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Connecticut newspaper interview with Drake Hogestyn; Small spoiler at the end
Topic Started: Sep 13 2012, 07:14 AM (2,221 Views)
Ellie


http://www.theday.com/article/20120913/ENT02/309139602/-1/today

Drake Hogestyn reflects on his years with ‘Days of Our Lives’

By Kristina Dorsey

Publication: The Day
Published 09/13/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 09/12/2012 05:23 PM

Things have changed dramatically since Drake Hogestyn first joined "Days of Our Lives" 28 years ago. And we're not just talking about how his character - who can't recall his identity - has cycled through multiple personas, from The Pawn to John Black to Roman Brady to Forest Alamain, and on it has gone.

The soap world as a whole, too, has undergone a sea-change. With audiences fractured by cable and other outlets, daytime dramas have been rethinking all aspects of production - from storylines to cast size to scene lengths - and have been cutting budgets.

It was financial belt-tightening that caused Hogestyn and the other half of the John Black-Marlena supercouple, actress Deidre Hall, to be let go. They last aired in January 2009.

But when NBC decided to do a "reboot" of "Days of Our Lives" in mid-2011 in an effort to revitalize the show and lure back some lapsed viewers, the network brought in some former superstars - Hogestyn and Hall included.

"It's nice to be home again," Hogestyn says.

Fans can meet Hogestyn and seven other "Days" cast members when they come to Mohegan Sun Saturday afternoon for a free Q&A and autograph session. It's part of the casino's Signings & Sightings series.

The other actors who will be here are: Kristian Alfonso, Shawn Christian, Lauren Koslow, James Reynolds, Blake Berris, Camila Banus, and Suzanne Rogers.

Hogestyn has done his share of personal appearances over the years, and he says, "We've always been a generational show. I've done personal appearances where I will see great-grandmothers and grandmothers and mothers and little children. (Watching the show) is family time. It's, like, 'We're going to sit down here for an hour, we're going to plug in, charge up and enjoy a chapter in this book for an hour and forget about the reality and the B.S. in our life.'"

Acting wasn't Hogestyn's first career. He was a professional baseball player, manning third base for one of the Yankees farm teams till a 1978 injury. On a dare, he jumped in on a Columbia Pictures national talent search and segued into acting. At one point, though, Hogestyn hit a bit of a career wall and was all set to give up showbiz before "Days" came into his life.

He was going in for what he expected would be one last audition, for "Crazy Like a Fox." Casting director, Doris Sabbagh, though, pitched him "Days."

"She starts describing the character of John Black. Out of my briefcase, I pulled Robert Ludlum's 'Bourne Identity.' I was halfway through the book. I said, 'Are you talking about Jason Bourne?'" he recalls.

Indeed, that's exactly where the "Days" team got the inspiration for the character. When Ludlum wouldn't give the okay for them to use the name, they kept the initials - John Black rather than Jason Bourne - and they kept the idea of a spy without an identity.

"It's been an amazing adventure, and it really expands you as an actor," Hogestyn says. "They give me so many different characters to play. You can do so many things. It's not being locked into one character for 28 years."

While the role has changed over the decades, the work schedule has changed even more radically. Back in the day, Hogestyn recalls, 90-hour weeks weren't uncommon. Now, the schedule has been tightened to save money. The actors are usually in at 8 a.m. and out by 5:30 or 6 p.m. They shoot for three weeks and then have a week off. What that translates to: They are shooting seven to eight hour-long episodes a week.

"So it's a lot of work in a very short period of time," he says. "It's not uncommon to see the schedule come up, and you've got three shows in one day. Sometimes, they'll line them up - all your scenes together - and you might have 21 to 24 scenes. You come out of that day with your head spinning, let me tell ya."

Since 2011's reboot, "Days" took another turn this spring. A new headwriting team was installed, and some of the actor show who came in last year were jettisoned. Hogestyn and Hall, though, appear to be safe.

