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Above: On the cover of the June 26, 2007 issue of Soap Opera Digest.

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Oh, Kaye!


Soap Opera Digest

by Carolyn Hinsey, Published February 13, 2001

THORSTEN KAYE: What’s going on over there?
SOAP OPERA DIGEST: It’s a beautiful day here.
KAYE: It’s about to get ugly. Okay, ask me some questions.
DIGEST: When you left OLTL, what kind of stuff did you do?
KAYE: Let’s see. What did I do?
DIGEST: Didn’t you do stunt work?
KAYE: Yeah, I did a lot of stunt work. Some in New York and some here [in L.A.]. I worked with Jery Hewitt, who is a well-respected stunt coordinator. We’ve been very good friends for a long time, and he throws me a bone every now and then. And one of the bones was in The Bone Collector. I did some driving in that. I played a Russian mob guy on FALCONE on CBS. It was supposed to be a stunt, but it turned into an acting gig. I got shot, and I flew over a car onto Danny Aiello…
DIGEST:…Danny Aiello III, who did the stunts for OLTL?
KAYE: Yeah.
DIGEST: How did you get involved with stunt work?
KAYE: I started doing it at the National Theater in London, and when I was in graduate school in Detroit, I was a stage combat guy. It’s a nice thing to fall back on because it’s not as draining mentally as acting is.
DIGEST: How’s the money?
KAYE: The money can be good, but I certainly wouldn’t say that I’m one of the guys that make the big money.
DIGEST: Modest as ever.
KAYE: What am I going to say? You know I hate it when I read those f---ing magazines and people are going on and on about themselves. Those are things that somebody else should say about you. I’m not going to say, “Oh, I lost somebody so I have to share that with you and show you the deeper meaning.” This is not therapy, this is a business. I show up and I work, and with the money I make I can go to therapy. I am not going to yammer on about me. You go ahead.
DIGEST: I think you’re a wonderful actor and a very handsome man.
KAYE: Oh, get out!
DIGEST: Why don’t you like talking about your personal life?
KAYE: You answered that question yourself, it’s personal. ABC owns this character, and I talk to you because I hope that the people reading this magazine will get some insight into PORT CHARLES and want to tune in. But my personal life is just that. Otherwise I have nothing.
DIGEST: If you were involved with someone who wasn’t in the business, would you talk about her?
KAYE: No. See, I don’t like people talking about me, and I don’t like to talk about other people unless I really hate them. But people that I respect? I can’t speak about them. If I’m living with someone, it obviously means that I like them, and that’s all people need to know.
DIGEST: Can we say that you are happy in your personal life and that things are going well?
KAYE: You can say that. Honey, I’m not a happy person. There will always be times where I feel I came up short, especially in my work.
DIGEST: See, I think you are a happy person. You have a good sense of humor about things, and you don’t take life too seriously.
KAYE: I do have a good sense of humor, but it’s all based on sarcasm. I get very angry when I don’t understand something because life is not that long a ride, and I would love to understand things a little better.
DIGEST: So you moved to Los Angeles…
KAYE: Yeah, you know how it is, it’s hard to find work. In the beginning – and you can certainly print this – you get off a great show, and you think you did an okay job on it and people should appreciate you for who you are and what you’ve done. You think you have the power to not do the first thing that comes along, which is a mistake. People don’t care if you worked or not. If your agent says, “They’re doing THE MICKEY MOUSE BIRTHDAY SHOW,” you should do it. If you’re not working, you’re not an actor. You should take whatever job you’re offered.
DIGEST: When you left OLTL, they wanted you to stay, right?
KAYE: Actually, they never asked me to stay. They asked me why I was leaving, which is not the same thing. Did I tell you what happened when I got shot at [Patrick and Marty’s] wedding?
DIGEST: Yes, but tell me again.
KAYE: The reason I got shot in the arm at the wedding was not because they wanted me shot. It was because the only thing I wanted tot take with me from that show was that suit, and [a former OLTL exec] made sure that not only did they put blood on it, they cut it off me so I couldn’t take it. So I said, “Wait a minute. If I just get grazed with a bullet, why am I out for three pages? Why don’t you shoot me in the head?” And they said, “because [the exec] wants the suit ruined.” It got so ugly! You know that I’m not an easy man to deal with because I’m opinionated but it never comes from an ugly place. It’s usually because I want to do a good job or something. But she and I locked horns from day one. It got to me. It wasn’t necessary. So, it was time to leave.Soap Opera Digest, 2/13/01
DIGEST: How did ABC lure you back to PC?
KAYE: I was unemployed, I had no money.
DIGEST: There were some things about soaps you didn’t like on OLTL, so I was surprised when you joined PC.
KAYE: I’m not the most creative guy in the world – I need to know the journey; otherwise I can’t prepare for it. We had a meeting the other day with [President of ABC Daytime] Angela Shapiro about all the changes and after the meeting, an older actor said, “Angela, you made a mistake today. You asked actors to come to you if they don’t understand something or want to give you ideas. That’s a bad idea.” She said, “Why?” He goes, “Because acting is like life – I don’t want to know what happens two days from now.” I said, “Dude, that’s not acting, that’s life. People don’t to stand on corners watching that for three hours because it’s f---ing boring.” If I find out six weeks after I help somebody have an abortion that my sister had an abortion, it changes everything. There’s information that you need to have as an actor. I remember on OLTL one time they said to me, “Okay, you’re holding Marty and there is a close-up on your face and you’re thinking of your secret.” “Dude, do me a favor – what the f--- is my secret?” He goes, “We don’t know yet.”
DIGEST: Can you tell me at least if I’m happy about my secret?
KAYE: Right! “Did I have sex with little boys or do I have a million dollars? What is it?” He said, “We haven’t decided.” I said, “You can’t do this to an actor!” I’m not a very good actor, but you can’t do it to any actor. I don’t know if that’s a problem on all soaps or just the ones I’ve been on.
DIGEST: If you were on YOUNG AND RESTLESS, they would know what the secret was.
KAYE: Honey, if I were on YOUNG AND RESTLESS, I’d be shirtless every day of the week, so I’m glad I’m not. I’m glad I’m at PC because there are some very good actors here and some very good directors and producers, so that makes it even harder to think that everybody isn’t watching what we are doing here.
DIGEST: Do you think PC is on the right road toward fixing that with the 12-week story arcs?
KAYE: I hope so. There are people in charge that I respect very much who want to make the right decision. We’re no worse than any other show, I can tell you that. All I can do is tell you the truth that day, and the rest of it is out of my hands.
DIGEST: You have great chemistry with every female they put you with.
KAYE: That’s because I like women. Here’s me – I’m kind of wrinkly and I look like I’m 47 – with all these beautiful women. What a great job I have.
DIGEST: Viewers like Ian, even though we don’t know a lot about him.
KAYE: I’m glad.

