…on the next episode of The Stafford Project!
Veteran actor Thorsten Kaye (Zach, AMC; ex-Nick, Smash; ex-Patrick, OLTL; ex-Ian, PC) is the latest star to visit Michelle Stafford’s hip new web series The Stafford Project. His episode debuts Oct. 14 at www.thestaffordproject.com. How did two of daytime’s biggest stars hit it off?
Thorsten: I had such a good time with your friend. We got there at 8 and I left at 3. It was pretty painless. She is an extraordinary woman, the way she handles everything. It’s a lot but she gets it done.
Carolyn: How was the script?
Thorsten: Great. I’ve always wanted to work with Michelle. They let us play a little bit. It was nice to do stuff without longing looks at the end of the scene.
Carolyn: No longing looks?
Thorsten: Well, she looked at ME longingly of course [laughs].
Carolyn: What is the premise of your episode?
Thorsten: I play this French guy who is a little off – like most French people – but this guy is moreso. Michelle is having dinner with him and her producer comes over and says the guy is wanted for the disappearance of his girlfriend.
Carolyn: Is it funny?
Thorsten: I know funny when I see it, not necessarily when I’m in it. The setup on paper was great but I hate to say, ‘Oh my God, it was the funniest thing ever!’ and then have you go, ‘What the f–?’ I haven’t seen it yet, but Michelle is happy. That’s the most important thing. I saw all the previous episodes. The whole series has a nice vibe to it.
Carolyn: Where did you film?
Thorsten: At Billy Miller’s [Billy, Y&R] restaurant Fatty’s on La Cienega. I knew him on AMC [ex-Richie], we were friendly. It’s a cool place, like a sports bar. It feels like Prohibition to me. He let us film at the restaurant and in the parking lot. He was very gracious and kind. It was good to see him.
Carolyn: Based on the previous episodes, I’m guessing the date doesn’t go well?
Thorsten: Everything goes very well until the guy’s car gets scratched and the Frenchman overreacts.
Carolyn: Do you have a French accent?
Thorsten: Yes. I speak like dees. Accents all sound the same when I do them.
Carolyn: That’s because you’re really from Brooklyn.
Thorsten: No, just outside Brooklyn. I have lived so many places I don’t know what I sound like.
Carolyn: I think you sound Irish.
Thorsten: Okay. This guy is French so there’s a lot of touching and looking deep into her eyes until things get out of hand. You’re dealing with the French here. They’ve lost every war they’ve ever fought. Something about that leaves a little chip on their shoulder.
Carolyn: So you played the guy with a chip on his shoulder?
Thorsten: I play every role like that. Have you not seen me?
Carolyn: No. Any update on AMC?
Thorsten: No. I talked to Ginger [EP Ginger Smith] yesterday. Nothing is in place. Eden [Riegel, Bianca] is about to have a baby and my love interest [Pilar Garces, Lea] is about to have a baby. We’re going to have to call it All My Children-en-en-en.
Carolyn: So what have you been doing?
Thorsten: I had some good meetings in L.A. when I was out there doing Michelle’s show. I don’t want to miss time with my kids so if I got a job out there I would come home on weekends.
Carolyn: Would you do another soap?
Thorsten: Of course. I’ve been lucky to work with some great writers.
Carolyn: And some not-so-great writers.
Thorsten: Yeah. Soaps are the hardest job when there are holes in the script but you still gotta play it. Hamlet is easy. Looking at some chick for 20 seconds to get to the commercial break is hard. You do that! ‘Oh my God, your brother’s uncle’s cousin’s daughter came to town?’ You say that! Luckily, Michelle’s project is well-written. And it was egoless. Coming from Smash that was a really cool thing. Michelle’s guys listen to each other. The director Paige had a clear idea of what she wanted, but she’s smart enough to realize that the actor is deeper into the process that she is. If someone had a good idea she stepped out of the way.
Carolyn: Unlike some directors and EPs we have known who need to put their mark on every episode like a dog marking its territory.
Thorsten: It’s funny you say that. The concept of peeing may come up in my particular episode. There may be some parallels to Gerard Depardieu.
Carolyn: Leave it to Michelle! Had you ever worked with her before?
Thorsten: No. We were supposed to present together at the Emmys once but it didn’t happen. Whenever [the shows we were on] asked about a love interest, we suggested each other. I think we worked really well together. Michelle is good. She really listened in our scenes. We ad libbed some stuff. I’ve worked with actors where it doesn’t matter what you do because they will do what they decided to do the night before. They know how they’re going to play it and how they’re going to react. Which is funny to me because how do you know what I’m going to do? You’re going to look like an a–hole reacting to something I didn’t do. The fun is in the discovery in the moment. If you have a good script, you have a safety net and you can play. The Stafford Project is well-written. They took me out for dinner the night before and we talked about the script. Michelle said, ‘It’s just a blue print.’ I said, ‘No, let’s do what you wrote. It’s solid.’ So that’s what we ended up doing.
Carolyn: So, all in all…
Thorsten: Michelle was great. My only complaint is that I added a love scene but they told me, ‘We have no time for that today.’ Seriously, her producers were lovely and I wish them all great success.
Carolyn: I’m so glad! I am going to call Michelle for a comment on you.
Thorsten: You don’t have to do that. I can give you a comment about me: ‘We all thought Thorsten was a genius.’
He IS a genius! I was completely blown away and humbled that he agreed to do the show – and that he liked it. The episode is all about him. Wait till you see it. He is so, SO funny. The chicks will dig it. Thorsten Kaye is the funniest man alive. I hope he’ll come back in a future season.