In Print


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Follow the links to our archive of Thorsten's print interviews and articles about the characters he's portrayed.

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

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Rescue Me

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Like the valiant doc he plays on PC, Thorsten Kaye slays us with his eloquence and humility

Soap Opera Weekly

by Joanne Gallo, Published February 6, 2001

Even among the overcrowded ranks of idealized soap heroes, Port Charles' Ian Thornhart can make a girl's head spin.  Is it that killer combination of brains and brawn, as he formulates life-saving serums one minute and knocks out evil millionaires the next?  Is it the way he inhabits a baggy shirt and three days of stubble lie a coat of shining armor?  Or is it the passionate soul that shines through under the most stressful circumstances?  Any man who waxes poetic on the green fields of Ireland or Eugene O'Neill while trying to break out of captivity is no run-of-the-mill soap hunk to be sure.

Blessed with the constitution of a true warrior, Ian gives 110 percent to those in greatest need without a second thought - whether it's the African children Harris caused to die or his pal Lucy, who was injected with a deadly virus.  Most recently, Ian's chivalry has been directed toward Eve, and whether she can resist him remains to be seen.  Meanwhile, fair maidens are lining up for his help, as mysterious newcomer Arianna has enlisted him to keep her safe.

Needless to say, Dr. Thornhart is too busy to be vain or self-absorbed, and much the same can be said about his portrayer, Thorsten Kaye.  Like his character, Kaye possesses a rare combination of intellect and muscle.  A former rugby player with an M.A. in theater from Wayne State University and a passion for Shakespeare, the down-to-earth Irishman*[1] keeps his mind first and foremost on his work.  Kaye doesn't revel in celebrity and rarely gives interviews.  So we took this special opportunity to ask the soap hero how he views Ian and himself, whom he admires and what inspires him to do his best work.

It's rare to find a soap actor who doesn't like to do interviews.  Why do you shy away from the spotlight?
The reason I don't like doing interviews is very simple: There's nothing I could say that hasn't already been said more eloquently by someone else.  When I answer questions I feel like a little boy coming out of the rain, so to speak, with nothing better to do.  I have no insight.  And for an audience waiting for something that will change the way they feel, there is no grand experience.  I don't shy away from the spotlight:  I shy away from the responsibility that it illuminates.

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Are you comfortable with the attention from fans?
When I was working in England, an old director friend said to me that if I am to read reviews of my work, I have to believe all of them or dismiss all of them.  Attention from people who watch the show needs to be measured the same way.  Unfortunately, not everyone will love you or understand what it was you were trying to with a particular scene - or worse, someone will tell you how wonderful you were and how you're the only one who could have brought out the qualities in the other actor.  The next thing you know, you get  a nice corpulent ego standing in your way, tell you how clever you are.  And the minute that happens you've lost the one thing that made you a competent performer: The ability to listen, and to trust the other actors in the scene.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?
What I enjoy most about working, and not just on soap operas, is the work itself.  I don't watch a lot of television unless it involves some kind of ball or puck, and living in L.A., I rarely go to the theater.  So more often than not my creative incentive comes form watching my "brothers in arms."  Julie Pinson (Eve) and I were working on a scene today, and she was given a tremendous obstacle: A mediocre scene that was pivotal to her character.  I won't tell you what the scene was, but she created something honest and wonderful out of nothing at all.  And I saw her do it...that's my fun.

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What qualities do you most admire in Ian?  What similarities do you find between yourself and him? 
Ian Thornhart doesn't shave on a regular basis, he never wears a watch, and prefers baggy clothes. He also seems to have a problem with authority.  What that means to me is that he spends more time looking at other people's faces, chooses clothes that allow him to do his best work, and is convinced that the time is now.  Similarities?  We both have a brother named Patrick. (Kaye played Patrick Thornhart on One Life to Live from 1995-97.) 

Who first inspired you to become an actor?
I was pretty much inspired by anyone who used language with imagination and taste, but I do think there is a reason why the works of one William Shakespeare have generated such a current of derivative literature.  His ideas about women, religion, law and war were treated in 1,564 items of literature in a single year...maybe he was on to something. Which of your fellow actors do you most admire?

A few of us went to Super Soap Weekend in Orlando last year, and although I had met Mr. John Ingle (Edward, General Hospital) once before, I'd never spent any time with him or his lovely family.  He is a wonderful actor with a great natural charm, tremendous charisma, and a firm, warm voice.  So I couldn't help but be impressed by him.  But when I saw this man with his wife and children in the middle of a crowd of people wanting his autograph, and I saw how calm he was and how he never lost track of his wife of his kids, I knew that this was an actor I could look up to.

What would you like to achieve?
I'd like to be part of the reason why Port Charles stays on the air, so I personally invite readers to come and visit.  I never figured out why some shows are supposedly better than others.  We have all the elements, and they're coming together nicely.  As far as the critics of the show, they don't interest me because they're concerned with what's past and done, while we're concerned about what chapter is next.