What role do you automatically think of when you hear Brian Gaskill’s name? For me, it’s his role Dylan Lewis on Guiding Light that he played from 2007-2008, and though he was not the original portrayer, he certainly seemed to have a way with owning that role as if he had originated it. Perhaps all his experience working with roles in Daytime has given him a step up over others. Do you recall Brian's portrayal of vampire slayer, Rafe in campy "Port Charles," or perhaps Ozzy in Bold and the Beautiful? Those weren't his only roles. He also played Bobby in All My Children and of course, B.J. in As the World Turns. He has had a taste of a few Daytime productions but there are still a few more out there that we think he could have a place in.
In addition to multiple other television productions, Brian’s also a proud father, music and video director. Soaps.com caught up with him this past week, thinking it’s high time we saw him back on canvas – in Daytime or Primetime. In the interview, he shares his thoughts with us on some of the roles he has portrayed in the past, on the future of Daytime and on heading back into acting.
Soaps.com: You've been involved in Daytime for the past two decades; how have you experienced the changes in the genre? Any thoughts on how things will look in the future?
Brian Gaskill: Not really sure...I guess the ratings have gone down over all...we have like 3000 channels to choose from and the internet, so that was bound to happen. I know "serial" storytelling will always exist in some form. Maybe someone needs to do a soap late at night. Clearly not as many people are home during the day. In general, the future is gonna surprise us...the news makes us feel like there are no surprises and they have it all figured out. The next 100 years is mapped out on television specials, and usually in a not too bright way...maybe things won’t be so bad...and maybe Daytime drama will still be around in 50 years...who knows? I know storytelling won’t go away...it's part of who we are.
Soaps.com: The shows that you've worked on have all been quite different in terms of style (the campiness of B&B, the realism of GL, the super naturalness of Port Charles); how does this affect the way you approach your character?
Brian Gaskill: I always tried to make it as real as possible for me...maybe I should have changed my approach. (laughs)
Soaps.com: You've often played characters with a bit of a dark side, is that something that you're attracted to?
Brian Gaskill: It is something I am attracted to but mostly I just try to bring the light and dark to all characters I guess. I love humanity and the complexity of the truth of who we really are...no black and white...just a lot of gray. Rafe on PC was practically like a superhero. (laughs) But in superhero tradition I guess even he had his dark moments.
Soaps.com: Has there been a character or type of character that you've always wanted to take on?
Brian Gaskill: I'm not sure...I still love the same things...vulnerability, humanity, and quirkiness… show we are all the same and yet all different. When I watch actors "telling a story" that's what I love...that's what moves me, and why I wanted to be an actor to begin with. At the end of the day though, I hit my mark and say my lines and hopefully bring my own version of something to the story, so any character would do. I learn something from each one.
Soaps.com: You were part of one of Port Charles' most beloved supercouples (Rafe Kovich and Alison Barrington Kovich); what was it like to be the focus of that kind of fan passion and attention?
Brian Gaskill: Fun mostly...we worked a lot because of it and work is fun. Being an angel in the story seemed to really touch a lot of people, and was humbling to me...I really wish we could have seen more of where it would have gone at least one more year before it got cancelled. It would have been fun.
Soaps.com: How did you react to news of Guiding Light's cancellation?
Brian Gaskill: Not surprised I guess. I'm sad for the genre, but I had already been victim of an end because of declining ratings, with PC but really I mostly felt for all the people about to lose a job. Things change, it's just the way it is but I hate that there are victims of change. Then again, I am sure many will thrive. Sometimes change is just what the doctor ordered. GL certainly lived a long long life...one to be proud of for sure.
Soaps.com: Are there any projects you are working on now that you'd like to tell us about?
Brian Gaskill: Mostly I have been a daddy...I stepped away from Hollywood, besides the runs on ATWT and Guiding Light...so I wasn't actively pursuing my career for a few years...now I am back and ready to go!
[Editor's note: Incidentally, were you Gaskill fans aware that Brian’s not the only talented person in his family? Fact is, Brian’s sweet little girl, Alabama Zoe, stars in a video directed by Brian for Tonya Watts. The video can be seen on his site, Brian Gaskill.]
Soaps.com: (Soaps should sit up and take notice!) You were one of the founders of The Rorschach Group, a theater company in NY. Are you still involved with them?
Brian Gaskill: Naw…are they still around? Really I started it, because I had friends who had graduated from the same acting school who were having a hard time, some without even representation (agent/manager) I had made some money in Hollywood, and wanted to come back to NYC and give them a platform to get their talent noticed. Shea Whigham was one of my best friends and it definitely got him going in his career, and Jennifer Esposito (Who I didn't go to school with) also got her start there. We did some great things, and it was an exciting time.
Soaps.com: Would you like to return to Daytime and why?
I am an actor. Show me where to stand, and tell me what to say and I will do my part to tell the story. I never really saw the borders of Daytime/Primetime/Movies etc. I just wanted to work and tell stories, so yes; I would be excited about a return. Truth is though, what would you expect me to say? I am an out of work actor lookin’ for my next job, like much of the country these days. That said, Daytime TV is a special place, and lately feels like the underdog...and I love underdogs...I always root for the underdog. I of course would love to be part of it again. I guess we'll see soon what the future holds.
Well said, Brian and Soaps.com is sure your fans would love to see you back on TV soon.
Matthew Purvis with Christine Fix