The Hortons are few and far between, on DOOL, which had some fans concerned. As reported late spring, Salem’s going to be blessed with a few more Hortons. Mark Hapka is coming to Salem to play Nathan Horton, son of Melissa. I caught up with Mark in June, where we discussed his new role. I thought it was great when I found out you actually have played on DOOL before, in a dream sequence as “Johnny DiMera,” last year! I recall a few of us at enjoying those scenes and we’re happy that you’re coming on the show in more of a permanent capacity! Were you keeping your ears and eyes open, looking for other jobs on DOOL since then, or did this just fly into your lap? I mean, how did you hear of the audition?

Mark Hapka: “I remember being told that everyone (Gary and Marnie especially) was impressed with my small appearance. They liked my choices and how smoothly I adapted to the pressure filled, fast paced shooting style. I guess ever since then they had plans to get me back in there somehow. Believe it or not I tested for the role of Will. It seemed set until they cast Taylor as Mia, who was far too young to match me up with so they went back to sessions and brought in younger guys including Dylan who is doing the role justice now. Nathan Horton came around and it just seemed perfect, so here I am.” How was the audition itself? How many others were auditioning and who did you read with?

Mark Hapka: “It was relaxed because I already had a relationship with everyone and didn’t feel like I had to try hard to impress them. Marnie [Saitta] is the best CD [casting director] you can ask for to read with so the process in that office is always an enjoyable one!” Where were you when you learned you got the part?

MH: “At home rushing (late as always) to get to a screening of my film that just got back from winning 3rd place at Tribeca out of 90 films. The screening was at Endeavor and I got a conference call from my reps… that news plus my film’s success equals a great day!” Can you say anything at all about your character “Nathan?” We hear so far that he’s going to be living with Maggie, he’s going to be a first year intern at University Hospital, but can you tell us anything about his personality?

MH: “His personality is loose. It’s going to be great to see how fans adapt to him. He always means well and is extremely genuine. I’m sure we will hear what people think soon enough.” “When did you start taping and who have you worked with so far?”

MH: “I spent all of June taping thus far…first episode airs this Wednesday. At this point I have had a chance to work with almost everyone, working in the hospital and all.”