All My Children started taping the reboot on February 25 in Stamford, Connecticut. AMC 2.0 is an online series produced by Prospect Park, slated to air on TOLN, Hulu and other sites in April. Many of the original faves are on board, including the always quotable Thorsten Kaye – back again to play manly mogul Zach Slater.
Carolyn: How was your first week?
Thorsten: I’ve gotta tell you, these Prospect Park guys are pretty classy. They put their money where their mouth is. The studios in Stamford are really nice, and the dressing rooms are huge. But there’s no cafeteria, so these guys cater breakfast and lunch every day. They don’t have to do that. We had a photo shoot at Sleepy Hollow Country Club last week, it came out great. [Click here for preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn04jH8HEDY.] That place is amazing, it looks like Downton Abbey. If you ever lose your keys there, you’re f—ed.
Carolyn: I hear you’re in the first scene of the reboot?
Thorsten: Here’s what happened: Jill Larson [Opal] was supposed to be in the first scene with this guy Peter [Cortlandt, Opal’s son]. Something happened and she wasn’t ready. I was just f—king around at the catering table stuffing bagels in my pocket. All of a sudden, someone comes up to me and says, “Can you be ready in three minutes?” I said, “Sure. I’ve got three bagels in a baggie and some bacon, I’m good.” The scene was a [one-way] phone call. When I was done, they said, “Congratulations, you just finished the first scene of the new All My Children!” That hadn’t occurred to me. I was just there to work. But it’s kind of cool that I was in the last scene on TV and I taped the first scene on the web.
Carolyn: Do you look the same on the reboot?
Thorsten: Funny you should ask that. I sat down in the chair the first day and the hairdresser said, “What kind of character are you?” I said, “The best kind.” How about you go look online and find out who I am?
Carolyn: What can you tell me about where the story picks up?
Thorsten: It’s in the future. Originally, I thought it was 15 years in the future so I aged myself 15 years. I’m under contract with Maker’s Mark now. I apologize to anyone tuning in for how old I look. I misunderstood the instructions.
Carolyn (laughs): Seriously, how do they address Kendall not being there? [Alicia Minshew hasn’t signed onto the reboot].
Thorsten: Someone says, “I’m sorry about you and Kendall.” That makes me want to watch: “What happened? Where is she?” I think people will want to tune in to see how we tell the story. In theater, you often know the end of the play but you still go to see how the actors tell the story. In soaps, you don’t know the ending which is cool in its own way. “Hey, you and Kendall aren’t together and your wife may be with someone else.” That informs every scene I do. I care about where we left these people. “Where are they now?” The writers aren’t ignoring past relationships. I’ll jump on that train.
Carolyn: How is the actual filming going?
Thorsten: I’m enjoying it. It’s like guerilla filmmaking. We all have to work together. At ABC it was, “Here’s what we want, we hope you can do it.” Here, we are all holding our breath collectively saying “We can do this!” I feel sorry for all the people not here in the beginning. This is the core. It’s going to be really hard to jump in later.
Carolyn: With Kendall not there, do you have a love interest?
Thorsten: I do, but not on this show.
Carolyn (laughs): How is Susan?
Thorsten: She’s great – I hope she does One Life to Live. [Kaye’s partner Susan Haskell played Marty Saybrooke on OLTL. They have two young daughters.] It would be nice for both of us to work a half hour away. This has been a tough few months for Connecticut. I want to be close to home.
Carolyn: How is Smash going?
Thorsten: Good. I’m filming today in Brooklyn.
Carolyn: I love you and Anjelica Huston together, I wish they would write that relationship more.
Thorsten: Me too. “Why is she with this man?” There’s a lot of story there. I hope it goes for another year. They’re struggling to find what people want to see so they can write it. I say, “Just write the show you want to write.” I tell young people – you know, like myself – that being a chameleon as an actor is hugely overrated. They cut their hair for a role, grow a beard, gain weight. No – just be you. Because the person you’re trying to create, there are already 10,000 of them out there. Be who are you are and be good at that.
Carolyn: You should write a book for young actors.
Thorsten (laughs): Two people would buy it, you and Susan. If you have time, can you find me a publisher who will publish two books?
Carolyn: Sure. Did you have any qualms about doing AMC and Smash simultaneously?
Thorsten: No. AMC is a half hour from my house, and they pay me. I couldn’t not do it. I’ve already embarrassed myself on television. I might as well do it on the Internet.
Carolyn: Has there been any talk of you also playing Patrick Thornhart on OLTL?
Thorsten: That would blow their minds! No, I have enough trouble doing one character. I want to concentrate on Zach and help these guys any way I can. There is a level of respect here that I think is pretty amazing. Prospect Park respected us from the very beginning. That’s worth more to me than being on the #1 TV show. I’ve never had the owners of a company come out and thank the actors after a great scene. I’ll take a pay cut for that.
Carolyn: What do you say to people being negative that the “whole” cast hasn’t signed on?
Thorsten: Don’t worry about the people who aren’t there. Trust that the people who are there can do this. All we need is the opportunity to entertain people. Sometimes when you call up your second string players, they blow it out of the water.
Carolyn: Are you seriously calling yourself second string?
Thorsten: Okay, third string.
Carolyn: Come on!
Thorsten: You’re only as good as the story you’re telling. I was lucky enough to get some good stories.
Carolyn: You’ve had some pretty bad stories over the years too, and you made them all work. You, David Canary, Julia Barr…
Thorsten: All the people who are here now are talented. Stars are made by the people watching. We need to remind the audience that they make the stars. Part of what broke AMC in the end at ABC was that people gave up on it. Prospect Park has our back. It’s nice to be part of something now that has so much possibility. This is the future.