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|Ellie||Apr 27 2009, 12:08 PM|
I recently had the pleasure of talking with Daytime Emmy-nominated star Darin Brooks, who has portrayed Max Brady for the past four years. As many fans are aware, Darin is leaving his role of Max Brady at the end of May. He discussed his new Spike TV series, Blue Mountain State, and reflected on the past four years at DAYS. Additionally, he talked about Tag the World, a non-profit charitable organization which heís actively involved in and especially passionate about. Darin is not only talented and easy on the eyes, but heís also a humanitarian with a heart of gold. Read what one of daytimeís hottest young stars had to say.
GM: First of all, I just want to congratulate you on your new series Blue Mountain State being picked up by Spike TV.
DB: Thank you.
GM: And you know thatís really great news, but itís also kind of sad news for Days of Our Lives fans.
DB: (chuckles) Yeah, itís a little tough. I mean this is my first big job, and you know the fans have good been to me and so it is kind of a sad thing, but I believe that Iím blessed. Hopefully they enjoy the new show as well.
GM: And itís been picked up for thirteen episodes I understand?
DB: Yeah, we got picked up for a full schedule of twelve more, since we already did the pilot, so thirteen total.
GM: Can you tell me a little bit more about it? I know itís a college comedy that kind of combines the football with Animal House?
DB: Yeah, basically itís called Blue Mountain State, and itís a half-hour comedy for Spike TV. Itís a single-camera comedy, so weíre shooting in Montreal, and basically itís Friday Night Lights or Varsity Blues meets Animal House or that one movie Van Wilder with Ryan Reynolds.
My character (Alex) is kind of like a Vince Vaughn or a Ryan Reynolds. Heís a second-string quarterback on the team. Heís a new freshman coming into this all-college football school. And they live, they breathe football. So, these new college freshman are coming into the school and itís all about sort of like making friends, hazing, the seniorís hazing of the freshman, pulling pranks, having fun, partying, the whole nine yards. Itís just a big comedy about college life, and football, and my characterís kind of like, heís a second-string quarterback. Heís got the talent to be first-string, but he doesnít want the responsibility. He just wants to party, and have fun, and make friends, and get laid, and do his thing. Itís just a fun time for him.
GM: Whenís the premiere date?
DB: I donít know exactly when it is because weíre going to be shooting in June, July, and August for twelve weeks, twelve episodes in that. I think what theyíre trying to do is air it in September sometime around college football season.
GM: Of course the news just recently came out that you are leaving your role as Max Brady after four years. Were there other factors that led you to make this decision besides your new series getting picked up?
DB: No, not really. I mean, itís just that the opportunity presented itself and I just kind of felt like maybe I should try and go out and do it. When I was testing for the pilot, who knows if youíre going to get cast, and then also who knows if the pilotís actually going to go, and who knows if your seasonís going to get picked up? So, everything was kind of up in the air, but all these opportunities just kept coming up one by one, and I was in close contact with Gary Tomlin, our executive producer, and heís been really great through it all. He understands that itís a great opportunity, and he was like, ĎYou know I was an actor at one point and I totally understand. Go do your thing if you need to. Let us know if it gets picked up because we need to figure out what to do with you.í So it was always like I had to keep them in the loop and just keep them updated from time to time.
DAYS has always been good to me. It is a little inevitable, but soapís are kind of a dying breed, you know Guiding Light getting cancelled after 73 years. It is a shock to me, and I think a shock to many people. But you know, soaps are kind of a dying breed. There are a lot of factors that go into it, but basically I just think that this opportunity presented itself at the time, and Iím really thankful for DAYS and everything theyíve done. I hope DAYS goes on for another 30 years. Itís just a right place, right time kind of thing.
GM: Looking back over the past four years, obviously youíve seen a lot of cast members come and go over that period of time. Is there anyone youíre going to especially miss working with?
DB: Iím going to miss working with a lot of people. I mean, everybody on the show, weíve become sort of a big family. I wish that I had more scenes with, you know, some of the people that I wanted to work with, like the new girl playing Arianna, Felisha Terrell. Sheís a wonderful girl, I just started doing a couple of scenes with her. The new young kids, you know, theyíre fun people. Molly (Burnett, Melanie) you know who plays my sister is great. Peter Reckell (Bo) has always been good to me, and Kristian Alfonso (Hope). Iím going to miss working with everybody. You know, Ari Zucker (Nicole) and everybody like that.
GM: And itís no secret that your character has definitely has his share of the ladies over the years......