DIGEST: Do you get mixed up between Ian and Patrick?
KAYE: No, not at all. Do you?
DIGEST: Yes, I’m very confused. I refer to Patrick’s Diary [sic] almost daily to try and keep it straight.
KAYE: Don’t refer to that because most of that s--- never happened. Here’s the thing: I enjoyed playing Patrick, but Ian is a completely different character. The only thing they have in common is the same dead sister. Of course, it’s the same actor and my range is not that great so they are going to be similar. I didn’t come here to create a completely different person because in order for it to be truth – especially in daytime – it has to be somewhat based on who I am. That’s how you fill in the gaps for yourself. You can’t say, “What would Ian do?” if Ian doesn’t really exist, so you have to make a decision that’s true to you.
DIGEST: How are the dogs?
KAYE: They’re great. We got a new one, Wedge. So now there’s Bear, Graycie and Wedge.
DIGEST: Graycie is the one you got from Kamar de los Reyes [Antonio, OLTL]?
KAYE: Yeah. And Bear is the dog I got from Jack Scalia [ex-Nicholas, DALLAS].
DIGEST: Do you ever seeing yourself having kids someday?
KAYE: I have three kids right now! Actually, that’s a tough one because obviously it comes up. It’s not as important to me as it is to other people. I don’t know if I would be a good father, but I guess nobody knows that.
DIGEST: Do you have nieces and nephews?
KAYE: I do and I’m okay with them. I told you about Jery Hewitt? He and his kid stayed with us when he did O Brother, Where Art Thou? Harry, he’s a cool kid. But I found myself trying to reason with an 18-month-old.
DIGEST: How so?
KAYE: Well, he would do stupid s---. I’d say, “You can’t put yogurt on Bear’s head, and here’s why.” Susan’s looking at me just shaking her head, going, “Dude, the guy is 18 months old. Give him a break.” You should have seen this kid looking at me. “What is this guy talking about?” So, I’m wasting his time and he’s wasting mine and he just keeps putting s--- on Bear’s head. So to answer your question, I don’t know if I am supposed to have kids.
DIGEST: Who do you keep in touch with from ONE LIFE?
KAYE: Bob Woods [Bo] is one of my best friends in the world. I think he is an incredible actor and if there were more people like him around, daytime would be in much better shape. Robin Strasser [ex-Dorian; now Hecuba on PASSIONS] was just at our house. I talk to Clint Ritchie [ex-Clint], of course, who is a great guy and seems to have really have gotten back on track with his life. I don’t talk to Nathan Fillion [ex-Joey]. I’m disappointed in some people who just got a little too Hollywood for me. It doesn’t matter how much money you make. I really couldn’t give a s--- what show you’re on. Just come over and have a beer.