And another player has been brought back and put into the John-Marlena mix. Eileen Davidson hash returned as her "Days" alter ego, Kristen Blake, the foster daughter of archvillain Stephano DiMera who had been presumed dead.

"It's a very interesting storyline," Hogestyn says. "She comes back, and John's accepting her at face value. She says she's changed, but there are some indicators that's she's back for something more. So right now, it's been very interesting. We're happy to have (Davidson) because Dee and I are now in a very strong storyline, and that's good. The audience is really going to be onboard with it."

"Days of Our Lives" Signings & Sightings, Saturday, The Shops at Mohegan Sun; group autograph signing 1-2 p.m., followed by a session 2:30-3:30 p.m.; public Q&A 2-2:30 p.m.; free; mohegansun.com.
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JamaicanBeauty7
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I am READY!!

I'm glad the DHs are going to be in a "strong s/l." It looks that way with those two and ED. Fingers crossed!
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Tammy
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So John will have his head up his ass again with Kristen??? Greeeeat! [/end sarcasm] :rolleyes:
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Marlene


JamaicanBeauty7
Sep 13 2012, 07:23 AM
I'm glad the DHs are going to be in a "strong s/l." It looks that way with those two and ED. Fingers crossed!


My favorite line from the article.
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Jarlena4Eva
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Drake's Back!!

This makes me jump for joy! :cheer: Returning to the front burner, just as they should be and should have been all along!
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peaches179



Thanks Ellie! :)

Can't wait to see Dee and Kristen interact!
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peaches179


Jarlena4Eva
Sep 13 2012, 08:32 AM
This makes me jump for joy! :cheer: Returning to the front burner, just as they should be and should have been all along!

I agree.
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MissLola
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Glad they are getting a good story. Hopefully this will mean less of Sami/Rafe/Ej/Nicole!
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lysie
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My instinct is to complain about John being a moron, but eh. Glad marlena isn't, and I don't mind them fighting. #waitingforKristen
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parisa


Praise the lord!!
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reagon


MissLola
Sep 13 2012, 08:48 AM
Glad they are getting a good story. Hopefully this will mean less of Sami/Rafe/Ej/Nicole!
Sadly thats a pipe dream. Kristian arrives just as St. Melanie leaves. Thats who's screentime she's getting. Not that I mind Melanie gone but the chances of the unholy overplayed Quad being diminished seems unlikely even if their story is the least entertaining.
Edited by reagon, Sep 13 2012, 09:34 AM.
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Ally
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The Royal Princess

Thanks for posting, Ellie!


Can it be Kristen's debut episode already, please?! :chee:
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Snowing Fan
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Oh gosh,please do not let Kritter make John look like a moron again,I think Marlena won't buy into her BS,she has good reason.
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Kevc1980
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So glad to have John and Marlena moving back to the frontburner. The show needs this with Bo leaving..
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peaches179


lysie
Sep 13 2012, 09:29 AM
My instinct is to complain about John being a moron, but eh. Glad marlena isn't, and I don't mind them fighting. #waitingforKristen

Please soap gods don't let Marlena turn to Roman if her and John start fighting. :rolleyes:
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px780
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Streetcorner Philosopher

It makes sense to me that John would believe Kristen because...he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer. But on the other hand, are they all supposed to be vehemently anti-Dimera right now?
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tylerbo20


ill believe it when i see it
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Mitchapalooza
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Killing myself slowly

#WaitingForKristen

SO DAMN TRUE!

This has been one of the worst months for DAYS in years...the shows is BEYOND terrible right now...its PAINFUL to watch without feeling huge amounts of disdain and disgust.
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KMan101
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Good. I'm already tired of cameo-appearance-John and zzzzz-Marlena. I assume that John and Marlena were put on the backburner to save up their episodes for Kristen's return so they can be used appropriately.
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Mitchapalooza
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Killing myself slowly

I am convinced Sami has Marlena locked in her apartment, making tea and bagels...cause that is all we have seen of Marlena lately.
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