DB: (laughs) Yeah.
GM: ......which has been fun. (laughs). You started off with Chelsea, and now youíre ending up with Chelsea again which is kind of sweet. Who did you feel was best suited for your character of Max?
DB: Yeah, I think heís had his fair share. You know, the good thing about this story with Max, heís starting with Chelsea and now heís ending up with Chelsea, I think itís a nice little story. You know, because Iím kind of a hopeless romantic myself, and people always kind of feel like sometimes they rekindle their old flames. In the beginning when they were together, it just wasnít right, it was that timing, something happened, they broke up, they dated other people along the way. Serendipidously something happens and they come back together ten years later and theyíre perfectly happy again. Itís sort of like rekindling that old flame which I kind of like.
GM: I wanted to ask you too, this has been kind of a while back, your former onscreen brother, Daytime Emmy winner Billy Warlock (Frankie). I thought you two had great onscreen brother chemistry. How did you like working with him?
DB: Oh, Billy Warlock is one of the greatest! When I first started, he was so great. Man, Iím telling you, he was like my older brother. He taught me a lot of things, heís so funny, heís charismatic, heís such a good-hearted guy. Him and Julie Pinson (Billie) were just two of the nicest people on the set. And I learned from them a lot. Oh man, Billy, I ought to call that guy and see how heís doing. I havenít talked to him in a while. I know Julieís doing well in New York on the show (ATWT) and everything.
He was great! I remember one of the first days we were on set and stuff (chuckles). See, I used to watch, every day after school Iíd come home and watch Baywatch. You know, not for Billy, but for the ladies that were on the show.
But I recognized him from one of the seasons, so my first day on the set, they were like, ĎYouíre brother is Billy Warlock.í Iím like, ĎNo way!í After a couple of days went by, we kind of felt comfortable chatting with each other. I was like, ĎSo Billy, whereís your red tights? Whereís your little red shorts you used to wear on the beach in Baywatch? Where are those?í And heís like, ĎAlright, you listen here younginí I can whoop your ass!í (chuckles). He was good guy, you know, we joked around a lot. We had a good time. But I learned a lot from him. Iím grateful to Billy.
GM: You had some really powerful scenes last year, especially with Maxís biological father Trent Robbins coming into the picture. What scenes did you submit for Emmy consideration?
DB: Actually, I submitted some of the father stuff. It was actually the episode (June 19, 2008) where weíre in this hotel room, and all the truth is coming out with Stephanie, and Stephanieís in the room and stuff. And sheís like, ĎStop it!í And Iím like, ĎNo, not by a longshot. I wanna know answers. I wanna know why you left my mother. You abused my mother.í Heís like, ĎI did not.í Iím like, ĎDo not interrupt me!í I thought it was a nice powerful scene. I donít know....it was good. I mean, Iíve learned a lot since then, and I wish that I couldíve made better choices now than I wouldíve back then. Even though theyíre strong scenes and theyíre great, man, I wish I couldíve done it like yesterday.
But, itís all a learning process. And they were great scenes, and Roscoe Born (Trent) was fantastic too. That dudeís a legend in my book. I mean, heís great. He was always such a good actor, and he was a giver, and he always wanted to try things when we were on the set. Heís like, ĎLet me try something.í And I was like, ĎOkay, fine.í And he would do something that would surprise me and it was great. Heís a very nice guy, very good dude.
GM: I remember reading in another interview you did with one of the soap magazines that he was so incredibly nice and nothing like his onscreen counterpart. Itís pretty neat to know how different people are offscreen and to be able to separate that.
DB: Oh yeah! Some people can pull that off and some people canít. Some people can be nice, genuine people and stuff like that and they always play the hero. But if you can play that villain really well and kind of sleazy and slimy, but also redeemable in a certain way, youíre going to go a long way, which he has. I mean, heís played that character several times. I think he was doing scenes with Greg Rikaart when Greg Rikaart won for Y&R. He was his abusive father on Y&R. And, you know, Greg won the Emmy because of it. So it goes to show when youíre working opposite really good people and you have some good writing and some good story, you can go a long way.
GM: Right. Do you know when your last airdate is?
DB: I donít know for sure. I know that my last tape date will be at the end of May sometime. So, my last airdate would probably be at the end of June I would say, sometime around then.
