"He is almost stupidly, blindly in love with Carrie."
As Abby's feelings toward Austin Reed take an obsessive turn, we caught up with actor Patrick Muldoon to get his take on the situation, what he could have done differently and how it will all come to an explosive conclusion.
Soaps.com: So did Austin have any inkling of Abby's feelings for him before that drunken evening?
Patrick: You want my psychological perspective on this? Kate (Mansi, Abigail) and I talked about it when we started going down this street about what the deal was between these two. She had just gotten dumped by Chad (Casey Deidrick), my wife is looking at other people, she lost her best friend to her ex-boyfriend. At the beginning of this whole thing you have two really lonely people. Her mother is off having problems with Jack (Matthew Ashford)and Dr. Dan (Shawn Christian). Austin has nobody. So you are in the situation as an older guy where there is somebody who thinks of you as valuable. You don't think they are looking at you in a romantic way, but somebody thinks you are valuable in a situation when you feel valueless. He is kind of a loner in Salem at this point, and so is she. At the beginning of the storyline I thought it was really sweet because they both really enjoy each other just as friends. So he is really in that, he loves spending time with Abby, she is an old family friend, so he is kind of blinded by the history of that.
Soaps.com: How does he feel about her now that she is forcing the issue?
Patrick: Well now he feels like an idiot for not picking up on it sooner so it is a big slap in the face. Austin is beating himself up for not seeing it sooner because he is the adult in this situation. Then he goes and gets drunk because he finds out his wife kissed Rafe and he goes to sleep it off. He has just had a lot of bad luck since he has been back in Salem and so he walked in an lo and behold there is this beautiful, young girl waiting for him in his office when he is that drunk, and on top of the she gets Fatal Attraction on him so, he has had one bad turn after another since I have been back these six months.
Soaps.com: Is it possible his feelings could grow if he and Carrie don't work on their issues?
Patrick: I think that it is possible, but the thing about Austin Reed, at least my take on the character always was, which is kind of unique in the soap world, he is full-heartedly about one woman. He is almost stupidly, blindly in love with Carrie. And he always has been. There is too much of a family connection there - I think I even gave her bone marrow at one point. I am pretty good friends with Jennifer (Melissa Reeves), so it would be pretty rough to be with Abigail. But is it possible down the road? Sure, I think.
Soaps.com: Is Abigail really going to try to hurt Carrie and Austin's marriage?
Patrick: Abigail is going to go for it. She is going to go for broke and do anything she can to get Austin. She feels justified because Austin has told her how horrible Carrie has been to Austin. So on Abigail's side of the fence she is protecting Austin for being such an idiot.
Soaps.com: Do you think Austin inadvertently led Abby on?
Patrick: Yeah, I do. Sure. And I think he kind of takes responsibility for that. But for sure, if Austin could go back and do this over again, he would have been a little bit more aware. I don't think he consciously led her on, but the guy has been in a lot of pain over his wife. I think Abigail was such a dear friend and he was so thankful to have that friendship that was close and intimate, but as an adult he probably should have played his cards a bit differently and kept the boundaries.
Soaps.com: Are things going to get worse before they get better?
Patrick: I think it is going to be classic soap opera, which means it is going to be very dramatic. Things may get better before they get worse before they get better. The thing is, Carrie has to deal with her feelings for Rafe and if they are real. Everybody is on a big collision course right now in the next couple of weeks with what is airing. There has been a lot of setup taking us toward some very big climactic scenes. All of us, when we were getting these scripts and shooting them, we were all in this same hallway, screaming down the hallway "Oh my God did you see what happens?". You know when the actors are doing that, you know it is intense. We were flipping pages like, "Oh my God, they aren't going to do this to me are they?" I think the audience will be engaged too. The climax scenes are coming and we couldn't wait to play them, all of us. I think there is big, big payoff to all of this setup and it is not what the audience expects.
Soaps.com: I know you were in Nashville recently for music. Are you working on a solo album?
Patrick: That was my first trip there and I joined the CMA (Country Music Association). It probably seems like actor guy wants to do music, but I have been on the music road since my early 20s. I went down there and met with a bunch of the music publishers. In America, Nashville is really the music community. All of the major songwriters write out of there. When I was there, it is crazy how fun it is. Whether it is the business side or the creative side, everybody loves music there. I was going to parties with music publishers and playing for people live in living rooms. I met with unbelievable producers like Michael Knox who works with Jason Aldean. We shoot the show three weeks and then we have one week dark, so on those dark weeks I am going down there. Right now we are just getting set who the producer is going to be. So every dark week I am going to be in Nashville.
Soaps.com: Is it going to be a country album?
Patrick: No. What I want to do like early Greg Allman/Creedence Clearwater type of music. Which, if those albums were made today might fall under the country banner. But that vibe is my natural vibe, what I love to do, and the best place to write for people with that vibe is Nashville. A Southern rock vibe.
Read Soaps.com's interview with Kate Mansi to find out what Kate said about Abigail and Austin's relationship.
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- Hollie Deese