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Soaptown USA interview with Matt Ashford
Topic Started: Dec 13 2011, 12:36 PM (2,853 Views)
rosered


The actor shares about his character’s dramatic (and true to life) turn.
By: Dawn

http://soaptownusa.com/currentinterview.html


One of Days of Our Lives’ most complex characters has always been Jack Deveraux. He began as dark and brooding, then after being paired with Jennifer, he became the show’s comic relief. Recently Jack was reintroduced to Salem, and while his entrance was typical Jack, that quickly changed when it was revealed that Jack had been held prisoner and tortured by his captors while chasing a story in the Middle East. Now Jack, who has faced many a demon during his tenure on Days (including an abusive biological father and a serial killer stepdad), stares down his biggest challenge: the emotional fallout of his ordeal.

On an upcoming episode, Days will address veterans returning home and dealing with post traumatic stress disorder. During the show, Marlena will bring Jack to visit these veterans in an effort to try and help him. “Marlena has a veteran’s group that she brings Jack to, and I found out shortly before we shot it that the actors in it would be actual veterans. It’s interesting because I think the character of Jack feels very unworthy…’What am I doing? Why am I complaining about my problems when these people are so much more deserving? They’re the real people, the real heroes.’ So that’s going through Jack’s mind and at the same time, and now here I am, I’m supposed to be doing this scene where Jack has to face up to his demons and I’m with people who really suffered and gone through so many things. And many of them have also suffered their own post traumatic stress. That’s my understanding, so it was very interesting on different levels. I kind of had to deal with that and they couldn’t have been greater people.”
“I really hope that people can enjoy and embrace the overall experience, and I’m hoping too, at that point, maybe the armed services network can report on it and celebrate their ability to talk about it in a dramatic form. It’s not a talk show, its dramatic storytelling. It’s another way of getting the story out there. People say, ‘I don’t want to see that, I don’t want to see a documentary, and I don’t really do talk shows.’ (Days) is another way to get understanding out there for you to take or not take, but in your own way. Things find their way into our culture and the soldier who is suffering, who could very well spend the rest of their life suffering from the traumatic experiences of a tour in a hot zone war. It’s very real, it’s maybe something our parents, our grandparents, our great-grandparents have dealt with that was never talked about. It’s something you don’t really want to think about but it takes a toll. Our bodies are a lot more frail in their physical existence than we want to believe.”

Ashford offers more insight as to why Jack has been somewhat resistant to the idea of treatment. “I think it’s a very natural defense mechanism. He had no real reason to be over there. He was over there looking for a story. It’s all perspective. And his perspective was that he was one the reporters making a living off the war and they were the ones that were actually conducting it. He doesn’t feel that his reasons were – he (feels he) doesn’t deserve the time or to be included with them. His stuff is so ‘poor me’ because he’s really tried to block it and push it down. Until he realizes what the trauma is, he can’t do the things he’s been doing. He’s dealt with a lot of stresses in his life but it’s not working. He’s getting very anxious at the slightest provocation, and the anxiety makes him unable to cope or deal with his daily life. That’s what’s kind of different for him now. He can’t just slide by and be as smooth as he wants to be because he keeps falling apart… If people can get by, they won’t do anything, they’ll just soldier through. That term is really a verb, and that’s how military people have been doing it for generations. But then there’s people who just can’t.”
“Everyone’s fighting a battle of one sort or another, and to the extent that we are able to have the courage to open up and face those things. It’s not just about going to war; it’s about people facing up to their own challenges and having the courage to do something about it, to appreciate the challenge to grow. I think people are encouraged by seeing all-too-human people kind of stand up and face their stuff. I think Jack is a flawed person, that’s what I hope I’ve brought to him. Courage shows up in many different ways and we all have it. We all have to face it, so if (viewers) see it, they will see him just trying to do that. He’s going to be in scenes with people that are ‘heroes’ and he’ll realize that they’re regular people. They’re heroic in their life but they’re human beings just like everybody else.”

But it’s not just being in a war zone that can be a trigger for post traumatic stress disorder, Ashford points out, citing daughter Emma’s battle with retinoblastoma. “Our daughter’s surgeon brought up this idea that the children in the hospital have very often had to face their own post traumatic stress because of the way that their cancer was treated, their injury or their chronic sickness was treated. Holding them down and, even from the time they’re infants, putting masks over their faces, the anesthesia, in a way that wasn’t really caring for them by the individual in that moment. Maybe the illness was cured, the disease was taken care of, now they have something in their lives where they fear big buildings or people in uniforms, or afraid of white coats. Literally, it is post traumatic stress and their entire life is affected for the rest of their lives and now it’s being documented. It’s really interesting that it should come up at the same time.”

“I think Jack uses humor as a weapon,” Ashford says, in describing how Jack’s current situation will ultimately define him. “Hopefully it will bring a nice balance of serious and not serious. I’ve always enjoyed playing everything and so hopefully this is giving the character a chance to explore the darker colors again. It’s fun (as an actor) to go there. You want to be able to play all those things. I appreciate being able to play lighter things and enjoy it. I’m getting a chance to play a little bit of a villain in the web series The Bay, and I enjoy that as well. But Jack can also make enough trouble without having a malicious intent.”

