hometown: Rockland NY; raised in Spring Valley, NY
Favorite Graphic Novel: The Walking Dead. “Zombie movies have nothing on this book.”
Guilty Pleasure: Professional wrestling. “I watch WWE. My favorites are Jon Cena and The Rock. Wrestling is a soap!”
Favorite Holiday: Easter. “I’m very spiritual. The Bible, which used to look like gibberish [to me], all of a sudden it urned into a perfect how-to guide”
What He’s Listening To: The radio. “I like Ne-Yo and Mary J. Blige.”