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Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday September 30, 2013 MYT 11:58:53 AM
by kenneth chaw
A man of his own: Colin Egglesfield says his character is finally coming into his own in Season Two of The Client List.
No shame in starting out as a daytime soap opera actor. The Client List star Colin Egglesfield says it is a good training ground.
DAYTIME soap opera actors are commonly brushed off as nothing more than a bunch of good-looking actors with a penchant for melodrama and exaggerated expressions.
Their chiselled jawline and rippling six-pack abs may look great in a steamy scene (is it me or do daytime soap opera sets look like they’re perpetually filled with steam?) but when it comes to actual acting chops, these soap studs aren’t taken seriously.
Former soap star Colin Egglesfield feels viewers shouldn’t be too quick to write them off, he tells Star2 in a phone interview from Los Angeles.
“Soap actors are some of the hardest working actors in the business,” Egglesfield says. “On an average movie, the crew films maybe three to five pages a day; on a TV show, maybe 10 to 12 pages; on a soap opera, they shoot 60 to 80 pages a day! So the amount of material they have to memorise and regurgitate – there’s a lot of work.”
The Michigan-native got his big break in 2005 after he landed the role of Josh Madden in one of the longest-running US daytime soaps, All My Children. After a four-year stint, Egglesfield moved to prime time; he starred in the 2009 remake of Melrose Place.
The actor, now 40, adds that it’s unfair to judge an actor’s acting chops based on his performance on soap operas alone. “It’s hard to know whether the actor is talented or not because of the way soap operas are written, they’re very over-the-top and melodramatic, and of course, the sheer volume of the material.”
But Egglesfield believes being on a soap opera isn’t a death sentence for actors; there could be life after it. “People don’t get typecast as they used to. The industry today is a lot more lenient about who gets cast in a role. Actors are easily transitioning from soaps to TV and films. It’s never hindered me from getting jobs just because I was on soap operas,” he explains.
True enough. Actors like Las Vegas’ Josh Duhamel, Supernatural’s Jensen Ackles and Criminal Minds’ Shemar Moore were all products of soap operas. (Heck, even Brad Pitt got his start on soaps like Another World and Dallas.) Egglesfield himself went on to snag the lead role in the 2011 romantic movie, Something Borrowed, before starring opposite Jennifer Love Hewitt in his latest project, The Client List.
The Lifetime series chronicles the life of Riley Parks (Hewitt) – supposedly inspired by a true story – who takes up a job as a masseuse after her husband, Kyle (Brian Hallisay), walks out on her and their two children. She finds out that the spa offers “extra services” to its clients and decides to go along with it, since she’s the family’s sole breadwinner.
Throughout the first season, Kyle’s brother Evan (Egglesfield) has been the family’s pillar of strength, and especially for Riley. Inevitably, sparks start to fly between the two. But at the end of the season, viewers were shocked when Kyle abruptly returns home.
“Now that Kyle is back, it presents an interesting dilemma for her. Can she forgive the man who betrayed her and left her to fend for herself? And are her feelings for Evan real or was it just a temporary connection she felt because he was always there for her,” Egglesfield establishes the premise of Season Two.
There have been rumours of tension running high in the set following Hewitt’s (who is also the show’s executive producer) decision to make real-life fiance Hallisay’s character more prominent, resulting in lessair time for Egglesfield.
But the actor graciously responds: “I think they’re very careful in terms of not just having Kyle come back and Evan disappearing. They’re very cautious about still creating something of substance for my character.”
He explains that the new season will see his character coming into his own, as Evan embarks on a career in law enforcement. “He finally finds something to do that he is passionate about as a police officer. So he is no longer living in his brother’s shadow. He is his own man, he has his own career. So I think it’s been great in terms of what they’ve done to my character, they’ve spread it out really well.”
Other new developments on the show include Riley’s mounting problems with the law, her best friend Lacey’s attempts at growing her family plus Evan’s dangerous stint as a bull-rider in an episode.
Egglesfield also hints that a hunky masseur will be shaking things up at the spa. “Rob Mayes is a great addition to the show. His character stirs up controversy in the massage parlour as the women vie for his attention,” he dishes.
As for the future, Egglesfield reveals he hopes to play more diverse roles. “I love to play something like Jason Bourne from The Bourne film series. It has the perfect blend of action and emotional depth and complexity,” he says.
Egglesfield, whose good looks have drawn comparisons to Tom Cruise, also says he looks up to the major movie star’s career, especially his portrayals in Jerry Maguire and Magnolia.
“He was someone I admired while growing up. I think he’s a great actor. To be compared to him as far as looks go, I don’t think it’s a bad thing,” he shares. The actor added the similarity almost landed him the opportunity to play the younger brother of Cruise’s character in The Last Samurai. Unfortunately, the storyline changed at the last minute and the character was written off.
Season Two of The Client List premieres tonight at 10pm on Lifetime (Astro Ch 709).
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