“I want to humanize the desire to do the best and stand up to face your own demons,” he says, “Everybody can do that.”

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AHM


Love Matthew Ashford! I'm glad Jack will be exploring the darker colors again.
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Marlene


Wonderful interview. Thanks for posting. I'm really looking forward to the episode with the Vets.
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sonulle
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Perfect. Matt is amazing. :wub: Thank you very much!
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SoapGal1
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Love Matt Ashford! :wub:

Great interview!
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LanaluvsBroe
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AHM
Dec 13 2011, 12:39 PM
Love Matthew Ashford! I'm glad Jack will be exploring the darker colors again.
Hopefully without Jennifer. Love Matthew :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub:
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CalAggie87


As always and an intelligent interview. Great that he cares so much about his craft. Also great, that he does not do a fluff interview, for me as a fan it I feel that he respects my intelligence.

I also have some optimism. I think this was Greg Meng's ideal. And it makes me feel good that he gave this story to Matt. So different than Langan who while producing and writing always had Jack the clown. This is serious stuff and it is great that TPTB have faith in Matt, and Dee, to give this story to them. It also sounds as if that this will be a defining moment for the character.
Edited by CalAggie87, Dec 13 2011, 01:11 PM.
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Romancer66


Great interview, and insightful too--MA is such a class act.

And yes, it's a relief to see an interview about Jack that has nothing to do with the triangle from hell. This is going to be a Jack-centric story about how a character copes with a terrible experience and (I hope) comes out the other side.

No word at all on whether Jen-Jen gets involved. Love her or loathe her, I should think she'd have to, at some point, though I hope she finds out the extent of Jack's trauma in the most humiliating, shaming way possible for her. And then i hope she feels lower than a snake's belly for the way she's been treating him since his return.
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AHM


LanaluvsBroe
Dec 13 2011, 12:54 PM
AHM
Dec 13 2011, 12:39 PM
Love Matthew Ashford! I'm glad Jack will be exploring the darker colors again.
Hopefully without Jennifer. Love Matthew :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub: :wub:
Well, I do hope Jennifer comes into it. I hope we get Jack facing that she hasn't been there for him. I'm still hoping this story comes around to Jennifer having to win him back. However, yes, this story sounds good. Jack doesn't need her to make him interesting.
Edited by AHM, Dec 13 2011, 02:34 PM.
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CalAggie87



But thinking about it, thinking back to after Jack killed Harper there is a pattern with JenJen. Jennifer to me acted as if after a couple of days Jack could move on and be happy happy with her. Not only did he kill the man who raised him but it brought up all his insecurities about his own self, his fear of violence, and that was compounded by the media bringing up his and Harper's violent past. Jennifer has always thought that love would cure everything. The more I think about it, the more I think Jennifer really is not wanting to examine what happened to Jack. She just thinks he was captured, put in prison, escaped. There really is no mention by her that he was tortured. Dan saved her, it must be love, and with Dan there is no conflict. I doubt MR sees this, but it would be a good place for the writing to go. Jennifer runs as much as Jack, not away from the family, but into her little romance world, where once there is love there are no problems. She did tell Jack she wants someone who is happy. To me that says she really does not want to deal with hard issues. And she did not do so after Jack killed Harper and is not doing so now.
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niki51586


Matt does great interviews they are insightful and intelligent. He has always seemed to have a very good grasp of who his character is and I think thats what probably makes Jack so appealing to so many. Even if its not in the script it is in Matt and it shows in Jacks layers, ticks and insecurities. Love it!
Edited by niki51586, Dec 13 2011, 03:02 PM.
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Mitchapalooza
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Killing myself slowly

GREAT interview....so happy this man is back at DAYS and I can't wait to see this storyline play out....its such a refreshing change to the dull drums of love triangle HELL!
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Sweet and Salty


Mitchapalooza
Dec 13 2011, 03:04 PM
GREAT interview....so happy this man is back at DAYS and I can't wait to see this storyline play out....its such a refreshing change to the dull drums of love triangle HELL!
Who is that woman in the banner with E.J? Sitting on his lap. I can't make her out.
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Dany_E


I'm pretty sure that's Nicole, Sweet&Salty
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Maggie28wubsEj
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I love Matt! I am so glad Jack is back. :wub:
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Evan
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It's always a pleasure to read interviews with a highly intelligent actor, who obviously puts a lot into the actual process of acting. :wow:
I too look forward to these upcoming episodes - it's time Jack dealt with his dark side, and hopefully he's well away from Jennifer & Daniel.
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Dreamer
Gone, But Not Forgotten!

How long is Matt's contract with Days?? I hope he's sticking around for a while. He is freakin awesome!!! :blowkiss:
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CalAggie87


Supposedly until July of 2013, for Matt. MR's contract is until September of 2012.
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Evan
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I hope that MR has nothing to do with this SL, it's just Matt & Deirdre and the real life veterans.
Jennifer & Dr Fake Tan can be on the backburner until her contract is up - that'd suit this viewer very well.
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LastLicks
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CalAggie87
Dec 13 2011, 04:24 PM
Supposedly until July of 2013, for Matt. MR's contract is until September of 2012.
For some reason I remember her contract being more than 2 years, no?
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