I know itís quick, but I donít know what the last week entails. Iím hoping that we have a nice, long full week of like, a nice wrap-up of the story. Cause, you know sometimes I think in soaps, they havenít been doing it a whole lot where they give a nice farewell. You know what I mean? Like, they have some storyline and a nice farewell whether itís romantic, or itís sad, or whatever. Itís needed in soaps. You know, when your fans hear ĎHeís leaving? Whoa, whoa, whoa! We need to tune in and see whatís going on. Why? Like, is he being killed off? Is he getting married? Is he going to medical school? When is he going off?í Sometimes I think in the soaps they donít really put the effort into it because theyíre like, they kind of see it as, ĎWell, youíre leaving. Why should we write for you?í And sometimes it can be kind of bitter, but I hope that thereís a nice little ending that so the fans, we can give them what they want. Because sometimes when the fans find out someoneís leaving they tune in again because they havenít been watching for several years and that was their favorite character and they go, ĎWhoa, I have to see the season finaleí or whatever it is. And then after that, ĎThat was a great little storyí and ĎI kind of like that new Mia girl. Sheís kind of fun.í So then they start tuning in again and soon bringing their fans in.
GM: Now I understand that Chelsea is going to go to medical school in England and I understand that Max is going to leave with her. Do you have any more spoiler information on that without of course giving too much away?
DB: Well, sheís going to London to take care of her mom (Billie) because her mom gets into a car accident, and Max, I donít know for sure because they havenít really told me whatís going on. It might have something to do with medical school and/or being with Chelsea in London and just like, ĎI canít live without youí kind of thing and have a nice little romantic thing. Thatís what Iím anticipating. But you know, like I said, I donít know for sure.
GM: Now I understand youíve been actively involved with Tag the World organization since it launched in October, and it raises funds for charities and focuses on five different causes. Can you tell me more about that? Howís that going?
DB: Itís going good actually. I was just talking to my buddy Rob Valletta who started it. Heís the one who came up with the idea and he started it. Iím just one of the board members and one of the spokesmen for it. But itís a great, great charity and I canít say enough good things about it. I canít say how many times Iíve been walking down the street or out somewhere or having dinner and someone comes up to me and says, ĎThatís a really nice necklace. What is that?í And right then and there, thatís the game of tag. Thatís how it starts, how you tag the world with dog tags.
Now if someoneís asking me about it, Iím going to tell them my story. And my story is, I have the animal cause tags to the humane society and stuff like that. I used to live with my aunt and my aunt had three rescue dogs, one was deaf and blind, one had diabetes, we had to give it two shots a day. Another one was kind of neurotic who I kind of think was physically abused as a young pup and had some neurotic tendencies and stuff. But all these animals, once you give them a good home like we had at my auntís house, they just completely change.
Animals are so great, especially dogs. Dogs are one of my favorite animals. Theyíre so loving, and so caring and so giving when you give them a good home. And for them to come through life, like one was attacked by wolves and rescue. You tell them your story, and itís sort of like ĎTag, youíre it.í Now YOU go onto the website and YOU figure out what YOUR story is, which dog tag you like, which cause you like, which charity you want the profits to go to, and help out that cause.
So we have animals, Africa, children, cancer, and go green, the environment. So thereís five different causes and under each cause thereís different charities on the website. And weíre trying to get more charities involved so that we can help other charities and stuff and put them underneath each cause, because it couldnít hurt if itís more donations to charities. Weíre trying to contact other charities and get them involved as well. You know obviously Iíve been on Bonnie Hunt and Hollywood 411 and a couple of interviews so far talking about it and itís helped sales tremendously and all the profits go to charities of peoplesí choice. Itís a great thing. Itís a win-win opportunity for charities to do their thing and for people to support charities and bring a bunch of different charities together, cause I know sometimes it can get a little daunting where itís like, ĎWhat cause do I believe in? What charity do I believe in?í And under this, you actually benefit a lot of different things just by talking about it.
GM: Now before we conclude, Darin, are there any final words youíd like to say to your fans and to those who are fans of Max Brady?
DB: Basically, I apologize that Iím leaving, but I hope they enjoy what Iíve done with my character and enjoy my acting even though sometimes the writing can be a little crazy with dating your nieces and all that kind of stuff. I hope people enjoyed what I did and appreciated what I did, and hopefully theyíll follow me through the rest of my career. Iím just trying to get out there and do other things too, just to entertain people and make people happy, and make people laugh and cry. So I just hope they follow me through the rest of my career. And thank you for watching. Thanks everybody for supporting me before.
|About.com interview with Darin Brooks · DAYS: News, Spoilers & Discussion|